Category Archives: Friday Finds

Friday Finds | Leaving Montana by Thomas Whaley

Happy Friday everyone! Tomorrow is July 4th so I also want to wish you a happy holiday weekend. For today’s Friday Finds I’m sharing a book I received from author Thomas Whaley.  He generously provided me with a physical copy of his book just because I was interested in reading it! Yay! I’m very excited to read this book and share my thoughts about it.

Leaving-Montana-662x1024TITLE: Leaving Montana

AUTHOR: Thomas Whaley

PUBLISHER: Sakura Publishing

RELEASE DATE: July 7, 2014

GENRE: Fiction

Saying that Benjamin Sean Quinn had “anger issues” was an understatement. For those who knew him for the shortest amount of time, his life was in order: He was physically fit, had a great job which provided him a house in the suburbs and the material things he desired, a loving, monogamous relationship, two happy, healthy daughters and an established circle of friends. In all accounts, his life seemed perfect. But to those who knew him the longest, they knew he was an idle grenade, waiting for someone to pull the pin.
For decades, Ben did his best to conquer his demons; to suppress the anger he accumulated towards his parents, Carmella and Sean, throughout their tumultuous marriage. Ben was their only child; forced to witness and experience things that most adults couldn’t even try to handle. He could not escape them or the anger, and no matter how hard he tried, as he matured, it became a part of him. Ben strived to end the toxic cycle and avoid adopting their pattern as part of his own life. By the time he reached his early thirties, he finally seemed to have it all under control.
Then Ben’s father told him a “secret”. One left in Montana when he and Carmella were stationed there forty years earlier. It would exhume the painful memories and suppressed anger that Ben had been avoiding for years and force him to relive his past in order to face his future.
Today Benjamin Sean Quinn boards a plane to Billings, Montana. It was time to face the secret head on and let go of the anger that silently ruled his life. It would be the boldest move he ever made, ultimately changing his life and the lives of those around him. (Description found on Thomas’s website 





Thomas Whaley was born in 1972 and has lived on Long Island his entire life. He is an elementary school teacher and has always enjoyed writing as a pastime. Thomas currently lives in Shoreham, New York with his husband Carl, their two sons Andrew and Luke, and their loyal dogs Jake and Sam.

LEAVING MONTANA is Thomas Whaley’s first novel and also the WINNER of the 2015 ERIC HOFFER Small Press Award and 2015 INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD for Best New Literary Fiction! (About Thomas was found on

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Friday Finds | New NetGalley Finds

Happy Friday everyone! Hope everyone had a great week and read some amazing books. I’m sharing another NetGalley Find this week.  Leave a comment and let me know what you found this week. (P.S. My 26th Birthday is next Friday!)

cover62224-mediumTITLE: Together Apart

AUTHOR: Natalie Martin

PUBLISHER: Lake Union Publishing

RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2015

GENRE: Women’s Fiction, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

When Adam proposes to Sarah, the last thing he expects is to be single and heartbroken less than forty-eight hours later. But Sarah has a secret, and she’s willing to sacrifice everything to keep it.

Going through a break-up is hard enough but having to live together afterwards is even worse, especially when it’s a break-up neither person wants. For Adam, only ways to deal with it are drinking and partying. For Sarah, it’s keeping her distance and her secrets.

Against a backdrop of lies, betrayals and passion, the delicate threads holding Sarah’s secret begin to unravel when her past and present collide.

Romantic, intense and heartbreaking, Together Apart explores what it really means to love and be loved.

(Description from



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Friday Finds | New NetGalley Finds

It’s another Friday Finds, so first I want to say Happy Friday! I have so many great books on my NetGalley shelf that I want to share another one with you this week…and probably share more next week and the week after and the week after that.  Leave a comment and let me know what you found this week.

cover65070-mediumTITLE: The Secrets We Keep

AUTHOR: Stephanie Butland

PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Landmark

RELEASE DATE: July 1, 2015

GENRE: Women’s Fiction

A tragic accident, a broken heart, and a marriage drowning in secrets…

Mike always walks the dog in the evening while Elizabeth relaxes in the bathtub–but one night he doesn’t come back. Mike has drowned while saving a teenage girl named Kate, his dog standing on the bank barking frantically as the police pull his body from the water.

But despite her husband being lauded as a hero, Elizabeth can’t wrap her mind around the fact that Mike is gone–and Kate won’t reveal the details of what really happened that night.

Elizabeth finds herself facing the unfathomable possibility that she may not have known her husband at all. Does she really want to know the truth? Or will the weight of Mike’s secrets pull her under.(Description from



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Friday Finds | New NetGalley Auto Approval

I’m very excited to say that I’ve been Auto Approved by another publisher on For those of your who are not familiar with NetGalley, it’s a site that brings together reviewers and publishers.  The reviewers request books and the publishers can either approve or deny the request.  If they approve then the reviewer can read the book and provide feedback.

