HUMP DAY SPARKS: WAITING FOR “THE GUEST COTTAGE”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWelcome to another Waiting on Wednesday, our special day for sharing upcoming book releases.  Hop on over to Breaking the Spine to find out what everyone else is excited about.

My eagerly anticipated release is The Guest Cottage, by Nancy Thayer, which will be released on May 12, 2015.  I am so ready to return to Nantucket!

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New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer whisks readers back to the beloved island of Nantucket in this delightful novel about two single parents who accidentally rent the same summer house—and must soon decide where their hearts truly lie.

Sensible thirty-six-year-old Sophie Anderson has always known what to do. She knows her role in life: supportive wife of a successful architect and calm, capable mother of two. But on a warm summer night, as the house grows quiet around her and her children fall asleep, she wonders what’s missing from her life. When her husband echoes that lonely question, announcing that he’s leaving her for another woman, Sophie realizes she has no idea what’s next. Impulsively renting a guest cottage on Nantucket from her friend Susie Swenson, Sophie rounds up her kids, Jonah and Lacey, and leaves Boston for a quiet family vacation, minus one.

Also minus one is Trevor Black, a software entrepreneur who has recently lost his wife. Trevor is the last person to imagine himself, age thirty and on his own, raising a little boy like Leo—smart and sweet, but grappling constantly with his mother’s death, growing more and more closed off. Hoping a quiet summer on the Nantucket coast will help him reconnect with Leo, Trevor rents a guest house on the beautiful island from his friend Ivan Swenson.

Best-laid plans run awry when Sophie and Trevor realize they’ve mistakenly rented the same house. Still, determined to make this a summer their kids will always remember, the two agree to share the Swensons’ Nantucket house. But as the summer unfolds and the families grow close, Sophie and Trevor must ask themselves if the guest cottage is all they want to share.

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What are you waiting for?

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HUMP DAY SPARKS: WAITING ON “IT’S YOU”

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Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday, our special day for sharing upcoming book releases.  Hop on over to Breaking the Spine to find out what everyone else is excited about.

A book I am eagerly awaiting is from Jane Porter, one of my go-to authors.  It’s You is coming out on June 2, 2015.

 

 

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Amazon Description:  In the wake of a tragedy that tore her life down to the foundations, Dr. Alison McAdams has lost her way. So when she’s summoned to Napa to care for her ailing father, she’s not sure she has anything to offer him—or anyone else.

What Ali finds in Northern California wine country is a gift—an opportunity to rest, and distance from her painful memories. Most unexpectedly, she finds people who aren’t afraid of her grief or desperate for her to hurry up and move on.

As Ali becomes part of her father’s community, makes new friends of her own, and hears the stories of a generation who survived the Second World War, she begins to find hope again. In a quest to discover the truth about another woman’s lost love, she sets off on a journey across oceans and deep into history. And in making sense of that long-ago tragedy, Ali is able to put together the broken pieces of her heart and make new choices that are right for her.

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I love the characters, the settings, and the plots of this author’s books, so I am very excited about this one.  What are you sharing today?

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FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “THE DAY WE MET”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

My selected book today is an ARC entitled The Day We Met, by Rowan Coleman.

 

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue)

Greg is looking at me; he thinks I don’t know it.  I’ve been chopping onions at the kitchen counter for almost five minutes, and I can see his reflection—inside out, convex and stretched—in the chrome kettle we got as a wedding present.  He’s sitting at the kitchen table, checking me out.

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56:  (Sunday, March 10, 1991 – Claire)

For all the brash confidence I put on display, I was very inexperienced.  I let him lead me upstairs to his room.  He had a single bed.

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Blurb:  A gorgeous husband, two beautiful children, a job she loves—Claire’s got it all. And then some. But lately, her mother hovers more than a helicopter, her husband, Greg, seems like a stranger, and her kids are like characters in a movie. Three-year-old Esther’s growing up in the blink of an eye, and twenty-year-old Caitlin, with her jet-black hair and clothes to match, looks like she’s about to join a punk band—and seems to be hiding something. Most concerning, however, is the fact that Claire is losing her memory, including that of the day she met Greg.

A chance meeting with a handsome stranger one rainy day sets Claire wondering whether she and Greg still belong together: She knows she should love him, but she can’t always remember why. In search of an answer, Claire fills the pages of a blank book Greg gives her with private memories and keepsakes, jotting down beginnings and endings and everything in between. The book becomes the story of Claire—her passions, her sorrows, her joys, her adventures in a life that refuses to surrender to a fate worse than dying: disappearing.

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I love this author’s work, and it’s been a while since the last one of hers I read.  What do you think?  Does it pique your interest?

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SPARKING CONVERSATION: THOUGHTS ON A TUESDAY

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I don’t often post on this site, unless it’s for a meme like Saturday Snapshots, or Book Beginnings.

But since the theme of this site is about sparking or igniting connections, I do think about those issues in terms of this blog…and want to spark a conversation, if you will.

Lately I’ve been bored with my photos, so I’ve “highlighted” a few of them, like the one above, or the one in the sidebar, hoping to spark my own interest in making changes.

