Friday, January 13, 2017

Book Review: The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

Hi all,

I am absolutely falling in love with everything Alice Hoffman has ever written. First there was Faithful, her most recent novel, and now I am going through every one of her novels. The Red Garden is the current one I've read and I loved it! I don't know how I missed out on this talented author's novels before, but I'm making up for it now! Here is more about the book and my review.

The Red Garden

Alice Hoffman

Book Description:
In exquisite prose, Hoffman offers a transforming glimpse of small-town America, presenting more than three hundred years of passion, dark secrets, loyalty, and redemption in a web of tales where characters' lives are intertwined by fate and by their own actions.

The Red Garden introduces us to the luminous and haunting world of Blackwell, Massachusetts, capturing the unexpected turns in its history and in our own lives. From the town's founder, a brave young woman from England who has no fear of blizzards or bears, to the young man who runs away to New York City with only his dog for company, the characters in The Red Garden are extraordinary and vivid: a young wounded Civil War soldier who is saved by a passionate neighbor, a woman who meets a fiercely human historical character, a poet who falls in love with a blind man, a mysterious traveler who comes to town in the year when summer never arrives.

At the center of everyone’s life is a mysterious garden where only red plants can grow, and where the truth can be found by those who dare to look.

Beautifully crafted and shimmering with magic, The Red Garden is as unforgettable as it is moving.
Buy now on:
My 5 Star Review:
Absolutely captivating! Alice Hoffman introduces us to the town of Blackwell, Massachusetts from it very conception by accident and down through the centuries. Each chapter is a new story of a person connected to this town in a different time period, but all the stories are entwined with the history of the town and its townspeople. Only Alice Hoffman can create such a magical blend of stories that leaves the reader spellbound. I recommend it to anyone who loves flawless writing and magical stories.
About the Author:
Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing. She currently lives in Boston and New York.

Hoffman's first novel, Property Of, was written at the age of twenty-one, while she was studying at Stanford, and published shortly thereafter by Farrar Straus and Giroux. She credits her mentor, professor and writer Albert J. Guerard, and his wife, the writer Maclin Bocock Guerard, for helping her to publish her first short story in the magazine Fiction. Editor Ted Solotaroff then contacted her to ask if she had a novel, at which point she quickly began to write what was to become Property Of, a section of which was published in Mr. Solotaroff's magazine, American Review.

Since that remarkable beginning, Alice Hoffman has become one of our most distinguished novelists. She has published a total of eighteen novels, two books of short fiction, and eight books for children and young adults. Her novel, Here on Earth, an Oprah Book Club choice, was a modern reworking of some of the themes of Emily Bronte's masterpiece Wuthering Heights. Practical Magic was made into a Warner film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Her novel, At Risk, which concerns a family dealing with AIDS, can be found on the reading lists of many universities, colleges and secondary schools. Her advance from Local Girls, a collection of inter-related fictions about love and loss on Long Island, was donated to help create the Hoffman (Women's Cancer) Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. Blackbird House is a book of stories centering around an old farm on Cape Cod. Hoffman's recent books include Aquamarine and Indigo, novels for pre-teens, and The New York Times bestsellers The River King, Blue Diary, The Probable Future, and The Ice Queen. Green Angel, a post-apocalyptic fairy tale about loss and love, was published by Scholastic and The Foretelling, a book about an Amazon girl in the Bronze Age, was published by Little Brown. In 2007 Little Brown published the teen novel Incantation, a story about hidden Jews during the Spanish Inquisition, which Publishers Weekly has chosen as one of the best books of the year. In January 2007, Skylight Confessions, a novel about one family's secret history, was released on the 30th anniversary of the publication of Her first novel. Her most recent novel is The Story Sisters (2009), published by Shaye Areheart Books.

Hoffman's work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and People Magazine. She has also worked as a screenwriter and is the author of the original screenplay "Independence Day" a film starring Kathleen Quinlan and Diane Wiest. Her short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and other magazines. Her teen novel Aquamarine was recently made into a film starring Emma Roberts.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Walking Sam Audiobook Giveaway!

Update: The Giveaway is over. Thank you to everyone who entered. The winners have been notified.

Walking Sam Audiobook Giveaway
January 10th - January 28th
Enter to win 1 of 25 copies of the
Walking Sam Audiobook!
Use the Rafflecopter below to enter or
leave a comment on this page with your
email address so I can contact you.
You MUST have an account or be willing to
open one in order to claim your prize.
Good Luck!
Twenty-five winners will receive one download each of the audiobook, WALKING SAM, from Winners must have, or be willing to open, an account to download prize. Winners will receive a code to claim their free copy of Walking Sam.
Deanna Lynn Sletten is not responsible if you are unable to download the free copy from No other prize will be given as a replacement. Only people able to open an account can enter.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year ~ Five Years Publishing and Looking Ahead to 2017

Hi all,

It’s hard to believe that I have just come to the end of my 5th year of publishing novels and am heading into year six. So much has happened since I hit “Publish” that very first time in 2011. I published both Widow, Virgin, Whore and Outlaw Heroes on December 14, 2011, and a month later, I was so excited to see that I had sold fifteen copies between them. What a great start to even more surprises coming throughout the years.

