Coming Soon…

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In April I hope to read….

Publication Date: April 12,2022
Publisher: HQN

Goodreads: From the beloved bestselling author of Season of Wonder and The Cliff House  comes a poignant and uplifting novel about forgiveness, family and all the complications—and joy  that come with it

As the older sibling to identical twins Violet and Lily, Cami Porter was always the odd sister out. The divide grew even wider when their parents split up—while the twins stayed in Cape Sanctuary with their free-spirited mother, Rosemary, fourteen-year-old Cami moved to LA with her attorney father. Nearly twenty years later, when Cami gets the terrible news that Lily has drowned saving a child’s life, her mother begs her to return home to help untangle the complicated estate issues her sister left behind.

Navigating their own strained relationship, Cami readjusts to the family and community she hasn’t known for decades, including the neighbor who stands in the way of her late sister’s dream, while Violet grieves the loss of her twin and struggles to figure out who she is now, without her other half, as the little girl Lily saved pulls her back into the orbit of the man she once loved.

With poignancy and heart, RaeAnne Thayne once again delivers her charming signature blend of warmth, wit and wisdom.

What is coming soon …. to a bookshelf near you?

Let me know – I am always looking for a good read!

The Wedding Veil

Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Kristy Woodson Harvey

Goodreads: The New York Times bestselling author of Under the Southern Sky and the Peachtree Bluff series brings “her signature wit, charm, and heart” (Woman’s World) to this sweeping new novel following four women across generations, bound by a beautiful wedding veil and a connection to the famous Vanderbilt family.

Four women. One family heirloom. A secret connection that will change their lives—and history as they know it.

Present Day: Julia Baxter’s wedding veil, bequeathed to her great-grandmother by a mysterious woman on a train in the 1930s, has passed through generations of her family as a symbol of a happy marriage. But on the morning of her wedding day, something tells her that even the veil’s good luck isn’t enough to make her marriage last forever. Overwhelmed and panicked, she escapes to the Virgin Islands to clear her head. Meanwhile, her grandmother Babs is also feeling shaken. Still grieving the death of her beloved husband, she decides to move out of the house they once shared and into a retirement community. Though she hopes it’s a new beginning, she does not expect to run into an old flame, dredging up the same complicated emotions she felt a lifetime ago.

1914: Socialite Edith Vanderbilt is struggling to manage the luxurious Biltmore Estate after the untimely death of her cherished husband. With 250 rooms to oversee and an entire village dependent on her family to stay afloat, Edith is determined to uphold the Vanderbilt legacy—and prepare her free-spirited daughter Cornelia to inherit it—in spite of her family’s deteriorating financial situation. But Cornelia has dreams of her own. Asheville, North Carolina has always been her safe haven away from the prying eyes of the press, but as she explores more of the rapidly changing world around her, she’s torn between upholding tradition and pursuing the exciting future that lies beyond Biltmore’s gilded gates.

In the vein of Therese Anne Fowler’s A Well-Behaved Woman and Jennifer Robson’s The GownThe Wedding Veil brings to vivid life a group of remarkable women forging their own paths—and explores the mystery of a national heirloom lost to time.

Ope’s Opinion: This was my first read of the 2022. KWH is a sure read for me. I like to start my year with something really good and this one was it for me! It has amazing characters and a wonderful story line. I am not usually a historical fiction reader, but Kristy Woodson Harvey is such a great writer, I wanted to read this one.

There is a historical story line and a contemporary story line. When you are reading you move back and forth between the two stories effortlessly. It is labeled and obvious which one you are reading. Eventually you see how they are connected. I enjoyed the strong women in these stories.

As usual, I am looking forward to KWH’s next book.

A Wedding on Sunshine Corner

Author: Phoebe Mills
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Romance
Source: Forever ( Netgalley )

Netgalley: A delightful small-town romance between a daycare teacher and single dad who must overcome their differences to help plan the ultimate wedding.

They’ve driven each other crazy for years, but were they fighting each other—or the chemistry between them?

As the youngest in her loving, overprotective family, Savannah Lowe has always gone with the flow instead of going out on a limb…until now. Her new job running a preschool requires her to be all in. If only the father of one of her students wasn’t her brother’s incredibly infuriating, impossibly attractive best friend. Savannah has no clue what she ever did to make him dislike her, and now they’re stuck spending even more time together planning her brother’s wedding. 

Single father Noah Adams has his hands full between his job as a paramedic and caring for his young daughter. The last thing he needs is a complication like Savannah in his life—a girl he remembers being constantly pampered by her family. But the more he gets to know her, the more he sees how kind and compassionate she really is. Now their long-ignored, off-the-charts chemistry has them on a collision course…with each other.  

