New Release Spotlight! Dolly Alderton’s Ghosts Offers a Sad Glimpse Into Online Dating

About the Book

Nina Dean is not especially bothered that she’s single. She owns her own apartment, she’s about to publish her second book, she has a great relationship with her ex-boyfriend, and enough friends to keep her social calendar full and her hangovers plentiful. And when she downloads a dating app, she does the seemingly impossible: She meets a great guy on her first date. Max is handsome and built like a lumberjack; he has floppy blond hair and a stable job. But more surprising than anything else, Nina and Max have chemistry. Their conversations are witty and ironic, they both hate sports, they dance together like fools, they happily dig deep into the nuances of crappy music, and they create an entire universe of private jokes and chemical bliss.

But when Max ghosts her, Nina is forced to deal with everything she’s been trying so hard to ignore: her father’s Alzheimer’s is getting worse, and so is her mother’s denial of it; her editor hates her new book idea; and her best friend from childhood is icing her out. Funny, tender, and eminently, movingly relatable, Ghosts is a whip-smart tale of relationships and modern life.

My Take

Entirely enjoyable. I loved the characters, the scenes, the banter, just about everything. This is a sad story about dating in the 2020’s. Nina’s relationship with Max seemed so real, a happily ever after, and I felt her angst when he “ghosted” her.

A huge negative for me was the theme surrounding Nina’s father. He obviously has dementia, but that word is never mentioned in the story (although it is mentioned in the book description.) I get why Nina and her mom might not want to speak of it – like many grappling with this diagnosis, they are deep in denial – but it leaves the reader in limbo, especially the reader who is not familiar with the disease and doesn’t understand why Dad is the way he is. The writing surrounding this is exquisite and spot on. The author did a terrific job. But as an advocate for those living with dementia I felt she missed an opportunity here to do some real education on a poorly understood illness.

I also did not like the cover (upside down bouquet). That needs an improvement.

Still, a good read recommended for those who like women’s fiction with strong heroines, lots of drama, and well-placed laughs.

About the Author

Dolly Alderton is an award-winning author and journalist. She is a columnist for The Sunday Times Style and has also written for GQ, Red, Marie Claire and Grazia. From 2017 to 2020, she co-hosted the weekly pop-culture and current affairs podcast The High Low alongside journalist Pandora Sykes.

Her first book Everything I Know About Love became a top five Sunday Times bestseller in its first week of publication and won a National Book Award for Autobiography of the Year. Her first novel Ghosts was published in October 2020 and was also a top five Sunday Times Bestseller.l

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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!

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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

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Wade Rouse Website

Books I Love! Little Pieces of Me, Alison Hammer’s Latest Women’s Fiction, is a Fun, Funny Read

This was not the typical woman joins DNA registry, woman finds lost relatives, and they all lived happily ever after (except they seemed pretty happy at the end.)

Paige, 43 (a little older than I expected for this story, but hey) starts an account with FamilyTree.com, does the swab, submits it, and moves on. She wasn’t really interested in learning about her genetic makeup or discovering relatives she doesn’t know. The account was a perk for her job at an advertising firm, research, nothing serious.

So Paige is dumbfounded when she receives an email from FamilyTree.com alerting her that someone new to their database is her father. Which completely throws her because her father has died, and she is still in mourning.

Yet all of her life she has felt as though she doesn’t belong to her family. She looks different. Her mother is strangely aloof. Some things don’t add up. She has to know: Has her mother been lying to her all of her life? Was her dad not her dad? If not who is? And what happened between him and her mother?

As Paige explores these possibilities with the help of her friends Maks and Margaux, and her fiancé, Jeff, we’re entertained with their antics, banter, and dedication to Paige (these are some great friends.)

This is a fun, funny read.

Recommended for readers who like quick reads, a little mystery, and an emotional conundrum.

Start reading now!

About the Author

Founder of Every Damn Day Writers, Alison Hammer has been spinning words to tell stories since she learned how to talk. A graduate of the University of Florida and the Creative Circus in Atlanta, she lived in 9 cities before settling down in Chicago. During the day, Alison is a VP Creative Director at FCB Chicago, but on nights and weekends you can find her writing upmarket women’s fiction.

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New Release Spotlight! Start Your Beach Reading with Family Reunion, Nancy Thayer’s Latest

I can never wait for a new release by one of my favorite authors, Nancy Thayer, whom I had the privilege to meet a few years ago at a bookshop on Nantucket. She graciously accepted the gift of a copy of my newly published Blue Hydrangeas. I wonder if she ever read it? Here she is again with another one of her charming Nantucket stories sure to bring me back to The Faraway Land. You should go there, but if you can’t, read Nancy’s books.

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.

“Readers come to Nancy Thayer novels for the idyllic Nantucket beaches and lifestyle, but they stay for the characters.”—New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe

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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Books I Love! The Girls Are All (Not) So Nice Here, a Chilling Thriller

Two former best friends return to their college reunion to find that they’re being circled by someone who wants revenge for what they did ten years before—and will stop at nothing to get it—in this shocking psychological thriller about ambition, toxic friendship, and deadly desire.

A lot has changed in the years since Ambrosia Wellington graduated from college, and she’s worked hard to create a new life for herself. But then an invitation to her ten-year reunion arrives in the mail, along with an anonymous note that reads “We need to talk about what we did that night.”

It seems that the secrets of Ambrosia’s past—and the people she thought she’d left there—aren’t as buried as she’d believed. Amb can’t stop fixating on what she did or who she did it with: larger-than-life Sloane “Sully” Sullivan, Amb’s former best friend, who could make anyone do anything.

At the reunion, Amb and Sully receive increasingly menacing messages, and it becomes clear that they’re being pursued by someone who wants more than just the truth of what happened that first semester. This person wants revenge for what they did and the damage they caused—the extent of which Amb is only now fully understanding. And it was all because of the game they played to get a boy who belonged to someone else, and the girl who paid the price.

Alternating between the reunion and Amb’s freshman year, The Girls Are All So Nice Here is a shocking novel about the brutal lengths girls can go to get what they think they’re owed, and what happens when the games we play in college become matters of life and death.

My Take

Don’t start this if you have to get up early. This one will keep you flipping pages and then leave you with a book hangover. I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters at the heart of the story, Ambrosia and Sully, two of the most unlikable characters I’ve ever encountered. They’re so much “girls you love to hate” that I couldn’t look away. Both of them are beautiful, narcissistic, insecure, dangerous villains who team up to wreak havoc on the guys and girls who unfortunately enter their orbit at school, resulting in the tragic death of an innocent girl who unwittingly gets in their way. I think the story goes a little too far and the ending is a bit neat, but Ambrosia and Sully each meet satisfying (and well deserved) endings. Recommended for those who like a suspense novel with characters you love to hate.

About the Author

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn is a former model who lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and three children. She is the author of three young adult novels: Firsts, a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, along with Last Girl Lied To and All Eyes on Her, under the name L.E. Flynn. Her adult debut, The Girls Are All So Nice Here, has sold in eleven territories and has been optioned for television by AMC. Visit her website LaurieElizabethFlynn.com or connect with her on Twitter @LaurEllizabeth.

New Release Spotlight! Sally Hepworth’s The Good Sister is Twisted and Compelling

Sally Hepworth, author of The Mother-In-Law, delivers a knock-out of a novel about the lies that bind two sisters in The Good Sister.

Description

There’s only been one time that Rose couldn’t stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be…dangerous.

When Rose discovers that she cannot get pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple.

Fern’s mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets from the past, in this quirky, rich and shocking story of what families keep hidden.

My Take

Amazing! I was hooked from the start and found the characters of both sisters compelling in their own “twisted” ways. I especially loved the character of Wally. Well written and taut with tension, The Good Sister is a fascinating read into the mind of a narcissist, but the exploration of Fern on the spectrum was spot on. I recommend this for anyone looking for a great escape. Captivated me on a cross-country flight with a three hour layover. I also loved her novel The Things We Keep, which has a dementia theme.

Start reading now!

About the Author

Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives, The Things We Keep, The Mother’s Promise, The Family Next Door, and The Mother In Law. Sally’s books have been labelled “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”. Sally’s novels are available worldwide in English and have been translated into 10+ languages. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.

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Books I Love: It’s Twisted All Right – Tarryn Fisher’s Latest Thriller, The Wrong Family

Description

Have you ever been wrong about someone? Juno was wrong about Winnie Crouch. Before moving in with the Crouch family, Juno thought Winnie and her husband, Nigel, had the perfect marriage, the perfect son—the perfect life. Only now that she’s living in their beautiful house, she sees the cracks in the crumbling facade are too deep to ignore. Still, she isn’t one to judge. After her grim diagnosis, the retired therapist simply wants a place to live out the rest of her days in peace.

But that peace is shattered the day Juno overhears a chilling conversation between Winnie and Nigel… She shouldn’t get involved. She really shouldn’t. But this could be her chance to make a few things right. Because if you thought Juno didn’t have a secret of her own, then you were wrong about her, too.

From the wickedly dark mind of bestselling author Tarryn Fisher, The Wrong Family is a taut new thriller that’s riddled with twists in all the right places.

My Take

This is my first book by this author and I’m hooked. It was a quick read that had me thinking and wondering about the crawl spaces in my own house: Is anybody in there? The Crouch family is so self-absorbed and overconfident they notice nothing odd going on in their hall closet, that a stranger has taken up residence there, privy to every conversation. Juno, their unknown squatter, eventually acts upon their most secret secrets, setting off a deadly chain of events. Could this really happen? I easily suspended my disbelief because the author had me questioning every plot element as I turned the pages. Who is Juno? What happened to her that she’s living in secret in someone else’s house? What’s wrong with Dakota? And what did Winnie do that messed up her marriage? So many questions, all wrapped up neatly in the end. Recommended for those who enjoy suspenseful dramas.

Start reading now!

About the Author

Tarryn Fisher is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She lives in Seattle with her children and husband.  Her heart is dark but she loves you with it anyway. Tarryn is the founder of Guise of the Villain, a fashion blog, and has written twelve published novels. Tarryn is a Slytherin.

  @tarrynfisher
  @guise_of_the_villain
  @authortarrynfisher
  @DarkMarkTarryn

New Release Spotlight! Magnolia at Midnight, A Sweet, Small Town Story

New Release Spotlight Midnight at Magnolia

Anne-Marie Meyer’s Magnolia at Midnight, The Red Stiletto Book Club, 4

A story about breaking through barriers, discovering your worth, and finding a place to belong.

Welcome to Magnolia

Victoria is no longer mayor, a sentiment that she is still trying to get used to saying. After the inauguration of the new mayor, she’s pretty sure that she has reached bottom–until her parents inform her that they are selling their house in Magnolia and she has a week to find a new place to live. 

Enter Maggie. 

Even though she poses the job opening as a desperate need for help at the inn, Victoria decides to take it as a temporary job until she can get on her feet. After all, she’s a Holt and Holt’s don’t need handouts. 

They also don’t need the sexy chef that doesn’t seem to want to leave her alone and is breaking down all the walls she’s put up. 

Fiona knows that something is wrong with her mom and the coffee shop. Ever since she moved back to Magnolia with her son, Fiona has sensed that something was off. It wasn’t until she discovered the eviction notice that she realized just how bad things had gotten. 

After a pow-wow with the Red Stiletto ladies, Shari convinces her to drive to Nashville in search of Blake’s father and the child support he’s never sent. 

Things go from bad to worse once they get there. Dave’s not interested in helping and being in the city she once called home is dredging up a ton of old memories. Now she’s worried she doesn’t have the strength to stand her ground and protect her son. 

Magnolia at Midnight will capture you from page one. It will show you the power of friendship and the strength you have inside. 

Start reading now!

About the Author

Anne-Marie Meyer lives south of the Twin Cities in MN. She spends her days with her knight in shining armor, four princes, and a baby princess. When she’s not running after her kids, she’s dreaming up romantic stories. She loves to take her favorite moments in the books and movies she loves and tries to figure out a way to make them new and fresh. Join her newsletter at anne-mariemeyer.com

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