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.

Great Escapes! Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci

I’m a big foodie. I love to eat, and I love to cook. I love going out to eat, too. Food plays a role in most of my writing, especially in my short story, Ino’s Love. It also plays a prominent role in Blue Hydrangeas and its companion Christmas story. My go-to meals are Italian, most likely because I was raised Italian. So when I heard about Stanley Tucci’s new book Taste: My Life Through Food, I was intrigued. He makes everything sound so delicious! Did you catch his 6-part series Searching for Italy on CNN? It’s a gastronomic adventure through some of Italy’s best known regions and the most delightful edibles you can imagine: the meat, the cheese, the pasta. The wine!

This new memoir is sure to please as it tells the story of Tucci’s growing up Italian and his culinary experience. Did you know he recently underwent cancer treatment that damaged his taste buds and made everything taste disgusting? What an ironic twist of fate. This book is a great escape from the winter doldrums, and may inspire you to prepare some tasty treats, like pasta e fagioli, lasagne, meatballs, and, my favorite, tiramisu. Buon appetito!

About the Book

Stanley Tucci grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the kitchen table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, and now he takes us beyond the savory recipes and into the compelling stories behind them.​ 

Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about his growing up in Westchester, New York; preparing for and shooting the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia; falling in love over dinner; and teaming up with his wife to create meals for a multitude of children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burned dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last. 

Written with Stanley’s signature wry humor, Taste is for fans of Bill Buford, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Ruth Reichl – and anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal. 

About the Author

Italian-American actor Stanley Tucci was born in New York in 1960. He has directed five films and appeared over seventy films, including The Devil Wears PradaEasy AThe Terminal and Road to Perdition, as well as more than a dozen plays, on and off Broadway. He starred in Julie & Julia, opposite Meryl Streep, and The Lovely Bones, for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination, for Best Supporting Actor. He is the winner of two Golden Globes and two Emmys. Tucci’s foody TV show, Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, recently aired on CBS and is Emmy nominated.  

New Release Spotlight! Rachel Hanna’s Sweet Tea and Christmas Trees is an Inspirational Christmas Romance

When Kate and Mia agree to decorate the B&B for the town’s annual Christmas house tour, they may have bitten off more than they can chew.

Meanwhile, Travis and Cooper get the adventure center ready for the holiday season, but someone shows up in town that one of them never expects. When a secret is revealed, will one of their relationships fall apart?

Catch up with your favorite characters in this warm holiday women’s fiction book about family, love and the joy of Christmas!

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! Visit her at https://rachelhannaauthor.com/

New Release Spotlight! Melody Carlson’s A Christmas in the Alps is a Quick, Fun Holiday Read

After a time of heartache and loss, Simone Winthrop discovers a tantalizing letter from her French great-grandmother, which seems to suggest that she is heir to a family treasure. Ever practical, Simone assumes the claim is baseless, but her best friend encourages her to find out for sure. Despite her deep-rooted fear of flying, Simone boards a jet to travel to Paris at Christmastime to uncover the truth.

During the long flight, Simone meets the charming Kyle Larsson, who’s on his way to France to become an apprentice clockmaker. Though they abruptly part ways, an unexpected rendezvous in the French Alps at Simone’s family’s clock factory may lead to the discovery of the family treasure . . . and so much more.

For anyone who is wearying of staying home, Melody Carlson invites you to spend Christmas with her in the beautiful French Alps this year. So pull on your mittens, tie your scarf tight, and prepare yourself for a magical mountain holiday.

About the Author

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over 200 books with sales of more than 7 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at http://www.melodycarlson.com.

New Release Spotlight! Christmas at Snowflake Lodge by CP Ward

Plumber Jessica Lemond is determined not to follow in her parents footsteps by living off her famous grandfather’s fortune. However, when the old timer himself elopes to Scotland with suspicions over the recent death of his much younger third wife hanging over his head and a private detective on his tail, it is left to Jessica to follow and clear up the mess. Happy to escape from her nightmarish lodger Doreen, she heads to the remote Snowflake Lodge with her young trainee Kirsten in tow.

However, Snowflake Lodge – with its oddball staff and very dodgy plumbing – is not how it appears in the brochure. Among the beautiful Scottish scenery, and with more hot chocolate and mince pies than she can possibly handle, can Jessica find something she didn’t even know she was looking for?

About the Author

Chris Ward writes romantic Christmas comedies as CP Ward. Five titles are currently available. All the titles are standalone stories and can be read in any order, although beady-eyed readers will notice some familiar faces popping up in other books from time to time!