It is never to late to change things up, is it?  Even if we don’t decide to add extensions or highlights to our hair, maybe we can make some interior changes.

Sometimes it’s enough for me to read a book that does something for me…makes me think, gives me pause, or even generates conversation.

The Girl in the Train (click for my review) recently did that for some bloggers, and it was fun to see how others reacted to a book with unreliable narrators and a suspenseful storyline.

 

 

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Sheila, at Book Journey, had the opposite reactions from mine.  Sheila’s review takes us to another kind of place, and that’s what I love about book blogs.  We can generate conversation even more when we disagree about something.

Another book that sparked something within me, and also within some other bloggers, was The Wednesday Group, by Sylvia True. (Click for my review).  A great one for book clubs, I think.

 

 

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Patty, at Books, Thoughts, and a Few Adventures, posted her review on Goodreads.  And earlier today, I read Mary’s thoughts at Book Fan.

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Do you get excited, does something ignite within you, when you read a book or a blog post that sparks something within?  Does it make you want to speak up?  Shout, even?

That’s what I call igniting your connections!  What does it for you?

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SATURDAY SPARKS: BIRTHDAY GIRLS!

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy.

Today I’m continuing the birthday celebrations for my granddaughters, Aubrey and Fiona, who turn 18 this month.  Aubrey’s birthday is February 13, and Fiona’s is on February 21.  Twin cousins.

 

Here are some moments from their lives, from infancy onward.  This first one is of Aubrey…a collage of sorts, showcasing her in the first year of her life.  The top one was taken in a studio, and the second one, by my son Craig, the photographer.

 

 

Baby Aubrey

 

Here is one of Fiona right after she came home from the hospital.  She and her parents were living in my guesthouse back then.    The stuffed toy accompanied her everywhere during the early years.

 

 

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Fast forward to the year they turned seven.  Here they are at the cabin in Big Bear, enjoying the snow.

 

 

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Here’s one of the two girls in 2012, at a family get-together (15-year-old cousins)

 

 

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Finally…some present day shots…Fiona, below:

 

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And Aubrey, spotlighting the birthday cake:

 

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It has been a great journey watching these girls grow…I’m looking forward to many more years to come.

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What are you featuring today?

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FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “HOUSE OF WONDER”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

My feature today is a book by Sarah Healy:  House of Wonder.

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue) – The House on Royal Court

Ours were dinners of boneless chicken breasts, smeared and then baked in the congealed contents of a red and white can.  My mother would have clipped the recipe from a magazine, using sharp orange-handled scissors, the type that can slice down a length of wrapping paper like a fin through placid water.  Warren and I would sit waiting, eating our green bell pepper quarters filled with twisting orange strings of squirt cheese.

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56:  We were given instructions about icing, painkillers, and potential problems against which to be vigilant.  But really, Warren’s injuries were not severe compared with many that the ER saw.  It was their implication that was upsetting.

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Blurb:  When we were little and I needed Warren, I would rub my earlobe.  And perhaps it was the alchemy of childhood, a magic that happened because I believed it could, but I swear it worked. He always came.

Theirs wasn’t always the misfit family in the neighborhood. Jenna Parsons’s childhood was one of block parties and barbecues, where her mother, a former beauty queen, continued her reign and her twin brother, Warren, was viewed as just another oddball kid. But as her mother’s shopaholic habits intensified, and her brother’s behavior became viewed as more strange than quirky, Jenna sought to distance herself from them. She is devoted to her career and her four-year-old daughter, Rose. But now, in his peculiar way, Warren summons her back to 62 Royal Court.

What she finds there—a house in disrepair, a neighborhood on tenterhooks over a rash of petty thefts, and evidence of past traumas her mother has kept hidden—will challenge Jenna as never before. But as she stands by her family, she also begins to find beauty in unexpected places, strength in unlikely people, and a future she couldn’t have imagined.

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What do you think?  Does it pique your interest?  Come on by and share your comments and links, please.

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FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “COPPER BEACH”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfriday 56 - spring and summer logo

Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

I love this event, and discovering interesting new titles this way.  Today’s feature for me is from an author I enjoy, Jayne Ann Krentz:  Copper Beach.

 

 

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Beginning:  There was nothing like the drama of a deathbed scene to expose the skeletons in a family’s closet.  You never knew what would fall out when you opened the door, the nurse thought.  Lifelong conflicts, absolution, regret, long-held grudges, enduring love or unrelenting hatred, whatever had been hidden for decades or generations was suddenly made visible at the end.

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56:  He shrugged out of his jacket and handed it to her.  When she took it from him, her fingers brushed against his, sending an intimate little thrill of awareness across his senses.

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Blurb:  Within the pages of centuries-old books lie the secrets of the paranormal. Abby Radwell’s unusual psychic talent has made her an expert in such volumes — and sometimes taken her into dangerous territory. After a deadly incident in the private library of an obsessive collector, Abby receives a blackmail threat and rumors swirl that an old alchemical text has reappeared on the black market. So Abby hires Sam Coppersmith, an investigator who can also play bodyguard.

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What do you think?  Does it grab you?  Spark your interest?  I hope you will stop in and leave your thoughts…and links.

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