Category Archives: Friday Finds

Friday Finds | Met Two New Authors

Happy Friday everyone! It’s always great when I get to meet new authors. On Dec. 13th I attended (and partially planned) the Women’s National Book Association LA Chapter’s 40th Anniversary Holiday Party Dinner. At this dinner, I met two great authors and am completely intrigued by their books. They even got my husband interested and he doesn’t even read books. So today I want to share the books of these two wonderful women.

22836956TITLE: The Memory Painter

AUTHOR: Gwendolyn Womack

PUBLISHER: Picador

RELEASE DATE: April 28, 2015

GENRE: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | BAM! | iBOOKS | INDIEBOUND | KOBO | POWELL’S

Bryan Pierce is an internationally famous artist whose paintings have dazzled the world. But there’s a secret to Bryan’s success: Every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream. When Bryan awakes, he possesses extraordinary new skills . . . like the ability to speak obscure languages and an inexplicable genius for chess. All his life, he has wondered if his dreams are recollections—if he is re-experiencing other people’s lives.

Linz Jacobs is a brilliant neurogeneticist, absorbed in decoding genes that help the brain make memories—until she is confronted with an exact rendering of a recurring nightmare at one of Bryan’s shows. She tracks down the elusive artist, and their meeting triggers Bryan’s most powerful dream yet: visions of a team of scientists who, on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s, died in a lab explosion decades ago.

As Bryan becomes obsessed with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the scientists’ deaths, his dreams begin to reveal what happened at the lab, as well as a deeper mystery that may lead all the way to ancient Egypt. Together, Bryan and Linz start to discern a pattern. But a deadly enemy watches their every move, and he will stop at nothing to ensure that the past stays buried.

The Memory Painter is a taut thriller and a timeless love story spanning six continents and 10,000 years of history. (Description found on Gwen’s Website)

cover78451-mediumTITLE: Decanting a Murder, A Sommelier Mystery #1

AUTHOR: Nadine Nettmann

PUBLISHER: Midnight Ink

RELEASE DATE: May 8, 2016

GENRE: Mystery & Thrillers

Katie Stillwell focuses on two things in her life: work and practicing for her Sommelier Certification with her blind tasting group. The exam was supposed to be the hardest part of her week, but that was before a body was found at an exclusive Napa Valley winery party.

When all the evidence points to Katie’s best friend, the outspoken and independent Tessa, Katie drops everything to clear Tessa’s name. Using her deductive wine skills, she tries to track down the real killer. But when repeated attempts are made on her life, Katie discovers that everyone’s secrets must be uncorked—including her own. (Found on Nadine’s Website)

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Friday Finds | New NetGalley Finds

cover68984-medium

TITLE: Candidate

AUTHOR: Tracy Ewens

PUBLISHER: Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members’ Titles

RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2015

GENRE: Women’s Fiction, Romance

BUY LINKS: AMAZON

If only life were as simple was choosing between Toaster Strudel and Fruit Loops.

Katherine Galloway is two years divorced and still living out of boxes. Between her brothers (cops that work with her ex) and her mother’s constant reminders that her clock is ticking, Kate is trying to hold it all together. When it comes to public relations, there’s nothing she can’t handle . . . or at least that’s what she thinks.

Grady Malendar, the only son of United States Senator Patrick Malendar, has a reputation as a playboy who likes to have a little too much fun. The senator is running for re-election and needs Grady’s help with the youth vote, so they hire a PR firm. Grady is willing to participate in the dog-and-pony show to help his father win, but there are some things about his life he wants to keep hidden. Especially from his snoopy new PR “babysitter,” Kate Galloway.

Somewhere between campaign stops and fundraisers, Kate and Grady discover that neither of them are what they appear to be. Tensions between them grow until there is no denying they are falling in love behind the scenes of a façade they both need to keep in place. Will scandal, old wounds, and secrets tear them apart, or will Kate and Grady realize that they are both candidates for love?

cover75245-mediumTITLE: Another Place

AUTHOR: Tina Shyver-Plank

PUBLISHER: Two Harbors Press

RELEASE DATE: October 20, 2015

GENRE: Women’s Fiction, General Fiction

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N

Traversing realms on the path to hope

Hope felt too weak to go on. After years of suffering physical and emotional abuse at the hands of The Man, she was left a fragile shadow of a woman, bone thin and locked in anxiety and depression. She wanted peace. She yearned for freedom. But in order to survive, she had to shed the shackles of victimhood and patriarchy—without destroying herself.