When a publisher Auto Approves a reviewer that means they can download any book that publisher has on the site without waiting for approval. It’s a big deal in the NetGalley world if you get Auto Approved.

So I’m happy to say that Crown Publishing recently gave me Auto Approved status and I wanted to share a few of the books I downloaded as a result of this. (Thank you Crown Publishing!)

cover58330-mediumTITLE: The Little Paris Bookshop

AUTHOR: Nina George

PUBLISHER: Crown Publishing

RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2015

GENRE: Literary Fiction / Contemporary Romance

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives. (Description from



cover53690-mediumTITLE: What You Left Behind

AUTHOR: Samantha Hayes

PUBLISHER: Crown Publishing

RELEASE DATE: April 14, 2015

GENRE: Suspense & Thriller

A mesmerizing new thriller from the author of Until You’re Mine

Two years after a terrifying spate of teenage suicides, the remote village of Radcote has just begun to heal. Then a young man is killed in a freak motorcycle accident and a suicide note is found among his belongings. When a second boy is found dead shortly thereafter, the nightmare of repeat suicides once again threatens the community.

Desperate for a vacation, Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher has just come to Radcote for a stay with her sister, Jo, but the atmosphere of the country house is unusually tense. Freddie, Jo’s son, seems troubled and uncommunicative, and Jo is struggling to reach out to him. Meanwhile, Lorraine becomes determined to discover the truth behind these deaths. Are they suicides, or is there something more sinister at work? Finding answers might help Freddie, but they’ll also lead to a shocking truth: whatever it is–or whoever it is–that’s killing these young people is far more disturbing than she ever could have imagined, and unraveling the secret is just as dangerous as the secret itself.

Wicked, intense, and utterly compulsive, What You Left Behind confirms Samantha Hayes as a top thriller writer. (Description from



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Friday Finds | Net Galley Finds

Happy Friday everyone! Time for another round of…What did Danielle find on Net Galley this week?!

Feel free to share your Friday Finds in the comments.  I’d love to see what all of you found.

cover60183-mediumTitle: If We Lived Here

Author: Lindsey J. Palmer

Publication Date: March 31, 2015

Genre: Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

“Razor-sharp and thought-provoking, Lindsey J. Palmer’s incisive new novel both celebrates and skewers modern relationships and their milestones, offering a witty and wise look at what it takes to commit—to love, to a home, and to the life that’s right for you.

After three years of dating and trading nights at their respective New York City apartments, Emma Feit and Nick O’Hare are moving in together. Or they will be, as soon as they find the right place. For two happily-in-love professionals—Nick’s a teacher, Emma tutors college-bound teens—with good credit and stellar references, how hard can it be? As it turns out, very—in ways that are completely unexpected.

Suddenly Emma is filled with questions about cohabiting, about giving up her freedom—not to mention about who’s going to clean the toilet. And while her best friend plans a dream wedding to her wealthy fiancé, and her older brother settles into suburban bliss, Emma must figure out what home means to her—and how on earth to get there.” (NetGalley Description)


cover60566-mediumTitle: Change of Heart

Author: Jeanne Bishop

Publication Date: March 4, 2015

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

“Change of Heart begins with tragedy: the murder of Jeanne Bishop’s sister Nancy, along with Nancy’s

husband and their unborn child, in their home some twenty-five years ago. In her dying moments, Nancy wrote a message in her own blood at the crime scene: a heart shape and the letter “u,” last words of love.

When the killer, a local teenager, was arrested for the murders, he denied responsibility for the crime and showed no remorse. After the murderer was tried, convicted and sentenced, Bishop determined to forgive and then forget him. Bishop became a public defender, an outspoken opponent of capital punishment, and a supporter of the sentence her sister’s killer received: juvenile life without the possibility of parole. All the while, she never once spoke the name of her sister’s killer aloud, never tried to engage with him.

Then she met a law professor who gave her a book espousing a radical idea: that as Christians, we have an obligation to work to reconcile with those who have harmed us. Bishop challenged the book’s author about that idea, and was challenged in turn to take seriously the prayer of Jesus on the cross and move beyond simple forgiveness to the hard work of personal reconciliation.

Change of Heart is the story of that uneven journey to confronting and reconciling with a murderer. The book takes on the larger issues of restorative justice, life sentences, and incarceration in the criminal justice system. It unflinchingly acknowledges the personal cost of advocating for mercy for people convicted of serious crimes.

In the end, the book is a story of moving beyond mere forgiveness to the deeper waters of redemption and grace.” (NetGalley Description)

Friday Finds | Seasons of Love Series

Happy Friday everyone!  This week seemed so long even though I had the day off on Monday.  It’s busier than usually on all fronts for me.  Work is busy.  Wedding planning makes me busy and I’m busy working on the social media for the 2015 LA Writer’s Conference.

Even though I have a hectic life right now, I absolutely love everything I’m doing.  I don’t think I can sit around doing nothing.  I get pretty stir-crazy.

Anyway…I went off on a tangent there for a bit.  Back to my Friday Finds.

I’m very excited about this week’s Friday Finds.  I found this great series by Jennifer Gracen.  Here are the books from her Seasons of Love series.

cover59223-mediumTitle: Autumn Getaway (Seasons of Love, Book One)

Author: Jennifer Gracen

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

“Author Jennifer Gracen brings together a colorful cast of friends and family in Book One of the Seasons of Love series, Autumn Getaway. Newly divorced mom Lydia is just getting back on her feet. Her college roommate’s wedding promises a much-needed getaway weekend with old friends, at a beautiful manor in Connecticut.

When she meets Sam, a handsome friend of the groom, she’s nearly overwhelmed by a confusing mix of hope and trepidation. Their instant connection feels intensely real, to both of them, but the ink is barely dry on her divorce decree. It takes all her nerve, and more than a little prodding from her girlfriends, to convince Lydia to give her heart — and Sam — a chance. But when the magical weekend comes to a close, Sam must return to Chicago, while Lydia heads back to her complicated life and young son in New York. Can their newfound connection survive the trials of physical distance and years of emotional baggage?

Written with an appreciation for the day-to-day struggles of a newly single mom, Autumn Getaway explores the burdens and blessings of family, revels in the spirit of friendship, and celebrates the power of romance and hope as Lydia and Sam take a second chance at love.” (NetGalley Description)


cover59222-mediumTitle: Winter Hopes (Seasons of Love, Book Two)

Author: Jennifer Gracen

Publication Date: July 1, 2014

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

“Author Jennifer Gracen reunites sexy, sophisticated Sam and sweet but wounded Lydia in Book Two of the Seasons of Love series, ”Winter Hopes.” Newly divorced mom Lydia is still getting back on her feet, and still reeling from her intense encounter with Sam at a friend’s destination wedding. As they tentatively explore the demands and rewards of long-distance dating, their instant connection evolves against the vibrant backdrop of New York City. Each begins to trust again – opening up is difficult, even painful, but the joy and hope they feel in each other’s arms demands they lay their hearts on the line. Can their love survive the miles that separate them, and the complexities of nurturing a relationship via email, text and phone? And when Sam finally meets Lydia’s family, will old resentments and unspoken biases bring them closer together or drive them apart? Full of the passion and tension any newly-joined couple experiences, this steamy yet hopeful book lays the foundation for Lydia’s budding relationship with Sam, and offers hope for second chances and a deep appreciation for the value of a loyal friend.” (NetGalley Description)


cover59221-mediumTitle: Spring Shadows (Seasons of Love, Book Three)

Author: Jennifer Gracen

Publication Date: October 1, 2014

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

“Lydia wasn’t looking for love. Having just finalized a difficult divorce, she attended her best friend’s destination wedding with a simple plan: to reconnect with old friends and take a much needed break from the stresses of single parenthood. But life had more in store for her. In AUTUMN GETAWAY, Book One of the Seasons of Love series, Lydia connected with charming, sensitive Sam over that weekend, and took a chance on someone new. Then, in WINTER HOPES, Sam and Lydia explored the excitement of blossoming romance. Even though a long distance relationship isn’t easy, in each other they found renewed hope, both overcoming past losses to learn to trust and love again.

Now, in SPRING SHADOWS, Book Three of the series, author Jennifer Gracen brings Lydia and Sam one step closer to lasting happiness. But it isn’t all romance and roses. The realities of a long distance relationship held between Chicago and New York start to take a toll. Add in the complications posed by Sam’s overprotective brother, Lydia’s difficult ex-husband, and an unexpected tragedy, and it all threatens to tear them apart before they’ve even begun to truly be together.

Lydia and Sam must face their pasts and come to terms with old fears and insecurities. They need to focus on the things that really matter: true love, forgiveness, compassion, and fearless commitment–another leap of faith. Full of the sweetness and heartfelt emotion you’ve come to expect from the Seasons of Love series, SPRING SHADOWS shows us the power of purposeful communication, understanding, and unrelenting self-awareness, proving that true, lasting love is possible when nurtured by healing and hope.” (NetGalley Description)


SUMMER-CHAMPAGNETitle: Summer Champagne (Seasons of Love, Book Four)

Author: Jennifer Gracen

Publication Date: January 30, 2015

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

“In Autumn Getaway, Book One of the Seasons of Love series, Lydia connected with charming, sensitive Sam, and took a chance on someone new. Then, in Winter Hopes, Book Two of the series, Sam and Lydia explored the excitement of their blossoming romance. Even though their long distance relationship wasn’t easy, in each other they found renewed hope, overcoming past losses to learn to trust and love again. In Spring Shadows, Book Three of the series, author Jennifer Gracen brings Lydia and Sam one step closer to lasting happiness. But then romance and roses turn to tears as unexpected tragedy threatens to tear them apart.