Connect with Chris Ward

Website

New Release Spotlight! The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews Sparks the Holiday Spirit

From the New York Times bestselling author of Hello, Summer comes a novella celebrating the magic of Christmas and second chances.

When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. 

Among the left possessions Ivy finds a Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of the suit she finds a note: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. The note sets Ivy off on a mission only to discover she might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.

My Take

This started a bit off to me, but quickly redeemed itself. I was drawn to the characters and loved the whole idea of the santa suit. Highly recommended for those looking for a quick holiday read between shopping, wrapping and baking.

Start reading now!

About the Author

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! A Man of Honor, Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Long-awaited Prequel to the Classic Emma Harte Saga A Woman of Substance

My love affair with the Emma Harte saga began in 1979, when the first in the series, A Woman of Substance, was published. At the time, I was 18 and recuperating from major abdominal surgery, which caused me to delay my start at college, where I would major in English so I could learn how to write. Instead I joined the Book of the Month Club and the Literary Guild and had the best in contemporary fiction shipped straight to my door. This was a marvelous service I couldn’t get enough of and I read voraciously. I particularly enjoyed family sagas, the bigger (figuratively and literally) the better. Although it has been many years since I’ve read anything by Barbara Taylor Bradford I had to jump on this one when it hit my Net Galley dashboard. Who doesn’t love a good prequel, the “story behind the story?” And what a fine story it is. Now I need to reread the original, A Woman of Substance and see if it still enchants me as it did at 18.

About the Book

In A Man of Honor, the true Blackie O’Neill is revealed. For the first time, readers discover his story: his tumultuous life, the obstacles facing him, the desire he has to throw off the impotence of poverty and move up in the world. Like his friend Emma, he is ambitious, driven, disciplined, and determined to make it to the top. And like Emma Harte, he is an unforgettable character for the millions who loved the book.

Opening five years before the start of A Woman of SubstanceA Man of Honor begins with 13-year-old Blackie O’Neill facing an uncertain future in rural County Kerry. Orphaned and alone, he has just buried his sister, Bronagh, and must leave his home to set sail for England, in search of a better life with his mother’s brother in Leeds. There, he learns his trade as a navvy, amid the grand buildings and engineering triumphs of one of England’s most prosperous cities, and starts to dream of greater things… And then, high on the Yorkshire moors, in the mists of a winter morning he meets a kitchen maid called Emma Harte.

My Take

Blackie is a dear, dear boy full of wide-eyed ambition. grit and determination. Like Emma Harte, he is “a man of substance.” l almost expected the two of them to get together, which I knew wouldn’t happen but it did not seem unlikely.

It was interesting to read about English society at the turn of the last century but sometimes I felt like the story wasn’t true to to the day’s norms and mores. The language often seemed a bit modern for the times. For instance, there was mention of couples’ “hooking up,” more than once, which I doubt was the term used in 1903. The women seemed a little loose, looser than the men, shockingly, and I found myself wondering about that as well.

The book seemed a bit rushed and broken into parts that confused me. For example, the sections involving Lord Lassiter and his troubles seemed to sprout from nowhere and I didn’t understand how they fit into the whole scheme of things. Still don’t, although I enjoyed reading about them.

I really wanted to love this book for old time’s sake but it fell short of my expectations. At the same time I was compelled to finish it, wondering what happens next, so in the end it was a fairly good read.

Recommended for lovers of family sagas, prequels, and early 19th century English heroes.

About the Author

Barbara Taylor Bradford, OBE is one of the world’s best loved storytellers. Her 1979 debut novel, A Woman of Substance, ranks as one of the top-ten bestselling books of all-time, with more than 30 million copies in print. All 31 of her novels to date have been major worldwide bestsellers. Her 32nd book, Secrets Of Cavendon, will be published in hardcover and eBook on November 21 by St. Martin’s Press.

Bradford was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire (UK) as the only child of Freda and Winston Taylor. She grew up in the Leeds suburb of Armley and after Town Street Church of England School worked in the typing pool at the Yorkshire Evening Post before going into journalism. By the age of twenty she was the fashion editor of Woman’s Own Magazine and an editor and columnist on Fleet Street for the London Evening News.

Bradford’s books have sold more than ninety one (91) million copies worldwide in more than ninety (90) countries and forty (40) languages. Ten (10) of her books have been made into miniseries and television movies, making her one of the best-selling authors over the last 30 years.