With only a flimsy foothold in her real world of horrors, Hope constructs from the shattered pieces of her frail life another existence. In Another Place, her mental realm, she coexists with her alter ego, Sarah St. Vincent, who equips her with the emotional tools to battle The Man. Yet as Hope becomes addicted to the catharsis of escape, her altered reality threatens to imprison her and trap her from her true existence. Only through self-discovery and her own personal evolution can she bring Sarah’s inner strength to the real world.

A dark and ambitious fiction debut, Another Place experiments with imagery, poetry, and realms of existence to explore the internal landscape of mental illness and the process of recovery and self-actualization.

This story, set in New England, centers on a young, reclusive female who must reclaim the task of reshaping her fragile reality in the modern world of patriarchy. The psychologically intense experiences of the protagonist, a creative and deeply sensitive soul, upon which multi-dimensional states of being persist, compel a mind-bending, emotional catharsis. The protagonist, Hope, a symbol and persona for the trials and tribulations in the self-discovery process, seeks a place apart where inner peace is possible and victimization ends. When the antagonist, The Man, a complex blend of faces, who is the lifelong catalyst for suffering, encounters the alter ego, Sarah St. Vincent, a stronger, more integrated sense of self gradually arises in Hope to replace former ego fragmentation. This book focuses on the imbalance in relationships that cuts deep into the wells of the unconscious.

What did you find this week? Post your Friday Finds in the comments.

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Friday Finds | Strawberry and Sage by Amanda Gale

Happy Friday everyone! Today I want to share a book that’s next on my list to read. I’ve loved all the books she’s written so far and I’m excited to read this spin off from the Meredith Series.

511aWQEiKxL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_TITLE: Strawberry and Sage

AUTHOR: Amanda Gale

PUBLISHER: Brenda & Cobena Books

RELEASE DATE: July 15, 2015

GENRE: Women’s Fiction, Romance

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N

A historical romance novella for readers of the Meredith series and new readers alike.

Set in 1967 in the lush mountains of Vermont, Strawberry and Sage is a tale of friendship, love, and the perfect strawberry pie.

Gabriel Kelly is a hard-working young carpenter carrying the weight of responsibility on his back. With his father injured on the job and his brother fighting in Vietnam, Gabriel struggles to stay positive. And with the possibility of being drafted looming over him, he can focus only on things that matter, like visiting the mountain, where he regains clarity, and cherishing his time with Abigail, the childhood friend with whom he’s always been in love.

Abigail Wheeler is a bright, ambitious college student who just knows she can change the world. Determined to make good use of opportunities her mother never had, she spends her time campaigning for women’s rights and planning for her future. Her own experiences have taught her that the world is full of promise. So when Gabriel confesses his heart, she is torn, unsure whether they’d be compatible even though she secretly loves him too.

In a tumultuous time when change is the only constant, Gabriel and Abigail long to find meaning and to find themselves. As their friendship is tested by wars both inside and out, they discover that the differences that had kept them apart are actually why they need each other most. (Description found on Amazon)

ABOUT AMANDA

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WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM

A graduate of Vassar College and Boston University, Amanda Gale taught high school English before she began writing women’s fiction. She loves history, classic literature, and quiet nights at home. She lives outside Philadelphia with her family. (Photo Credit: Lisa Schaffer Photography)

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Friday Finds | With Every Breath by Lia Riley

For today’s Friday Finds, I’m sharing another Lia Riley book that’s set to release in December. I’m very excited to read her new book and LOVE the cover! Look out for my book review and spotlight in December during release week.  

cover73778-mediumTITLE: With Every Breath

AUTHOR: Lia Riley

PUBLISHER: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

RELEASE DATE: December 29, 2015

GENRE: New Adult

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

BREATHE DEEP . . . AND JUMP IN

At the ends of the earth, Patagonia is a land where ambition trumps reason and the savage summit of La Aguja lures the most determined climbers. It’s also the last spot a “play-it-safe girl” like Auden Woods expects to find herself. But she’ll lace up her brand-new hiking boots and do whatever it takes to secure a dream job at an adventure magazine . . . even if it kills her. And it just might. When disaster strikes, her only chance at survival comes in the form of the surliest, sexiest mountaineer ever to come out of Scotland.