Ope’s Opinion: This is a very steamy romance, so if that is your kind of story, you will really like this one. This is the second in a series, but it could stand alone. The story was a quick, easy, light read.

Noah and Savannah have a history, so their attraction to each other seemed realistic. They went from enemies to lovers very quickly. There were some bumps along the way.

It will be interesting to see whose story is told in book three.

Vintage Sewing Box Puzzle

This is the box that the puzzle came in.
It is a Colorcraft Puzzle.

The poster is a really good size. It helps to see all the details.

I bought this one off of Amazon on a whim. I used to sew all the time, so I thought I would enjoy it. I really like the quality of the pieces, they are more of a mat finish, so they don’t reflect the light too much and it is obvious where a piece fits together. I went on the Colorcraft website and there are many puzzle by them that I want to do.

The Summer Getaway

Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: HQN
Genre: Fiction
Source: HQN ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: One woman takes the vacation of a lifetime in this poignant and heartwarming story about the threads that hold a family together from #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery.

Single mom Robyn Caldwell needs a new plan for her future.  She has always put her family first.  Now, with her kids grown, she yearns for a change. But what can she do when her daughter has become the most demanding bride ever, her son won’t even consider college, her best friend is on the brink of marital disaster and her ex is making a monumentally bad decision that could ruin everything?

Take a vacation, of course. Press reset. When her great-aunt Lillian invites her to Santa Barbara for the summer, Robyn hops on the first plane to sunny California.

But it’s hard to get away when you’re the heart of the family. One by one, everyone she loves follows her across the country. Somehow, their baggage doesn’t feel as heavy in the sun-drenched, mishmash mansion. The more time Robyn spends with free-spirited Lillian, the more possibilities she sees—for dreams, love, family. She can have everything she ever wanted, if only she can muster the courage to take a chance on herself.

Ope’s Opinion: I was very excited to win this book from HQN, as I am a fan of Susan Mallery’s books. I expected this to be one of her great reads.

This one was a bit of a disappointment. It took me over half the book before I liked any of the characters. They did grow on me as I kept reading. I had no idea why Mindy was in the book at all. She was suppose to be Robyn’s ( MC ) best friend – not a very good friend and added nothing to the story. The unnecessary explicit talk about sex felt forced and thrown in there at awkward times.

The last part of the book saved the story for me. I enjoyed Mason, the kids grew up and the story got better. Lillian made the book for me.

The Nantucket Beachfront Inn

Author: Ainsley Keaton
Genre: Fiction
Source: Netgalley

Goodreads: She’s 54, broken-hearted, and starting over….

High-powered New York attorney Ava Flynn finds herself without a job or a future. Unemployable at her age, and broken-hearted by a husband who left her in the lurch, she desperately needs a Plan B. Her prayers are answered when a wealthy benefactor wills her a large house in the ‘Sconset Beach area of Nantucket. She heads out to the picturesque New England island with her two best friends, Luna and Mila, going along for the ride.

One catch…her estranged daughter also lives there. Charlotte Killeen, Ava’s daughter, is battling a crisis of her own. Her new husband, Matthew, wants a divorce, even though the couple have a newborn baby. Charlotte needs her mother more than ever, but the two have never seen eye to eye. Her marriage on the rocks and with few prospects for income, Charlotte is near the end of her rope. Then a life-threatening illness brings into focus what’s important after all.

Mila, Ava’s best friend, is battling a devastating illness, information that she hasn’t shared with Ava and Luna. She never wants to be a burden, so she just doesn’t ask for help. But she’s going to need all the support she can get. She finds this support in a very surprising place, and, in doing so, gets closer to her own destiny.

Ava busies herself with fixing up her beautiful new beach home, so that she can open up a bed and breakfast. Contractor Deacon Cromwell, whom Ava hires to do the renovation, is the man who might thaw Ava’s cold heart, if only she’ll let him. However, he’s almost 20 years her junior and, Ava believes, out of her league. Can Ava overcome her insecurities and allow herself to love again?

Ope’s Opinion: This is the first of a series, so if you read this and get attached to the characters and want to see where they will go, it would be fun to follow them.

There are several characters, all with a lot going on in their lives. I think all the introductions to all the characters was a little overwhelming. As you get to know them, it will be easier to follow the story lines. There were enough unanswered questions for the next several books.

Out Now!

