Nicholas Sparks Giveaway!

GIVEAWAY

Do you love Nicholas Sparks? Then I have a treat for you! Thanks to Grand Central Publishing, I’m able to giveaway (1) copy of four Nicholas Sparks Reissue Edition books! Thank you to the wonderful people at Grand Central Publishing for generously providing these books as giveaway items to Stories Unfolded followers.

I have read all four of these books and highly recommend each one. The Last Song is #1 on my Top 5 Favorite Nicholas Sparks Books.

Enter Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway (Giveaway ends on September 16 and winner will be announced on September 17)

One lucky winner will receive all four of the following Nicholas Sparks reissue editions:

200510-at-first-sight-680x1020At First Sight (Reissue Edition) by Nicholas Sparks
There are a few things Jeremy Marsh was sure he’d never do: he’d never leave New York City; never give his heart away again after barely surviving one failed marriage; and, most of all, never become a parent. Now, Jeremy is living in the tiny town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, married to Lexie Darnell, the love of his life, and anticipating the birth of their daughter. But just as his life seems to be settling into a blissful pattern, an unsettling and mysterious message re-opens old wounds and sets off a chain of events that will forever change the course of this young couple’s marriage.
September 13, 2016; Trade Paperback; $15.99; 9781455571642

201312-a-bend-in-the-roadA Bend in the Road (Reissue Edition) by Nicholas Sparks
Miles Ryan’s life seemed to end the day his wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident two years ago. As deputy sheriff of New Bern, North Carolina, he not only grieves for her and worries about their young son Jonah but longs to bring the unknown driver to justice. Then Miles meets Sarah Andrews, Jonah’s second-grade teacher. A young woman recovering from a difficult divorce, Sarah moved to New Bern hoping to start over. Tentatively, Miles and Sarah reach out to each other…soon they are falling in love. But what neither realizes is that they are also bound together by a shocking secret, one that will force them to reexamine everything they believe in-including their love.
September 13, 2016; Trade Paperback; $15.99; 9781455571635

thelastsong-680x1020The Last Song (Reissue Edition) by Nicholas Sparks
Seventeen-year old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father…until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels–first love, love between parents and children — that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts…and heal them.
September 13, 2016; Trade Paperback; $15.99; 9781455571659

truebeliever-680x1020True Believer (Reissue Edition) by Nicholas Sparks
As a science journalist with a regular column in “Scientific American,” Jeremy Marsh specializes in debunking the supernatural–until he falls in love with the granddaughter of the town psychic.
September 13, 2016; Trade Paperback; $15.99; 9781455571666

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Book of the Week | The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander

Thank you Grand Central Publishing for providing a copy of this book to me. I’m always grateful for their generosity and indulging me in my obsession with books.


IMG_1076TITLE: The Light of the World

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Alexander

PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing

RELEASE DATE: September 6, 2016 (Paperback Edition)

GENRE: Memoir

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | INDIEBOUND | B&N

In The Light of the World, Elizabeth Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. Channeling her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid prose, Alexander tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. As she reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband’s death, and the solace found in caring for her two sons, Alexander universalizes a very personal quest for meaning in the wake of loss.

The Light of the World is at once an endlessly compelling memoir and a deeply felt meditation on the blessings of love, family, art and community. It is also a lyrical celebration of a life well-lived and a paean to the enduring gift of human companionship. For those who have loved and lost, or for anyone who cares what matters most, The Light of the World is required reading. (Description found author’s website)

ABOUT ELIZABETH ALEXANDER

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Professor Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, and teacher. She is the author of six books of poems, two collections of essays, a play, and various edited collections. She was recently named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, as well as the Wun Tsun Tam Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. She previously served as the inaugural Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University, where she taught for 15 years and chaired the African American Studies Department. In 2009, she composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Her memoir, The Light of the World, has just been released to great acclaim. (Bio found on Author’s Website)

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Saturday Spotlight – Two Across by Jeff Bartsch

It’s always a great feeling when I receive a book in the mail. I get all excited knowing that, when I open it, I will get to immerse myself in another great story. While I have adopted the digital age of reading using my Kindle, I still love the feeling of holding a book in my hands, admiring the cover, and curling up on the couch with only the light of the table lamp beside me (if only I had a fireplace in my apartment).

Before I let you know what wonderful book I received, I’d first like to thank Grand Central Publishing for providing a copy of this book to me. I’m always grateful for their generosity and indulging me in my obsession with books.


SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT

IMG_0687TITLE: Two Across

AUTHOR: Jeff Bartsch

PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing

RELEASE DATE: July 19, 2016 (Trade Paperback Edition)

GENRE: Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Romance

PRE-ORDER LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | KOBO | INDIEBOUND

Highly awkward teenager Stanley Owens meets his match in beautiful, brainy Vera Baxter when they tie for first place in the annual National Spelling Bee-and the two form a bond that will change both of their lives.

Though their mothers have big plans for them-Stanley will become a senator, Vera a mathematics professor-neither wants to follow these pre-determined paths. So Stanley hatches a scheme to marry Vera in a sham wedding for the cash gifts, hoping they will enable him to pursue his one true love: crossword puzzle construction. In enlisting Vera to marry him, though, he neglects one variable: she’s secretly in love with him, which makes their counterfeit ceremony an exercise in misery for her.

Realizing the truth only after she’s moved away and cut him out of her life, Stanley tries to atone for his mistakes and win her back. But he’s unable to find her, until one day he comes across a puzzle whose clues make him think it could only have been created by Vera. Intrigued, he plays along, communicating back to her via his own gridded clues. But will they connect again before it’s all too late? (Description found on Amazon.com) 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Jeff Bartsch grew up in Milwaukee, where at the age of 14 he delivered newspapers before dawn on the city’s coldest day on record, at 26° below zero. He pursued the primarily indoor study of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin, and held the Katey Lehman Fellowship in the MFA program at Penn State University. He is an award-winning copywriter who has worked on campaigns for many major brands. When not writing, reading, or drinking beer, he enjoys riding his fancy Italian road bike as fast as he possibly can without hurting anyone, himself included (one broken collarbone was more than enough). He lives in New York. (Bio found at www.jeff-bartsch.com/bio)

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July New Releases

JULY NEW RELEASES

I want to share a few upcoming July releases I’m excited about and have added to my TBR list. Congrats to the authors on the release of your new books.

cover77957-mediumTITLE: The Choices We Make

AUTHOR: Karma Brown

PUBLISHER: Harlequin (US & Canada)

RELEASE DATE: July 12, 2016

GENRE: Women’s Fiction

PRE-ORDER LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | !NDIGO | INDIEBOUND | KOBO |

Following her critically acclaimed debut novel Come Away with Me, Karma Brown returns with an unforgettable story that explores the intricate dynamics between friends and mothers

Hannah and Kate became friends in the fifth grade, when Hannah hit a boy for looking up Kate’s skirt with a mirror. While they’ve been close as sisters ever since, Hannah can’t help but feel envious of the little family Kate and her husband, David, have created—complete with two perfect little girls.

She and Ben have been trying for years to have a baby, so when they receive the news that she will likely never get pregnant, Hannah’s heartbreak is overwhelming. But just as they begin to tentatively explore the other options, it’s Kate’s turn to do the rescuing. Not only does she offer to be Hannah’s surrogate, but Kate is willing to use her own eggs to do so.

Full of renewed hope, excitement and gratitude, these two families embark on an incredible journey toward parenthood…until a devastating tragedy puts everything these women have worked toward at risk of falling apart. Poignant and refreshingly honest, The Choices We Make is a powerful tale of two mothers, one incredible friendship and the risks we take to make our dreams come true. (Description found on NetGalley.com)


cover82445-mediumTITLE: The Last One

AUTHOR: Alexandra Oliva

PUBLISHER: Random House Publishing Group

RELEASE DATE: July 12, 2016

GENRE: Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult)

PRE-ORDER LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | BAM! | GOOGLEPLAY | INDIEBOUND | POWELL’S 

For readers of Station Eleven and The Passage comes a dazzling and unsettling novel of psychological suspense. In Alexandra Oliva’s thrilling fiction debut, survival is the name of the game, as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself—and one woman’s mind and body are pushed to the limit.

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far. It begins with a reality TV show.

Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all of her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will either be her triumph or her undoing.

Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated. (Description found on NetGalley.com)


cover88495-mediumTITLE: Valley of the Moon

AUTHOR: Melanie Gideon

PUBLISHER: Random House Publishing Group

RELEASE DATE: July 26, 2016

GENRE: Women’s Fiction

PRE-ORDER LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | BAM! | INDIEBOUND

In this captivating novel from the author of Wife 22, a woman who feels lost in her own time stumbles across a California community that has, impossibly, been marooned in the early twentieth century—perfect for readers of The Time Traveler’s Wife, Time and Again, and Sarah Addison Allen.

Lux is a single mom struggling to make her way when she discovers an idyllic community in the Sonoma Valley. It seems like a place from another time—until she realizes it actually is. Lux must keep one foot in her world, raising her son as well as she can with the odds stacked against her, but every day she is more strongly drawn in by the sweet simplicity of life in Greengage, and by the irresistible connection she feels with a man born decades before her. Soon she finds herself torn between her ties to the modern world—her adored son—and the first place she has ever felt truly at home. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

 

What new releases are you excited about this month?

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27 Birthday Goals

27th-birthday-giveaway-loudmouth-lifestyle-stephanie-shar.png~original

Today I turn 27 years old (young) and each year I share a list of goals I have set for myself and an update on my previous year’s goals.

Setting goals is something I live by and I feel that no goal is too small or too big. It’s just about whether you’re willing to work hard to reach them.

“Set daily, monthly, and long term goals and dreams. Don’t ever be afraid to dream too big. Nothing is impossible. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve it.” – Nastia Liukin 

First, I’d like to share the goals I have accomplished this year:

  1. Get a new computer (Got an Apple MacBook Air)
  2. Create a scholarship fund for students who have lost a parent from prescription drug addiction (Started the Lisa Michelle Memorial Fund on September 20, 2015. It’s a non-profit that provides scholarships to students who have lost a parent to substance abuse. We are awarding our first $1,000 scholarship to a student who attends Washington State University. Visit www.theLMMFund.org for more info)
  3. Travel (Went to Napa, Calistoga, and Sonoma Valley for our 1st wedding anniversary)
  4. Move up in my career (Started working at a new company this year)
  5. Get a new phone (Finally got a new iPhone!)

Now I will share my 27 birthday goals:

  1. Pay off car (Only 1.5 years left!)
  2. Hike to upper Yosemite falls
  3. Read all Mary Higgins Clark books
  4. Get my CPCU (Just finished my first class!)
  5. Finish my book
  6. Pay off my student loans
  7. Buy a house or condo
  8. Get my Ph.D
  9. Have children (Looking at three more years until we have our first)
  10. Read 26 books by the end of 2016
  11. Go to the gym at least 3 times per week
  12. Attend more literary events
  13. Go on a small hike at least once per month
  14. Hike to Nevada falls in Yosemite National Park
  15. Run two 5Ks
  16. Read at least 10 books on my NetGalley List
  17. Ongoing Goal: Travel
  18. Ongoing Goal: Save up enough money to pay for my youngest sister’s college tuition
  19. Ongoing Goal: Expand my philanthropy for my Alma Mater Woodbury University and other non-profit organizations
  20. Ongoing Goal: Write more blog posts this year
  21. Ongoing Goal: Raise money for the Lisa Michelle Memorial Fund
  22. New Goal: Write at least one book review per month
  23. New Goal: Read the two newest Nicholas Sparks books
  24. New Goal: Get a dog (will take some convincing from my husband)
  25. New Goal: Read more book news
  26. New Goal: Lose my 1st year of marriage weight
  27. New Goal: Visit my family ore often

Check out my 26 Birthday Goals25 Birthday Goals, 24 Birthday Goals, and 23 Birthday Goals to see what I have accomplished and how my goals have changed over the years.

What are some of your goals and how are you working towards accomplishing them?

Summer Reading Event at Flintridge Bookstore

626388c9-dfac-48ee-b245-e48196ff36f7

The Women’s National Book Association – Los Angeles invites you to a specially curated Summer Reading Event at Flintridge Bookstore on the must-read books of the season.