After a climbing accident cost him his brother, professional mountaineer Rhys MacAskill is at the end of his rope. Redemption is not in his future. That is, until a terrifying storm blows a budding journalist into his tent and it’s up to him to make sure they both survive until morning. Despite the demons weighing on him, Rhys can’t resist the temptation of the charming American and one wild night just isn’t enough.

Auden and Rhys soon learn there are no shortcuts as they navigate their way between life, death, and atonement, and discover something they never expected-love. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

 

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Friday Finds | Memoirs

This Friday I want to share some new memoirs I’ve added to my TBR list. Memoirs are one of my favorite genres mostly because I’m writing one myself and because they are stories about real people and real experiences.

cover63798-mediumTITLE: Stir

AUTHOR: Jessica Fechtor

PUBLISHER: Penguin Group Avery

RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2015

GENRE: Memoir

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | BAM! | HUDSON | INDIEBOUND | POWELL’S | TARGET | WALMART

An exquisite memoir about how food connects us to ourselves, our lives, and each other.

At 28, Jessica Fechtor was happily immersed in graduate school and her young marriage, and thinking about starting a family. Then one day, she went for a run and an aneurysm burst in her brain. She nearly died. She lost her sense of smell, the sight in her left eye, and was forced to the sidelines of the life she loved.

Jessica’s journey to recovery began in the kitchen as soon as she was able to stand at the stovetop and stir. There, she drew strength from the restorative power of cooking and baking. Written with intelligence, humor, and warmth, Stir is a heartfelt examination of what it means to nourish and be nourished.”

Woven throughout the narrative are 27 recipes for dishes that comfort and delight. For readers of M.F.K.Fisher, Molly Wizenberg, and Tamar Adler, as well as Oliver Sacks, Jill Bolte Taylor, and Susannah Cahalan, Stir is sure to inspire, and send you straight to the kitchen. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

cover70899-mediumTITLE: Below The Water Line

AUTHOR: Lisa Karlin

PUBLISHER: Centennial Publishers

RELEASE DATE: July 20, 2015

GENRE: Memoir

BUY LINKS: AMAZON

In this intensely personal and moving memoir, Lisa Karlin provides a gripping account of her family’s hurricane evacuation experiences and all that followed in the decade after Hurricane Katrina. Her story begins in August 2005, when Lisa, her husband, thirteen-year-old daughter, eleven-year-old son, and two dogs evacuated New Orleans for what they thought would be a two-day “hurrication.”

Her day-by-day account of the weeks that follow vividly chronicles the unprecedented displacement of thousands of Americans, and on a personal level, describes how her family makes the trifecta of major life decisions: where to live, where to work, and where to enroll their children in school. With unflinching candor, Lisa Karlin provides a first-hand commentary on how everyday life has been impacted by Katrina’s aftermath and how, a decade later, there are still lingering effects of one of the most devastating events in American history. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

cover66697-mediumTITLE: The Boy In The Mirror

AUTHOR: Tom Preston

PUBLISHER: Inpress Books – Valley Press

RELEASE DATE: September 1, 2015

GENRE: Memoir

“When you turn on the bathroom light your reflection stares numbly back at you, gormless and vacant. You blink. Your eyes are yellow, as is your skin. You’ve lost weight: your pyjamas hang off your arms like the wilting leaves of a dying plant.
You stare at yourself in the mirror for several surreal minutes. The thing before you is not you. But it is.”

In January 2011, aged 21, Tom Preston was diagnosed with stage 4 advanced aggressive lymphoma. His chances of survival were optimistically placed at around 40%. This short, autobiographical work tells the story of the fight in the months that followed – but this is no ordinary cancer memoir.