In April of 2003, Mrs. Bradford was inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America alongside Mark Twain, Langston Hughes and Dr. Seuss. She was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours list for her contributions to literature. Her original manuscripts are archived at the Brotherton Library at Leeds University, alongside the works of the Bronte sisters. In 2009, Barbara’s publishers began a worldwide 30th anniversary celebration of A Woman of Substance. The first annual Woman of Substance Awards took place on September 10th 2009 at the Dorchester Hotel in London. She lives in New York City with her husband, of 51 years, television producer Robert Bradford.

Her official website is: http://www.barbarataylorbradford.com

New Release Spotlight! Uncharted Courage, Book 10 in Keely Brooke Keith’s Intriguing Uncharted Series

One of my favorite series! It crosses many genres: historical fiction, women’s fiction, romance, and science fiction. Keely Brooke Keith writes it so well.

About the Book

With the survival of the Land at stake and her heart on the line, Bailey must find the courage to love.

When Bailey accepts John Colburn’s offer for her to visit Good Springs, she leaves the Inn at Falls Creek expecting to spend the autumn relaxing in her favorite seaside village. Upon her arrival, Connor asks her to cover a shift of guard duty on the equinox, and her quiet vacation takes a shocking turn.

Revel Roberts works hard to keep his life commitment-free, making it easy to leave community decisions to men like Connor and John. But when the Land is threatened, Revel sees his chance to prove he is a man worthy of Bailey’s love. Amid the chaos in Good Springs, his unrequited feelings for her preoccupy him. One wrong choice could ruin everything.

As Bailey’s new life in the Land unravels and threats from the outside world loom, a yearning she can’t define surges within her. It distracts her from defending the hidden world she loves, and a tragedy reinforces her need for independence.

With the survival of the Land at stake and their hearts on the line, Bailey and Revel will need more courage than fighting ever required. They will need to find the courage to love.

Uncharted Courage weaves past and future in a faith-filled story of life in a hidden land. You’ll love this Christian historical romance with a futuristic twist, full of mystery and suspense. Perfect for fans of dual timeline stories and time travel romance! If you enjoy the rural setting and wholesomeness of frontier romance and Amish fiction, you’ll adore Uncharted Courage.

“The appeal of simpler times and lost innocence combined with the adventure of a new undiscovered Land is hard to beat.” —Amazon reviewer on the Uncharted series

The Uncharted series:
#1 The Land Uncharted
#2 Uncharted Redemption
#3 Uncharted Inheritance
#4 Christmas with the Colburns
#5 Uncharted Hope
#6 Uncharted Journey
#7 Uncharted Destiny
#8 Uncharted Promises
#9 Uncharted Freedom
#10 Uncharted Courage

The Uncharted Beginnings series:
#1 Aboard Providence
#2 Above Rubies
#3 All Things Beautiful

About the Author

Keely Brooke Keith writes inspirational frontier-style fiction with a futuristic twist, including The Land Uncharted (Shelf Unbound Notable Romance 2015) and Aboard Providence (2017 INSPY Awards Longlist).

Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely was a tree-climbing, baseball-loving 80s kid. She grew up in a family who moved often, which fueled her dreams of faraway lands. When she isn’t writing, Keely enjoys teaching home school lessons and playing bass guitar. Keely, her husband, and their daughter live on a hilltop south of Nashville, Tennessee.

Books I Love! Elin Hilderbrand’s Golden Girl Explores the Afterlife

I waited all summer for this book. I requested it from my library before its June 1st publication date and received it in October. It was well worth the wait! Elin Hilderbrand continues to grow as an author, extending her range and taking on topics outside of her usual Nantucket beach read.

Book Description

In this satisfying page-turner from “the queen of beach reads” (New York Magazine), a Nantucket novelist has one final summer to protect her secrets while her loved ones on earth learn to live without their golden girl.

On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she’s assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she’ll have to think carefully where to use them.

From the Beyond, Vivi watches “The Chief” Ed Kapenash investigate her death, but her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her own youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. But when hidden truths come to light, Vivi’s family will have to sort out their past and present mistakes—with or without a nudge of help from above—while Vivi finally lets them grow without her.

With all of Elin’s trademark beach scenes, mouth-watering meals, and picture-perfect homes, plus a heartfelt message—the people we lose never really leave us—Golden Girl is a beach book unlike any other.

