Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Book Review: The Summer that Made Us by Robyn Carr

Hi all,

I was so happy to be asked to join the blog tour for Robyn Carr's latest novel, The Summer that Made Us. It is a deeply moving novel about loss, family ties, and redemption. Here is more about the novel and my review.


Book Description:

Mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins, they lived for summers at the lake house until a tragic accident changed everything. The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again.

That was then… 

For the Hempsteads, two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, summers were idyllic. The women would escape the city the moment school was out to gather at the family house on Lake Waseka. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.

This is now… 

After an accidental drowning turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. For good. Torn apart, none of the Hempstead women speak of what happened that summer, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth.

Robyn Carr has crafted a beautifully woven story about the complexities of family dynamics and the value of strong female relationships.

 

Buy now:


Or at your favorite book store.

 
My 5-Star Review:

A family torn apart by a past tragedy that slowly decends into a dysfunctional mess. That pretty much sums up the lives of the Hempstead women and their daughters. But how did this all happen one lovely summer by the lake? One moment, everyone was happy and carefree. The next, everything had fallen apart. The lake house is boarded up and left, forgotten.

Fast-forward to the present. Megan’s days are numbered as she battles cancer and her last wish is to bring her sisters, cousins, aunt, and mother back together one last time to the lake house. Enlisting help from her sister, Charley, who’s career is falling apart, the lake house is freshened up, ready for the family to return. And in doing so, old memories are dug up, past differences are rehashed, and new relationships are formed.

The Summer that Made Us is an intricately woven, heartfelt family story that will make you laugh and cry and will warm your heart. I highly recommend it.

 

About the Author:

Robyn Carr is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River and Thunder Point series, as well as highly praised women’s fiction titles such as Four Friends, What We Find, and The Life She Wants.

Robyn has won a RITA Award from the Romance Writers of America, and in 2016 she was awarded RWA’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the genre. Her novels have been translated into 19 languages in 30 countries. Originally from Minnesota, Robyn now resides in Henderson, Nevada, with her aviator husband; they have two grown children. When she isn’t writing, Robyn puts her energy into community service: she has mentored a seniors’ memoir-writing group, attends book club chats in and out of state whenever possible, and is working with her local library on the Carr Chat Series, a program centered on fundraising and visiting author events that bring writers, their books, and the community together.

 

THE SUMMER THAT MADE US

Publication date: September 5, 2017

Hardcover $26.99 U.S. / $29.99 CAN.

ISBN-13: 978-0778331049

 

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Amazing Autumn Paperback Giveaway!

 
The Amazing Autumn Paperback Giveaway!
 
 
All of the book covers created made by Deborah @ Tugboat Design.

September is here which means that autumn is
right around the corner. That means shorter days
and cooler nights, the perfect time to curl up
in front of the fire and read a book.
 
Lucky for you, we have 12 wonderful books you
have the chance to win that will entertain you until
winter.
 
Twelve amazing authors from all genres have teamed up to give away twelve incredible paperback novels to
ONE LUCKY WINNER!
 
That's right - one lucky winner will receive all twelve books.
And it's very easy to enter.
 
Use the Rafflecopter below to enter.
The more entries you make, the higher chance
you have of winning.
 
If you don't want to enter using the Rafflecopter, you may leave a
comment below to enter instead. Tell us the title of your favorite book ever!
 
 
Contest Rules:
 
U.S Residents only please.
Contest runs 9/1/17 - 9/22/17
The winner will be selected randomly from the entries.
One winner will win all 12 paperback books. The books will be shipped
directly to the winner from each author.
 
 
Enter Now!
 
Good Luck!
 
 
 




Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Book Review: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate


Before We Were Yours

Lisa Wingate

 
Book Description:

Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale.

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shanty boat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge--until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents--but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility's cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancĂ©, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family's long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America's most notorious real-life scandals--in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country--Lisa Wingate's riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

 

Buy now on:




 

My 5-Star Review:

Imagine that someone snatches your young children, then sells them to another family. Sadly, this actually happened, and the woman who did it was considered to be an upstanding person who was helping young orphans find homes. Mixing fact with fiction, Lisa Wingate creates this compelling story of family in her bestselling novel, “Before We Were Yours.”

In the present day, when Avery Stafford tours a nursing home with her father, she is approached by an elderly woman who confuses her for someone else. Intrigued, Avery visits the woman again and sees a photo on her nightstand of a woman who looks like she could be a member of Avery’s family. Slowly, she unravels a family secret of a tragic past. But it’s that past that has made them who they are today.