The Boy in the Mirror is written in the second person – so the events in this book are happening to you, the reader, living through the hope, love, suffering, death and black comedy encountered by Tom during the battle to save himself. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

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Friday Finds | We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

cover66524-mediumTITLE: We Never Asked for Wings

AUTHOR: Vanessa Diffenbaugh

PUBLISHER: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books

RELEASE DATE: August 18, 2015

GENRE: Women’s Fiction

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

From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.

For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.

Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh blends gorgeous prose with compelling themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in a powerful and prescient story about family.  (Description from NetGalley.com)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

Vanessa Diffenbaugh was born in San Francisco and raised in Chico, California. After graduating from Stanford University, she worked in the non-profit sector, teaching art and technology to youth in low-income communities. Following the success of her debut novel, The Language of Flowers, she co-founded Camellia Network, a non-profit whose mission is to connect every youth aging out of foster care to the critical resources, opportunities, and support they need to thrive in adulthood. She currently lives in Monterey, CA, with her husband and four children. (Found on Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s website)

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Friday Finds | New Nicholas Sparks Book Coming Soon!

My fan girl side was in full force yesterday when I received the news that Nicholas Sparks will be releasing his new book titled See Me on October 13, 2015. Of course it’s going to be difficult for me to be patient considering how much I love his books.  He has yet to reveal the cover, but I’m sure that’s coming soon and I seriously can’t wait!

P.S. You can pre-order the book now.  Links below.

A MESSAGE FROM NICHOLAS SPARKS

ABOUT THE BOOK

“Colin Hancock is giving his second chance his best shot.  With a history of violence and bad decisions behind him and the threat of prison dogging his every step, he’s determined to walk a straight line.  To Colin, that means applying himself single-mindedly toward his teaching degree and avoiding everything that proved destructive in his earlier life.  Reminding himself daily of his hard-earned lessons, the last thing he is looking for is a serious relationship.

Maria Sanchez, the hardworking daughter of Mexican immigrants, is the picture of conventional success: with a degree from Duke Law School and a job at a prestigious firm in Wilmington, she is a dark-haired beauty with a seemingly flawless professional track record.  And yet Maria has a traumatic history of her own, one that compelled her to return to her home town and left her questioning so much of what she once believed.

A chance encounter on a rainswept road will alter the course of both Colin and Maria’s lives, challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and ultimately, themselves.  As love unexpectedly takes hold between them, they dare to envision what a future together could possibly look like . . . until menacing reminders of events in Maria’s past begin to surface.

As a series of threatening incidents wreaks chaos in Maria’s life, Maria and Colin will be tested in increasingly terrifying ways.  Will demons from their past destroy the tenuous relationship they’ve begun to build, or will their love protect them, even in the darkest hour?

Rich in emotion and fueled with suspense, See Me reminds us that love is sometimes forged in the crises that threaten to shatter us . . . and that those who see us for who we truly are may not always be the ones easiest to recognize.” (Description found on NicholasSparks.com)

PRE-ORDER THE BOOK

AMAZON | BAM! | B&N | INDIEBOUND | WALMART | IBOOKS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

nicholas-sparksWith over 100 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. His novels include 12 #1 New York Times bestsellers. All his books have been New York Times and international bestsellers, and were translated into more than 50 languages. Ten Sparks novels have been adapted into major motion pictures, with The Choice coming in February 2016. (About the author found on Amazon.com)

Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 by Warner Books. He followed with the novels Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember(1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001),Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), True Believer (2005) and its sequel, At First Sight (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice (2007),The Lucky One (2008), The Last Song (2009), Safe Haven (2010) and The Best of Me (2011), as well as the 2004 non-fiction memoir Three Weeks With My Brother, co-written with his brother Micah. His seventeenth novel, The Longest Ride, was published on September 17, 2013. (Found on NicholasSparks.com)

You can see his full bio here: Nicholas Spark Biography 

Who else is excited about this new Sparks book? Does the description remind you of any of his other books?  What is your favorite Sparks book so far?

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