So much has changed over the years and I’ve been lucky enough to grow in both readership and sales. I have not only self-published ten novels on my own but have also been honored to work with Lake Union Publishing on three other novels. I’ve made many new friends all over the world through social media and even had a chance to meet some of my readers, which is always amazing to me. And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Being able to do something I love and share it with others is incredible. And I have only my readers to thank for that.

Looking ahead, I have a women’s fiction novel, ONE WRONG TURN, coming out on June 20, 2017 from Lake Union Publishing, and it is up for pre-order right now. I also plan on finishing another women’s fiction novel that I will publish in 2018. In-between, there will hopefully be one or two romance novels that I can’t wait to finish and get out to you. One will be my very first Christmas romance, which I am so excited to write. 2017 is going to be a year filled with writing and publishing, and I’m eager for it to begin!

I’m also excited to share that I will be creating audio books of all of my self-published books starting with Walking Sam and Summer of the Loon. I’ll be sure to let everyone know when the audio books are available. Walking Sam should be available sometime during the first week of January.

I want to thank all my readers who have stood by me from the very beginning in 2011 and also all of the readers who have found my books throughout the years. Without you, none of this would have happened, and I truly appreciate your support.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and I hope that all your dreams come true in 2017!




Saturday, December 31, 2016

Book Review: Sisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star

Hi all,

Sisters One, Two, Three is an Amazon First Read this month and the one I chose as my free selection as a Prime Member. The title drew me in, and the story kept me reading. Here is more about this novel and my review.

Sisters One, Two, Three

Nancy Star

Book Description:

After a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard, keeping secrets becomes a way of life for the Tangle family. With memories locked away, the sisters take divergent paths. Callie disappears, Mimi keeps so busy she has no time to think, and Ginger develops a lifelong aversion to risk that threatens the relationships she holds most dear.

When a whispered comment overheard by her rebellious teenage daughter forces Ginger to reveal a long-held family secret, the Tangles’ carefully constructed web of lies begins to unravel. Upon the death of Glory, the family’s colorful matriarch, and the return of long-estranged Callie, Ginger resolves to return to Martha’s Vineyard and piece together what really happened on that calamitous day when a shadow fell over four sun-kissed siblings playing at the shore. Along with Ginger’s newfound understanding come the keys to reconciliation: with her mother, with her sisters, and with her daughter.

At turns heartbreaking, humorous, and hopeful, Sisters One, Two, Three explores not only the consequences of secrets—even secrets kept out of love—but also the courage it takes to speak the truth, to forgive, and to let go.

Publish Date: January 1, 2017
Lake Union Publishing

Pre-Order Now:


My 5-Star Review:

All families have secrets, some more than others. But keeping family secrets as a child can shape you as an adult, and not in a positive way. Sisters Ginger and Mimi find that a childhood filled with loss and secrets has made them who they are today, and causes them to push away the very people they love.

In Sisters One, Two, Three, author Nancy Star expertly weaves us through the past and the present, following the family as they once were and are today. The characters are colorful and flawed: the erratic, dramatic mother, Glory, the four children, and the father, trying but unable to hold it all together. As tragedy strikes, the losses gnaw away at the family, and unable to deal with them, they simply never speak of them. But as the years go by, the two sisters develop personalities that counter their upbringing, and life isn’t any easier because of it.

Sisters One, Two, Three is a unique, compelling story that you will not soon forget. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading a family drama novel.


About the Author:

Novelist, essayist, and former movie exec, Nancy Star is so happy her new novel, SISTERS ONE, TWO, THREE, will be launched soon! Her previous books include CARPOOL DIEM, a spot-on comic novel about a downsized consultant with a fierce determination to navigate and win in the cut-throat world of competitive child-rearing; UP NEXT and its sequel, NOW THIS, two funny and satisfying mysteries featuring a TV talk-show producer turned detective; and BURIED LIVES, a psychological suspense novel that still gives her nightmares.

In total, Nancy’s novels have been translated into French, Dutch, German and Japanese, optioned for television, chosen as a Literary Guild alternate and Mystery Guild Signature Series Selection. In addition to her novels, her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Family Circle, and Diversion Magazine.

Before turning full-time to her fiction writing addiction, Nancy worked for over a decade as an executive in the movie business. At the Samuel Goldwyn Company she was charged with scouting New York and London for original material from books, plays, and pitches, as well as acquiring finished independent films for release. Prior to her stint at Goldwyn, Nancy was Story Editor at The Ladd Company where she got to work on many great films including some of her all-time favorites, Blade Runner, Body Heat and the Right Stuff. Her years spent working with writers and directors helping to bring their stories to the screen was her great privilege and pleasure.

But after being spotted in meetings agreeing with writers far too often, she realized it was time to leave the movie business and turn to her own writing. She did this even after over-hearing a well-known screenwriter tell a publicist who was quitting to take up writing full time, “My condolences.” She has never looked back.

Nancy is a member of the Author’s Guild, Mystery Writers of America and Women’s Media Group. Once upon a time—as a film executive—she was a member of The Groucho Club in London and would very much like to be invited back.

You can visit Nancy online at:


The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews