Steena Holmes

Today I wanted to give a shout out to an amazing author that has blown me away not only in her stories but also in person. Steena Holmes is a women’s fiction writer who has the heart of gold. Her books are captivating and the way she writes makes it so easy and a  pleasure to read.


When I first met Steena in person her face lit up with joy when she noticed me. I was in shock that a little blogger like me would get such a heartfelt reaction. Her enthusiasm is infectious and it traveled with me through the rest of the day.


Thanks to this amazing author and Lake Union Publishing, I get to sit with this incredible book and see what Abby has in store for the next chapter of her life. If you haven’t already read my review on Saving Abby, you can go see where Abby started or pre-order Abby’s Journey here.

Change of Heart


Author:  Courtney Walsh
Publisher: Tyndale
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  BEA 2016

Goodreads:  A Colorado senator’s wife, Evelyn Brandt seems to have it all. But her carefully constructed life comes toppling down when the FBI crashes her society brunch with news that her husband has been arrested for embezzlement, and he’s far from repentant. It turns out this was only the start of his indiscretions―for which he has little regret.

As the weeks following the scandal turn into months, Evelyn withdraws, even shirking her duties with the philanthropic Valentine Volunteers. The inquisitive women of the group are determined not to let Evelyn’s divorce destroy her. They have big plans for her to use her long-forgotten artistic talent to reimagine the city’s iconic lamppost hearts. But doing so will force Evelyn to work closely with Trevor Whitney, her ex-husband’s former best friend. Though she and Trevor used to be close―and he’s been letting her hide in his guesthouse―his gruffness conveys his unease with the situation.

Amid the beauty of Trevor’s farm and the comfort of a paintbrush, Evelyn starts to reclaim the dreams she sacrificed to become the perfect politician’s wife. And as creativity inspires them both, Whit begins to see the girl he fell in love with before his friend―and his own mistakes―stole his chance. Possibilities for a new beginning emerge, but long-kept secrets threaten to ruin everything. After so much time, is a change of heart too much to hope for?

Ope’s Opinion: If you have a church this book should be in it.  This is book two of the series.  I did not realize that when I started and you can’t tell when you are reading it.  I do think the church library should have both books – the other one is titled: Paper Hearts.

This book was not preachy at all. It was actually a really good book to give to someone you want to introduce to God.  He ( God ) was important in each of their lives, but they all made mistakes and were not perfect at all.  It was easy to relate to, no matter your situation.

I will be on the look for more books by Courtney Walsh.


Behind Closed Doors


Author: B.A. Paris
Publisher: Martin’s Press
Genre: Mystery
Source: BEA 2016

Goodreads: Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace’s friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn’t Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

Ope’s Opinion:  This book was hard to read.  I was interested in the outcome, but getting there was painful.  Just not my kind of story.  I am sure there are some readers that will find this story appealing. 

I felt like the main female character  ( Grace ) started out very weak and naive.  Men like Jack are attracted to women like Grace that they can control. I like books with strong women characters.


BEA Shelf

empty shelf

This is my empty shelf, waiting for the BEA books to be loaded.

BEA books 2 BEA books 1All the books have found their way home!!
Now comes the fun part –
I look at them again
Put them on Goodreads,
Then they go on the shelf.

Tell me your top picks from BEA.
I would love to see and hear about what you brought home.

BEA 2016 Begins!!

This where it all begins!!

WElcome BEA 2016As you can see we are excited to begin our BEA experience this year!
Robyn Carr is here!!

BEAThis place is huge!!

MelissaMelissa De La Cruz has a book called
Something In Between.
It is one of my top picks this year!

BEA Questions

How do you shelve your BEA books?
Do you mix them in with your other books?
Do they have a separate shelf?
Do you put them according to
Publication date or authors last name
or something else?

I would like to hear your ideas on how you shelve your books when you get back from BEA.  How do you shelve your other books – the same or different from BEA books?

How do you decide what book to read next?
Are all your books scheduled?
Do you read older books first or are you more likely to pick up a new one?

There are so many books to read.  I would like to hear how you pick your next book.

After reading a book do you keep it?
How do you decided which ones to keep?
Do you pass books on to others –
people you know or donate them?

Here is the current state of my bookshelf.  I think I will be rearranging my books soon.  I would love to hear your thought process for your books.  I would also love to see pictures of your bookshelves.

book shelf

The Things You Kiss Goodbye

Author:  Leslie Connor                             kiss
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Source:  BEA



Goodreads:  Bettina Vasilis can hardly believe it when basketball star Brady Cullen asks her out, and she just about faints when her strict father actually approves of him.