In Summer Champagne, the final book of the Seasons of Love series, Lydia and Sam face their challenges shoulder to shoulder, but the deep commitment they’ve worked so hard to build brings the fear of equally serious loss. Summer Champagne takes the genuine emotions you’ve come to expect from the Seasons of Love and presses them up against the harsh reality of life in a genre-defining tale of love, healing, and hope for the future that will have you toasting the lovely couple with your own glass of champagne.” (Description from Jennifer Gracen’s Website)

Friday Finds | NetGalley Auto Approved Books

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope everyone had a great week.  This week was a little tough for me since it was the first full week back to work after all the holidays.

I wanted to tell you about some exciting news.  I was Auto-Approved for a marketing agency in NetGalley called!  Yay!  What this means is that I can request any book they have added and it will be approved automatically for me.  I don’t have to wait to be approved.  It’s quite the honor in the NetGalley world.

So, for this week’s Friday Finds I wanted to share the books from this agency that Auto-Approved me. Feel free to post what you found this week in the comments.


Title: Death of a Diva

Author: Brigitte Goldstein

Publication Date: September 30, 2014

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

“A veteran actress’s brutal murder at a Broadway theater in 1941 sets off a police investigation that reaches back to pre-WWI Vienna and 1920s Berlin in Brigitte Goldstein’s densely plotted noir mystery novel, Death of a Diva.

In 1941 New York, the murder on Broadway of Stella Berger, famed star of screen and stage of Weimar Germany and outspoken critic of the Nazi regime which had forced her into exile, sends shock waves through the American public.

The police act quickly, and the prime suspect, an emigrant street musician, is tried and put on death row. But Misia Safran, a young Jewish refugee from Germany and part-time employee at the theater who becomes inadvertently involved in the investigation, is haunted by the possibility of his innocence and a suspicion that there’s more to the case than meets the eye.

Determined to uncover the truth, Misia delves into Stella’s background. She patches together the life of the revered actress from testimony by those who had been closest to her throughout her rise to stardom. From accounts of her humble origins in a Viennese ghetto to her rise to the pinnacle in the acting world of 1920′s Berlin, to her battle with Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels, emerges the portrait of a woman of great strength of character and resolve, albeit one that conceals a vulnerable side which ultimately may have been the cause of her undoing. As Misia cuts through a bewildering thicket of lies, hidden agendas, and deceptions, she is met with intimations of a deep secret in Stella’s past, evidence of which may be stored in the vault of a Swiss bank. If made public, this secret could provide the clue to the mystery, but could also destroy the star’s carefully guarded public persona.”


cover58608-mediumTitle: The Experiment of Dreams

Author: Brandon Zenner

Publication Date: January 1, 2015

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

“A machine capable of recording our dreams has been created…

Benjamin Walker’s lifelong career of testing experimental drugs and medicines, as well as participating in fascinating sleep-related studies, has come to an end. A new and lucrative job opportunity is offered to Ben, working on a project named Lucy, a machine capable of reading and recording a person’s dreams in intimate detail. Headed by the genius Dr. Peter Wulfric and privately funded by the elusive millionaire, Mr. Timothy Kalispell (a man with a fascination of the arts that borders on the obsessive) takes Ben all over the world, from the Louvre in Paris to the Sistine Chapel in Rome.  Along his travels, Ben meets a beautiful girl named Sophia, who might just help him overcome his crushing depression over the death of his lost love, his Emily. All is finally going well for Ben . . . until strange dreams of a town named Drapery Falls begin to plague him, and memories once hidden begin to reveal themselves. The doctors and staff onboard team Lucy are not who Ben thinks they are, and Mr. Kalispell will stop at nothing to keep Ben’s emerging memories buried for good. Ben is put on a collision course that will bring him to the brink of total insanity, and perhaps even death. At the heart of it all, Ben’s worst enemy is his own mind, and he must confront his past in order to save his future.”


cover58606-mediumTitle: After Midnight

Author: Diane Shute

Publication Date: September 16, 2014

Genre: Women’s Ficition

“When horse breeder Alix is forced to temporarily swap places with her estranged twin sister—the wife of an English lord—her forgotten past begins to resurface. A humorous historical fiction mystery with charismatic, realistic characters, After Midnight offers the young adult and woman’s fiction market a fresh, engaging perspective.”

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