My Take

Elin is on brand in this novel that explores the afterlife, what happens when a woman is killed by a hit and run driver, unexpectedly ripped away from her family in the prime of life. Imagine being given three chances, three “nudges”, to affect your loved ones’ decisions in the immediate aftermath of your death. Vivi gets to be a silent bystander in the summer following her death, listening in on her family’s conversations, observing their every move, with the opportunity to affect their actions. We see their heartache and grief, learn their deepest secrets. All amid the gorgeous descriptions of life on Nantucket Island as only Elin can write it. Highly recommended for lovers of women’s fiction, Nantucket, and Elin Hilderbrand.

About the Author

Elin Hilderbrand is the proud mother of three, a dedicated Peloton rider, an aspiring book influencer, and an enthusiastic at-home cook (follow her on Instagram @elinhilderbrand to watch her Cringe Cooking Show). She is also a grateful seven-year breast cancer survivor. GOLDEN GIRL is her 27th novel.

New Release Spotlight! A Little Christmas Spirit by Sheila Roberts Sets the Holiday Mood

Here it is, not even Halloween, and I’m spotlighting Christmas stories. Why? you might ask. The answer: I’m a sucker for a good Christmas story and load up my Kindle with new releases as soon as they come out so I have plenty to read through the holidays. These days, authors are releasing their books earlier and earlier, trying to get some footing in an overcrowded market, so it’s a good time for readers to stack their holiday TBR list with some of the best new books out there. For the next few weeks I’ll be spotlighting Christmas reads. I’m sure you’ll find a few to put you in the spirit. This week I’m featuring a new title by Sheila Roberts, A Little Christmas Spirit.

About the Book

The best Christmas gifts—family, friendship and second chances—are all waiting to be unwrapped in this sparkling new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts.

Single mom Lexie Bell hopes to make this first Christmas in their new home special for her six-year-old son, Brock. Festive lights and homemade fudge, check. Friendly neighbors? Uh, no. The reclusive widower next door is more grinchy than nice. But maybe he just needs a reminder of what matters most. At least sharing some holiday cheer with him will distract her from her own lack of romance…

Stanley Mann lost his Christmas spirit when he lost his wife and he sees no point in looking for it. Until she shows up in his dreams and informs him it’s time to ditch his scroogey attitude. Stanley digs in his heels, but she’s determined to haunt him until he wakes up and rediscovers the joys of the season. He can start by being a little more neighborly to the single mom next door. In spite of his protests, he’s soon making snowmen and decorating Christmas trees. How will it all end?

Merrily, of course. A certain Christmas ghost is going to make sure of that!

About the Author

Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have been published in several languages. Her book, Angel Lane, was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009. Her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network and her novel, The Nine Lives of Christmas, was made into a movie for Hallmark . You can visit Sheila on Twitter and Facebook or at her website.

New Release Spotlight! Viola Shipman, The Secret of Snow

Viola Shipman is back with a new novel!

Book Description

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Summer Cottage 

“A beautifully written story about second chances. Fans of women’s fiction won’t be able to put this down.” —Publishers Weekly 

The forecast is calling for a reluctant homecoming and regrettable decisions with a strong chance of romance … 

When Sonny Dunes, a SoCal meteorologist whose job is all sunshine and seventy-two-degree days, is replaced by a virtual meteorologist that will never age, gain weight or renegotiate its contract, the only station willing to give the fifty-year-old another shot is the very place Sonny’s been avoiding since the day she left for college—her northern Michigan hometown. 

Sonny grudgingly returns to the long, cold, snowy winters of her childhood…with the added humiliation of moving back in with her mother. Not quite an outsider but no longer a local, Sonny finds her past blindsiding her everywhere: from the high school friends she ghosted, to the former journalism classmate and mortal frenemy who’s now her boss, to, most keenly, the death years ago of her younger sister, who loved the snow. 

To distract herself from the memories she’s spent her life trying to outrun, Sonny throws herself headfirst into covering every small-town winter event to woo a new audience, made more bearable by a handsome widower with optimism to spare. But with someone trying to undermine her efforts to rebuild her career, Sonny must make peace with who she used to be and allow her heart to thaw if she’s ever going to find a place she can truly call home. 

About the Author

Wade Rouse is a popular award-winning memoirist and internationally bestselling author of twelve books, which have been translated into twenty languages and selected as Today show Must-Reads, Indie Next Picks and Michigan Notable Books. Rouse writes fiction under his grandma’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose heirlooms inspire his writing. 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