Posted in Reading List

Have Yourself a Merry Little Hallmark Christmas!

 

Hello, friends! So, is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas where you live? I’d say it is here.  We had our first snow flurries yesterday, and when I was at the mall, it looked like Santa and his elves were ready to appear at any moment!

Doesn’t that put you in the mood for some lighthearted holiday reads?  I’m absolutely ready for some great Christmas titles, and for amazing options, you don’t need to look any further than Hallmark!  We all know to look to The Hallmark Channel or to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries for enchanting Christmas movies, but as promised in a recent post, I want to highlight Hallmark Publishing’s warm and cozy Christmas books.

Here are a couple of Hallmark’s newest holiday releases, both of which I’m planning to read in the coming season!

 

(This post contains affiliate links, which allow me the opportunity to earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.  Please see my policies for further information.)

 

 

 

 

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The Christmas Company by Alys Murray:

The small town of Miller’s Point is known across the country for their annual Dickensian Christmas festival. When the celebration is threatened by Clark Woodward, a miserly, big-city businessman, Kate Buckner steps up to save her hometown, their traditions, and her favorite holiday. But, along the way, she realizes that the man she’s trying to protect her town from might need some rescuing of his own.

With a lot of heart and a little Christmas magic, Kate is convinced she can teach Clark to love her favorite holiday. But can such different people learn to open up and love each other?

Get The Christmas Company:     Amazon     Barnes & Noble

 

 

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A Timeless Christmas by Alexis Stanton:

Megan Turner is in love with the past. As a tour guide at a beautiful historic mansion, she tells visitors about its original owner, Charles Whitley. An inventor and businessman in the early 1900s, he rose from poverty to wealth…only to disappear without a trace.

Charles was always intrigued by the future. He just never expected to go there. But when he repairs a mysterious clock he bought on his travels, he’s transported to the twenty-first century, with his home decorated for Christmas and overrun by strangers.

Charles is determined to find a way back to his own era, especially when he learns about what happened after he left. But as Megan introduces him to the wonders of smartphones, pizza, and modern holiday traditions, they both feel a once-in-a-lifetime connection. Could it be that, somewhere in time, they belong together?

Get A Timeless Christmas:     Amazon     Barnes & Noble

 

Both of these sound like the perfect book to read in front of Christmas lights, cozied up with a soft blanket and a steaming mug of hot chocolate!

Want to see more great Hallmark Christmas titles?  Check out my Amazon Idea list:

Christmas Books from Hallmark Publishing

 

Now… I realize some of you aren’t *quite* ready for Christmas yet!  That’s okay… Hallmark has you covered for great fall reads as well.  Try this one, which I read and loved last month:

 

October Kiss: Based on the Hallmark Channel Original Movie

 

October Kiss by Kristen Ethridge:

Poppy’s tried a lot of things. Yoga instruction. Pizza making. So far, none of them have seemed like her thing. Still, she doesn’t have to know where her life is headed to live it with enthusiasm.

Ever since his wife’s death, Ryan’s thrown himself into his work. Launching a successful new app will secure his children’s future…even if it means he can’t spend much time with them now.

As a short-term nanny for Ryan’s children, Poppy brings some much-needed fun and laughter. She’s never been one to commit, so why is she feeling so attached to these children…and even more, to their dad? Could it be she’s found her place at last?

Get October Kiss:     Amazon     Barnes & Noble

 

So, what do you think?  Have you read any Hallmark Publishing titles in the past?  Any of these going on your list in the coming weeks?  Drop a note in the comments and let me know your favorite Christmas book… happy reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Weekend Thoughts

Happy Friday, friends!  As you head into your weekend, here’s a little push toward making your life what you want it to be.  If you’re not living the life you imagined, why not, and what is one step you can take to get closer to that new reality?

Hope you get to enjoy some down time over the next couple of days… time to read, to rest, and to dream!  💛​

 

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Posted in Reading List

Summer Reads Are Coming! (The Sequel…)

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If anyone knows where this paradise is…

 

Recently I featured a few great summer reads I’m looking forward to in the coming months, along with a fantasy of quiet time and tropical drinks on an isolated beach.  I haven’t found that beautiful beach yet, but I have found more great books coming out this summer for your enjoyment!

I stumbled across this Good Housekeeping article by Jamie Ballard:

The 25 Best New Books for Summer 2018

Wow… a treasure trove!  Now, not every book on this list is my cup of tea and probably won’t be yours either, but there’s really something for everyone no matter what you love to read.  I’m going to highlight a few of them that everyone will be talking about, and some that I’m adding to my TBR list for the summer.

(Ever feel like you spend more time adding to your TBR list than actually reading?  What’s that?  Um, no… me neither.  Just asking for a friend.)

 

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The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer:  This title by the author of The Wife and The Ten Year Nap has already been getting a ton of buzz.  In fact, Barnes & Noble just launched a new quarterly in-store book club, and this was it’s first ever selection!  In this novel, college student Greer is trying to find her way in the world when she meets feminist icon Faith.  Through its characters and relationships, the book explores themes of power, womanhood, friendship, and women mentoring one another through a world that’s not always kind.

This one seems like a very timely read, and I’ve really enjoyed the author’s prior books.  It released in April, so if you’ve already read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

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Meghan (A Hollywood Princess) by Andrew Morton:  Speaking of timely, this latest release from a powerhouse biographer covers a subject on everyone’s mind this month:  The Royal Wedding and the newest Royal-to-be, Meghan Markle.  With the wedding approaching this weekend, learn about Meghan, from her childhood, to how she met Prince Harry, to her Hollywood career, and more.

Whether you’re a fan of the British Royal family, or just want to be in-the-know for this big event, this book also released in April so you can pick it up now.

