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.

New Release Spotlight! Kate Carlisle’s Little Black Book Revisits the Gothic Classic Rebecca

These book covers always intrigue me, especially the cats. I’m intrigued by this one because it’s about the classic gothic novel Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, which I enjoyed as an audiobook read by Anna Massey.

About the Book

San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright is on the case when a rare edition of Rebecca leads to murder in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling Bibliophile Mystery series.

Brooklyn and her hunky husband, security expert Derek Stone, have just returned from a delightful trip to Dharma, where the construction of their new home away from home is well underway, when a little black book arrives in the mail from Scotland. The book is a rare British first edition of Rebecca, and there’s no return address on the package. The day after the book arrives, Claire Quinn shows up at Brooklyn and Derek’s home. Brooklyn met Claire when the two women worked as expert appraisers on the television show This Old Attic. Brooklyn appraised books on the show and Claire’s expertise was in antique British weaponry, but they bonded over their shared love of gothic novels.

Claire reveals that during a recent trip to Scotland she discovered her beloved aunt was missing and that her home had been ransacked. Among her aunt’s belongings, Claire found the receipt for the package that wound up with Brooklyn and Derek. Claire believes both her own life and her aunt’s are in danger and worries that some complications from her past are coming back to haunt her.

But just as Brooklyn and Derek begin to investigate, a man who Claire thinks was following her is found murdered, stabbed with a priceless jeweled dagger. With a death on their doorstep, Brooklyn and Derek page through the little black book where they discover clues that will take them to the shadows of a medieval Scottish castle on the shores of Loch Ness. Under the watchful gaze of a mysterious laird and the irascible villagers who are suspicious of the strangers in their midst, Brooklyn and Derek must decode the secrets in Rebecca to keep their friend’s past from destroying their future….

Recipes included!

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle is a native Californian who worked in television production for many years before turning to writing. It was a lifelong fascination with the art and craft of bookbinding that led her to write the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. Her first book, Homicide in Hardcover, debuted in February 2010, followed by If Books Could Kill, The Lies That Bind, Murder Under Cover, One Book in the Grave.

With the publication of A High-End Finish in November 2014, Kate launched the Fixer-Upper Mysteries featuring building contractor Shannon Hammer, who specializes in Victorian home renovation and repair. The series is set in Lighthouse Cove, a seemingly idyllic town with many dark secrets hiding under its floorboards. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel is bringing the Fixer-Upper Mysteries to TV in a series of movies starring Jewel and Colin Ferguson. The first movie premiered in January 2017, the second less than three months later, with plans to film several more.

Kate’s television credits include numerous game shows, music videos, concerts, and variety shows, including The Midnight Special, Solid Gold and The Gong Show. She traveled the world as a Dating Game chaperone and performed strange acts of silliness on The Gong Show, most notably as a member of the girl group, The Whispers. They didn’t sing, exactly, but spit water on the host of the show.

Kate also studied acting and singing, toiled in vineyards, collected books, joined a commune, sold fried chicken, modeled spring fashions and worked for a cruise ship line, but it was the year she spent in law school that finally drove her to begin writing fiction. It seemed the safest way to kill off her professors. Those professors are breathing easier now that Kate spends most of her time writing near the beach in Southern California where she lives with her perfect hero husband.

Kate is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America. She is the proud recipient of the Golden Heart and Daphne du Maurier awards, and her first Bibliophile Mystery received a Best First Mystery nomination from RT Book Reviews. Kate loves to travel and read and drink good wine and watch other people cook.

Visit Kate online at http://www.KateCarlisle.com, where you’ll find a Secret Room filled with lots of bonus content, such as maps and character lists!)

Books I Love! TJ Newman’s Falling is a Wild Ride in the Sky

I first learned of this book and author on NPR’s Fresh Air podcast (July 6). The combination of debut author, flight attendant, hijacking, kidnapping, New York Times bestseller, and a Universal deal on the film rights intrigued me and I just had to read it. Wow, what a ride! Both the book and the author’s story.