Flintridge Bookstore’s booksellers will present their picks for the most engaging women’s fiction, literary fiction and creative non-fiction titles to add to your to-read lists. Be prepared to take notes and to ask questions!

Recommended titles will be available for purchase, as well as a large stock of adult and children’s books, bookish gifts, greeting cards and reading accessories.

Immediately following the presentation, members are invited to mix ‘n’ mingle at the in-store coffeehouse. The menu consists of light snacks, lunch items and assorted beverages.

logo option 5 rev 2WHERE: Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse
1010 Foothill Blvd, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 790-0717 – www.flintridgebooks.com

WHEN: Sunday, June 26, 1:00-2:00 P.M.
COST: This event is FREE to attend.
PARKING: private lot, garage and street

If you are able to attend, then please email your RSVP to Liz Donatelli at liz@lizdpublicity.com by Wednesday, June 22.

Contact either rachelleyousuf@gmail.com or liz@lizdpublicity.com with any questions.

Book of the Week | Girl In The Dark by Anna Lyndsey

Today I want to share a book that I’ve been anxiously wanting to read, but I’ve been waiting for it to be physically in my hands.

The first time I saw this book on a shelf I immediately fell in love with the cover which led me to read the description and add it to my reading list. The only problem is that I have no more room on my bookshelf or in our tiny apartment, so how do I choose which book to replace so that I can add this gem to my collection? Thoughts?

Well, my birthday is coming up so maybe I will just treat myself and figure out where to store this in my apartment after I read it. #BookLoverProblems


22543949TITLE: Girl in the Dark: A Memoir of a Life Without Light

AUTHOR: Anna Lyndsey

PUBLISHER: DoubleDay

RELEASE DATE: March 3, 2015

GENRE: Memoir

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | INDIEBOUND

Even impossible lives endure.

Once, Anna Lyndsey had an ordinary life. She was young and ambitious and worked hard, she had just bought an apartment, she was falling in love. Then what began as a mild intolerance to certain kinds of artificial light developed into a severe sensitivity to all light. Now, at the worst times, Anna must spend months on end in a blacked-out room, where she loses herself in audiobooks and elaborate word games in an attempt to ward off despair. During periods of relative remission, she can venture out cautiously at dawn or dusk into a world that overwhelms her starved senses with its beauty.

Eventually, Anna’s unthinkable fate becomes a transcendent love story, offering an extraordinary perspective from which we can see light and the world anew.

About Anna Lyndsey: Anna Lyndsey is a pen name. Lyndsey for several years in London as a civil servant until she became ill. She now lives with her husband in Hampshire, England.


EXCERPT

Light Gets In

It is extraordinarily difficult to black out a room.

First I line the curtains with blackout material, a heavy, plasticky fabric, strange flesh-like magnolia in colour, not actually black. But the light slips in easily, up and over the gap between the rail and the wall, and at the bottom through the loops made by the hanging folds.

So I add a blackout roller blind, inside the window alcove. But the light creeps in around the sides, and shimmies through the slit at the top.

So I tackle the panes themselves. I cut sheets of cooking foil, press them against the glass, tape them to the window frames. But the foil wrinkles and rips, refuses to lie flat. Gaps persist around the edges, pinpricks and tears across the middle. I tape and tape, tape over tape, foil over foil, layer upon layer. Instead of neat sheets of foil tethered by single strips of tape, the thing is becoming wild installation art. But I can’t stop. The light is laughing at me; it is playing deliberate games, lying low to persuade me that I have made an area secure, then as soon as I move on, wriggling through some overlooked wormhole. The day beyond my window is an ocean, pressing and pulsing at my protecting walls, and I must plug a leaky dike perpetually against its power.

At last, I think I may have done enough. I lower the blind on my crazy patchwork of foil, pull the curtains, place a rolled-up towel along the crack at the bottom of the door. I sit quietly on the bed, and wait for my eyes to adjust.

And I have it. Finally I have it. I have blackness.

I lie back inside my box of darkness, the new container for my life. I am overwhelmed with exhaustion and relief.

(Description and Excerpt found on Knopfdoubleday.com

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