Weaving the past in among the current day story, Wingate creates a spellbinding novel that is impossible to put down. Tragic, heart wrenching at times, and poignant, this is a story you will not soon forget.

(I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.)

 

About the Author:

Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the bestselling author of more than twenty novels. Her work has won or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. Wingate lives in the Ouachita Mountains of southwest Arkansas.

Selected among BOOKLIST'S Top 10 for two years running, Lisa Wingate writes novels that Publisher's Weekly calls "Masterful" and ForeWord Magazine refers to as "Filled with lyrical prose, hope, and healing.” Lisa is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the author of a host of literary works. Her novels have garnered or been short-listed for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Utah Library Award, the LORIES Best Fiction Award, The Carol Award, the Christy Award, Family Fiction's Top 10, RT Booklover's Reviewer's Choice Award, and others. The group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with six others for the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who promote greater kindness and civility in American life. She’s been a writer since Mrs. Krackhardt’s first-grade class and still believes that stories have the power to change the world.

IN THE WRITER'S OWN WORDS: A special first grade teacher, Mrs. Krackhardt, made a writer out of me. That may sound unlikely, but it's true. It's possible to find a calling when you're still in pigtails and Mary Jane shoes, and to know it's your calling. I was halfway through the first grade when I landed in Mrs. Krackhardt's classroom. I was fairly convinced there wasn't anything all that special about me... and then, Mrs. Krackhardt stood over my desk and read a story I was writing. She said things like, "This is a great story! I wonder what happens next?"

It isn't every day a shy new kid gets that kind of attention. I rushed to finish the story, and when I wrote the last word, the teacher took the pages, straightened them on the desk, looked at me over the top, and said, "You are a wonderful writer!"

A dream was born. Over the years, other dreams bloomed and died tragic, untimely deaths. I planned to become an Olympic gymnast or win the National Finals Rodeo, but there was this matter of back flips on the balance beam and these parents who stubbornly refused to buy me a pony. Yet the writer dream remained. I always believed I could do it because... well... my first grade teacher told me so, and first grade teachers don't lie.

So, that is my story, and if you are a teacher, or know a teacher, or ever loved a special teacher, I salute you from afar and wish you days be filled with stories worth telling and stories worth reading.

 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book Review: The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White


Hi all,

This was the first novel I’ve read by Karen White and I absolutely enjoyed it. Here is the book description and my thoughts on this story.

 

The Night the Lights Went Out

Karen White

 

Book Description:

Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.

Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee—something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.

Sugar’s stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother’s seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather's world.

In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee’s house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women....

 
Buy now on:




 

My 5 Star Review:

Marilee Dunlap is reeling after her divorce and moves with her two children into a sweet cottage home that she is renting from the elderly Sugar Prescott, a well-to-do woman who doesn’t suffer fools. The two women strike up an unlikely friendship, and Sugar feels compelled to tell Marilee stories of her scandalous past. Meanwhile, Marilee is facing trouble as a local blogger is intent upon digging up her own secrets. Despite that, Marilee is soon accepted by the most popular mother in the school, Heather Blackford, and they become fast friends. Sugar warns Marilee about Heather, but Marilee doesn’t see her new friend the way Sugar paints her. It won’t be long before Marilee will wish she’d heeded Sugar’s warning.

This was such an entertaining novel with a touch of intrigue and mystery included. I adored the character, Sugar, despite her prim and proper ways. Her story of her youth is so interesting that it’s hard to believe this is fiction. And the relationship that grows between Marilee and the uptight Sugar is heartwarming. The plot is more than one or two stories—it is many stories and mysteries infused into one novel. It keeps the reader thinking throughout and is an enjoyable read. I highly recommend.

(I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)

 

About the Author:

I grew up being a voracious reader and it was a natural step to turn my interest to writing. I have published award-winning and bestselling novels including my latest release THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT published by Penguin Random House in April, 2017. This is the book I'm calling my "Steel Magnolias" meets "The Girl on the Train." Spanning from the Depression era to modern day, it's a story of three very different women, and the true meaning of friendship.

I write what others have termed "grit-lit"--southern women's fiction, as well as a contemporary paranormal mystery series (The House on Tradd Street is the 1st book in the series) set in Charleston, South Carolina. All of my books are set in the US South, and feature a female protagonist at a crossroads in her life.

The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Follow Deanna on BookBub

Follow Deanna on BookBub
Follow my author page on BookBub for all the latest deals.