About the Book

You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

My Take

A pilot is preparing for a flight, but his wife is angry with him. He’d promised he’d be home for their son’s Little League opener but he was called in at the last minute, and, duty bound, could not say no to his boss. So there’s tension immediately. Then the cable man arrives, or so they think, which sets off the chain of events. The reader is with all of these characters throughout the book, on land and in the sky, and we meet a number of other key players throughout the story, including the three flight attendants on board who are charged with keeping the passengers safe and calm for what will be a dangerous and unpredictable flight. These characters are all likable and easy to identify and empathize with, very real and human. The character development was great. You can even empathize with the terrorists, who are, after all, humans too with a horrifying backstory that motivates their dastardly act.

There is some political drama which makes a point but does not veer away from the story.

The chapters are short and move quickly; the pace is excellent. I could not stop reading, needing to know what would happen next. And Newman did not disappoint. You want to read this.

This is an author with a brilliant future.

About the Author

T. J. Newman,a former bookseller turned flight attendant, worked for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines from 2011 to 2021. She wrote much of Falling on cross-country red-eye flights while her passengers were asleep. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Falling is her first novel.

Connect with TJ Newman

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New Release Spotlight! Emily’s House By Amy Belding Brown

I can’t wait to read this one! I just discovered this author and her backlist looks terrific. Lots to mine here. Looks like biographical historical fiction and women’s fiction.

About the Book

When Maggie accepts a temporary position at the illustrious Dickinson family home in Amherst, it’s only to save money for her upcoming trip West to join her brothers in California. Maggie never imagines she will form a life-altering friendship with the eccentric, brilliant Miss Emily or that she’ll stay at the Homestead for the next thirty years.

In this richly drawn novel, Amy Belding Brown explores what it is to be an outsider looking in, and she sheds light on one of Dickinson’s closest confidantes—perhaps the person who knew the mysterious poet best—whose quiet act changed history and continues to influence literature to this very day.

She was Emily Dickinson’s maid, her confidante, her betrayer… and the savior of her legacy. 

An evocative new novel about Emily Dickinson’s longtime maid, Irish immigrant Margaret Maher, whose bond with the poet ensured Dickinson’s work would live on, from the USA Today bestselling author of Flight of the Sparrow, Amy Belding Brown.

Massachusetts, 1869. Margaret Maher has never been one to settle down. At twenty-seven, she’s never met a man who has tempted her enough to relinquish her independence to a matrimonial fate, and she hasn’t stayed in one place for long since her family fled the potato famine a decade ago. 

About the Author

Amy Belding Brown grew up in Vermont and graduated from Bates College in Maine. She received her MFA in Writing degree from Vermont College in 2002 and is the author of the historical novels FLIGHT OF THE SPARROW and MR. EMERSON’S WIFE as well as two light romances. For many years she taught writing at universities and colleges in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She currently lives and writes in Vermont, where she enjoys nature photography in her spare time.

New Release Spotlight! Jennifer Weiner’s That Summer Was Not the Beach Read I Expected

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Summer comes another timely and deliciously twisty novel of intrigue, secrets, and the transformative power of female friendship.

Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?

While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?

From the manicured Main Line of Philadelphia to the wild landscape of the Outer Cape, written with Jennifer Weiner’s signature wit and sharp observations, That Summer is a story about surviving our pasts, confronting our futures, and the sustaining bonds of friendship.

My Take

I really wanted to like this book more than I did. My expectations were high when I picked it up. There’s a lot of hype surrounding this title and I like this author and enjoyed other books she’s written.

Maybe it’s me but I found myself confused about who was who and how the characters lives intertwined. I’ve been reading a lot lately – sometimes two or three books at the same time – which could have caused my confusion, or maybe it was the similarities in the characters names – Diana and Diana aka Daisy – that mixed me up. It also could have used a tighter editing as there were many grammatical errors, adding to my confusion. I almost brought the book back to the library unfinished. I also found the Diana character a bit unbelievable, taking on the persona of a sophisticated, sought after business consultant after living on the beach in Truro for years, hiding from the world and happy to do so. The other Diana – Daisy – was a lot more likeable and I found myself rooting for her.

The men were despicable characters, a bit cliche as privileged white men preying on young girls they considered beneath them (literally and figuratively.)

I can see where this book can be triggering for rape survivors and should have come with a warning. Definitely not a beach read.

Not what I expected, but I finished it.

Hopefully Weiner’s next book will be better.

About the Author

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of sixteen books, including Good in Bed, The Littlest Bigfoot, and her memoir Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com

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.

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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

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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!