Goodreads: From New England’s Storyteller, Steven Manchester, comes the nostalgia-filled sequel to Bread Bags & Bullies; a novel about growing up in a whacky family during the 1980s. Boom boxes, leg warmers and Rubik’s Cubes—it’s all there. A hysterical walk down memory lane!

“Steven Manchester’s Lawn Darts & Lemonade is so much fun, filled with laughter, tears, and Big Hair.” – Taylor Dayne, ’80s Recording Artist, Love Will Lead You Back

It’s the summer of 1984, a season of dodging lawn darts and chugging lemonade—or at least the discolored tap water Ma tried to disguise as lemonade.

Growing up is never easy, no matter what era you do it in. For generations, teenagers have suffered peer pressure, bullying, fear of rejection, and a sadistic obstacle course of one unexpected challenge after the next. Three brothers, Wally, Herbie, and Cockroach, learn that the past can be filled with questions—even shame and regret—while the future might be shrouded in worry and fear. But staying in the moment, now that’s where the sweet spot is.

Steven Manchester does it again!
Pick this one up today.

The Crown

Author: Robert Lacey
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Genre: Nonfiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads: The official companion to the critically acclaimed Netflix drama about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, The Crown by Peter Morgan, featuring additional historical background and exclusive images.

Starring Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill, Netflix’s original series The Crown, created by Peter Morgan and growing out of his Oscar-winning movie The Queen starring Helen Mirren, paints a unique and intimate portrait of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. This official companion to the show’s first season is an in-depth exploration of the early years of Elizabeth II’s time as Queen, complete with extensive research, additional material, and exclusive, beautifully reproduced images.
One of the show’s most powerful themes is that royals do not choose their duty; it is thrust upon them. Princess Elizabeth never expected her father to die so suddenly, so young, leaving her not only a throne to fill but a global institution to govern. Crowned at twenty-five, already a wife and mother, follow the journey of a woman learning to become a queen while facing her own challenges within her own family. This is the story of how Elizabeth II drew on every ounce of strength and British reserve to deal with crises not only on the continent but at home as well.
Written by bestselling historical biographer Robert Lacey, who also serves as the show’s historical consultant, this official companion provides an in-depth exploration from behind the palace gates. Relive the majesty of the first season of the hit show, with behind-the-scenes photos, meticulously researched images from the time, and more.

Ope’s Opinion: After watching The Crown, it was fun to read behind the scenes. It was interesting to see what facts they chose to highlight. The Royal family is amazing to follow – fact vs fiction. If you are a fan of Royal family information, this will be a good read for you.

There were so many pictures of the family and the cast that played them. It showed what a great job they did to have the cast look as close to the family as possible. I read the physical copy and I highly recommend it ( not ebook ) because of all the photo’s.

My understanding is there is going to be a volume 2 for the next part of The Crown. If they do it similar to this one, I will be interested in reading the physical copy.

Enough Already!

Author: Valerie Bertinelli
Publisher: Mariner Books
Genre: Non-fiction
Source: Purchased

Goodreads: Beloved actress and New York Times best-selling author Valerie Bertinelli returns with a heartfelt look at turning sixty, the futility of finding happiness in numbers on a scale, learning to love herself the way she is today, and tips for a healthier outlook on life.

Valerie Bertinelli shares an inspiring blueprint that offers women in midlife support and hope. She shares personal stories that many women will relate to from her past decade: hitting her fifties, taking care of her dying mother, the evolving relationship with her husband, a career change, her relationship with food, and the battle to believe in herself as she is.

Despite her success receiving Emmys for her Food Network show and critical praise for her books and cookbook, Bertinelli still judged herself harshly if she gained a pound or showed too many wrinkles. But after her mother died, she found an old recipe box with notes of the strong women that came before her, reminding her that she has to find out who she is and take care of herself. Saying, “enough already!” Bertinelli set out on a journey to love herself and see that perfection is not the goal; it’s the joy we can find every day in our lives, our loved ones, and the food we share. Recipes and advice will be sprinkled throughout the book.

Ope’s Opinion: I find it very hard to review autobiography’s. It is Valerie’s story, in her voice. Her thoughts are all about her, her life, and how she was feeling at the time. The bottom line was if it isn’t about loving yourself and other it is not worth the time.

I have been a fan of Valerie’s since she was on One Day at a Time. I have followed her career and life since. It is interesting to hear how she felt about herself when it always looked from the outside that she was bubbly and happy. The chapters are labeled according to dates – each chapter has short segments that were happening around the same time – this made it easy to pick up and read a little at a time.