 

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By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank:  Honestly, any good summer reading list is incomplete without a novel set in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, delivered as only Frank can.

In this read, we meet two families coming together at an engagement party.  The novel shows us two very different worlds:  a family of hard working Southern peach farmers and an elite metropolitan family.  When their children fall in love, how do they come together?  What have their choices meant for their lives?  What kinds of secrets are they hiding?  And can they co-exist for the sake of young love?

By Invitation Only releases May 15th (*this week*), so I look forward to sitting down with this coastal tale very soon.

 

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The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware:  If you love a good thriller while you’re at the beach or the pool, order this read by the author of The Woman in Cabin 10!  In this novel, a woman receives a letter leaving her a substantial, and very unexpected, inheritance.  She realizes quickly that she wasn’t the intended recipient of the letter, but decides to attend the funeral of the deceased anyway, hoping she may be able to claim the money regardless.  But it’s quickly apparent that something is very, very wrong about the entire situation and the inheritance in question.

This one sounds intriguing, and I can’t wait to solve the mystery behind the inheritance.  The Death of Mrs. Westaway releases May 29th!

 

Go give the original article by Ms. Ballard a read.  She’s included a great mix of fiction and non-fiction, fun reads and intense ones… I wanted to highlight more but we’ll stop here!   (Elin Hilderbrand’s The Perfect Couple, which I mentioned in my previous post, is also on her list.)  Happy summer reading… have a mai tai or two for me!

 

(This post contains affiliate links, which allow me the opportunity to earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.  Please see my policies for further information.)

 

 

 

Posted in Reading List

Summer Reads Are Coming!

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Just picture it:  Your tan self, in a cute swimsuit lounging on a comfortable chaise.  A private cabana provides the perfect mix of sun and shade, and the beach is not completely deserted, but just quiet enough to hear the waves lapping on the shore of white sand.  A nice young man presents you with a fruity drink, bearing a tiny umbrella perched on the rim.  You sip the sweet nectar and return your attention to a glorious epic novel, hearing the faintest strains of steel drum music in the background….

Yeah.  That’s not how my summer looks either.  (Sigh.)

More likely, it’s you in the car shuttling kids between baseball games and summer camps.  Or trying to keep up with the yardwork and that dang vegetable garden you planted again, telling yourself you’d take good care of it this year.  (Spoiler alert:  I gave up.  Didn’t even try this time.)  If you’re lucky, you squeeze in some drinks on a patio with friends and maybe a week at the lake, for which you spend a week preparing, and from which you spend two weeks recovering.

Ahhh, summer!  But hey, it’s all good.  Summer brings sunshine, ice cream, outdoor drinks and dining, and thankfully, great summer reading.  Today I’m sharing a few books that I’m looking forward to reading in the coming months!

 

 

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The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand:  If you haven’t read anything by Elin Hilderbrand, you’re missing out.  Her novels, normally set in her home base of Nantucket, feature well developed characters, family drama, and the charm of a small island community.  In this story, Nantucket’s summer wedding season is always eventful, but turns particularly memorable for one family when they all become suspects in a terrible tragedy.  The twists and turns that follow illustrate the imperfection of every family.

This title releases on June 19.  If you’ve missed Hilderbrand’s previous stories, now’s your chance to spend the next month catching up, as some of the characters from her previous novels make an appearance in The Perfect Couple.  Start with A Summer Affair… I somehow missed that one and just picked up my copy yesterday!

 

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Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella:  Summer wouldn’t be complete without a new read from Sophie Kinsella.  In this novel, Sylvie and Dan have a happy, ten year marriage, and a full, comfortable life.  Everything is blissful, until a casual mention of the many decades of marriage yet in front of them causes panic to ensue.  Bringing surprises into the relationship seems like the right way to keep it fresh and fun, until mishaps, truths, and eventually a scandal send things awry.

I always love Kinsella’s books because they are funny, quirky, and light hearted, yet somehow seem to hit at the heart of hopes, dreams, and struggles faced by everyone.  I cheated a little on this one… Surprise Me has actually been out for a few months now.  But if you haven’t picked this up yet, it would be a great addition to your summer reading list!

 

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Clock Dance by Anne Tyler:  I *love* Anne Tyler.  Her characters are so quirky and so real.  They’re most often midlife women who are trying to figure out who they are and where they’re going.  (Raises hand, along with a few hundred of my closest friends!)  I actually like the publisher’s description of this book so well, I’m just going to skip re-inventing the wheel, and share it:

“Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life. In 1967, she is a schoolgirl coping with her mother’s sudden disappearance. In 1977, she is a college coed considering a marriage proposal. In 1997, she is a young widow trying to piece her life back together. And in 2017, she yearns to be a grandmother but isn’t sure she ever will be. Then, one day, Willa receives a startling phone call from a stranger. Without fully understanding why, she flies across the country to Baltimore to look after a young woman she’s never met, her nine-year-old daughter, and their dog, Airplane. This impulsive decision will lead Willa into uncharted territory–surrounded by eccentric neighbors who treat each other like family, she finds solace and fulfillment in unexpected places. A bewitching novel of hope, self-discovery, and second chances, Clock Dance gives us Anne Tyler at the height of her powers.”

Doesn’t that sound intriguing and charming?  Clock Dance releases July 10, and you can pre-order it now.

 

There are plenty of other titles on my TBR list this summer, including some non-fiction and a big stack of cozy mysteries, but this highlights a few of my most anticipated reads. What about you? What great reads do you have planned for this summer?  (Cabanas, fruity drinks, and steel drums optional, but highly recommended.)

 

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(This post contains affiliate links, which allow me the opportunity to earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.  Please see my policies for further information.)