But when school starts up again, Brady changes. What happened to the sweet boy she fell in love with? Then she meets a smoldering guy in his twenties, and this “cowboy” is everything Brady is not—gentle, caring, and interested in getting to know the real Bettina.


Bettina knows that breaking up with Brady would mean giving up her freedom—and that it would be inappropriate for anything to happen between her and Cowboy. Still, she can’t help that she longs for the scent of his auto shop whenever she’s anywhere else.


When tragedy strikes, Bettina must tell her family the truth—and kiss goodbye the things she thought she knew about herself and the men in her life.


Leslie Connor has written a lyrical, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about family, romance, and the immense power of love.

Ope’s Opinion:  When I started this book, I just couldn’t get into it.  It seemed slow moving.  I almost gave up on it, BUT I am glad I didn’t.  As I got to know the characters, I became attached to them.

I really liked that the abusive boyfriend wasn’t slamming her around in an obvious way.  He kept making a joke out of it and apologizing.  It felt like how I think it might really happen.  It built slowly and subtly.  I think it would make someone who was being abused open their eyes.  I do wish that Bettina was more proactive about getting out of the relationship instead of accepting the abuse.  Coming from the family Bettina comes from made her more vulnerable to an abusive relationship.

Even though Cowboy was significantly older then Bettina – it was good to see her recognize a more healthy relationship.  He made her feel safe and important, neither of which she was getting at home or with Brady.  I like how much Cowboy respected Bettina.

I really liked the twist toward the end of the book.  I did not see it coming at all.  It changed the rest of the book and the characters relationships.  I am interested in reading another book by Leslie Connor.

Rating:  Four Chairs – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.


Little Mercies


Author:  Heather Gudenkauf                 little mercies
Publisher:  Harlequin MIRA
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Source:  BEA


Buy this book NOW!


Goodreads:  In her latest ripped-from-the-headlines tour de force, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf shows how one small mistake can have life-altering consequences…


Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity;the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children’s advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.


Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends’ couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen’s and Jenny’s lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.


A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together.

Ope’s Opinion:  This is a book I would like to put in everyones hands – even those who don’t read very often.  I will pass my copy on to others, but they will have to return it.  I will buy copies for those who will not be able to share my copy.  This is absolutely a must read.

Emotional, intense, exciting, fast moving – these are just some of the words that come to mind to describe this book.

Heather Gudenkauf weaves a story that intertwines all the characters lives.  While reading I found myself literally holding my breath! The twists and turns are not predictable at all.  I am amazed at how Heather writes in such a way that I am drawn into the book so deeply I loose track of time.

Even though there are so many books to read, I want to make the time to read this one again.  I can not wait for her next book.

Rating:  Five Chairs – This book is so good it will be passed on and on and on…..


My Adult Book BEA Broadcast

Hope you are enjoying all this BEA news!
Along with all my YA books I did get some adult reading too.


Heather Gudenkauf is an author that always makes me
want another of her books when I finish reading her current book.

Positive is a non-fiction – which I don’t often read.
Couldn’t resist this one – looks very interesting.

ADult 2Some more good ones to read!

Adult Mystery

This is my mystery pile!!  Lisa Scottoline and David Baldacci
are top on my mystery list.

I hope if you had the opportunity to go to BEA that you felt
encouraged by other bloggers.  I also hope you came home
with books that made you want to stop your world and just

What did you see in my piles that would get you excited to read?

My YA BEA Broadcast

I was amazed at all the YA books that were offered this year at BEA.  A lot of the authors were new to me.  I was excited to receive books that might lead me to an author I had never read before.  Then there were the authors that I couldn’t wait to get another book I knew would be amazing.

YA 4

Morgan Matson’s book Since You’ve Been Gone was one I couldn’t wait to get. It was great to meet her.  Susan Colasanti was really sweet – her books didn’t arrive, so she had to mail them out.  She was so friendly.

YA 1Rebecca Serle’s book Famous in Love looks awesome!
She even emailed me after BEA – very impressed.

YA 2

Rachel Harris is an author I have not read.
The Fine Art of Pretending looks like it will be fun to read.

YA 3

Breathe, Annie, Breathe was on TBR list before I knew
Miranda Kenneally was going to be at BEA!

So many to read – can’t read fast enough.
Any recommendation where I should start?