Book of the Week | The Last Girl by Joe Hart

cover74018-mediumTITLE: The Last Girl (The Dominion Trilogy, Book 1)

AUTHOR: Joe Hart

PUBLISHER: Thomas & Mercer

RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2016

GENRE: Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult)

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | INDIEBOUND

A mysterious worldwide epidemic reduces the birthrate of female infants from 50 percent to less than 1 percent. Medical science and governments around the world scramble in an effort to solve the problem, but twenty-five years later there is no cure, and an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women.

Zoey and some of the surviving young women are housed in a scientific research compound dedicated to determining the cause. For two decades, she’s been isolated from her family, treated as a test subject, and locked away—told only that the virus has wiped out the rest of the world’s population.

Captivity is the only life Zoey has ever known, and escaping her heavily armed captors is no easy task, but she’s determined to leave before she is subjected to the next round of tests…a program that no other woman has ever returned from. Even if she’s successful, Zoey has no idea what she’ll encounter in the strange new world beyond the facility’s walls. Winning her freedom will take brutality she never imagined she possessed, as well as all her strength and cunning—but Zoey is ready for war. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

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Book Review | Strawberry and Sage by Amanda Gale

BOOK REVIEW | STRAWBERRY AND SAGE

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)

MY THOUGHTS

Amanda Gale has done it again with Strawberry and Sage making me adore her stories even more. This book is sort of a “prequel” to the Meredith Series books and tells the story of Gabriel Kelly and the love of his life, Abigail Wheeler. If you remember from the Meredith Series, Gabriel is the father of one of the men Meredith was with and ultimately married.

Strawberry and Sage has a different pace then the Meredith series that I think stems from the personalities of the characters and the time period they are in. Gabriel is somewhat of an introvert and has a hard time expressing his feelings and his feelings are quite strong for Abigail. These feelings haven’t changed since that day they were picking strawberries as children in her grandmother’s backyard.

I do love that the center of this love story revolves around pie…strawberry pie to be exact. Gabriel and Abigail’s love story isn’t some amazing fairytale and everything doesn’t just fall into place. It’s something that’s real with real world obstacles. In their case, the war is looming over Gabriel and he feels the need to be fighting along side his brother and fulfilling his duty to his country and protecting his family, but being the only man working in the family and the thought of leaving Abigail creates quite an internal struggle for him.

Strawberry and Sage is not your typical love story, but it’s still one that keeps you rooting for them to finally let their feelings for each other bloom and bring them together. I would highly recommend this book for those who enjoyed the Meredith series and who are women’s fiction fanatics like myself.

OVERALL RATING

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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Book of the Week | The Choices We Make by Karma Brown

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 | INDIEBOUND | INDIGO

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)

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Book of the Week | When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker

cover77538-mediumTITLE: When I’m Gone

AUTHOR: Emily Bleeker

PUBLISHER: Lake Union Publishing

RELEASE DATE: March 15, 2016

GENRE: Women’s Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)

PRE-ORDER LINKS: AMAZON

BOOK REVIEW: 5/5 Stars

Dear Luke,
First let me say—I love you…I didn’t want to leave you…

Luke Richardson has returned home after burying Natalie, his beloved wife of sixteen years, ready to face the hard job of raising their three children alone. But there’s something he’s not prepared for—a blue envelope with his name scrawled across the front in Natalie’s handwriting, waiting for him on the floor of their suburban Michigan home.

The letter inside, written on the first day of Natalie’s cancer treatment a year ago, turns out to be the first of many. Luke is convinced they’re genuine, but who is delivering them? As his obsession with the letters grows, Luke uncovers long-buried secrets that make him question everything he knew about his wife and their family. But the revelations also point the way toward a future where love goes on—in written words, in memories, and in the promises it’s never too late to keep. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

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Book of the Week | Multiple Listings by Tracy McMillan

cover69006-mediumTITLE: Multiple Listings

AUTHOR: Tracy McMillan

PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster

RELEASE DATE: March 8, 2016

GENRE: Women’s Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)

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

What would you do if your ex-con father suddenly came to visit…indefinitely? Family drama ensues when Nicki’s dad unexpectedly moves in with her, her son, and her boyfriend in this comedic novel from successful TV writer Tracy McMillan.

Nicki Daniels owns a home appraisal business, but real estate is her true passion: she lives for open houses and really knows her way around a floor plan. And especially at this juncture of her life, real estate has come to signify the stability she is trying to build with her teenage son, Cody, and her much younger boyfriend, Jake. She’s finally ready to find the perfect house for the three of them and work on a new business venture with Jake that she thinks will jump-start their lives together.

Meanwhile, Ronnie, a longtime inmate at a nearby correctional facility, is getting some good news for once—there was a mistake in his sentencing, and he’s eligible to get out of prison. After a sixty-day stay in a halfway house, Ronnie decides his best option to avoid homelessness is to move in with his estranged daughter: Nicki. Even though they haven’t spoken in years, her door is always open to him, right?

Inspired by the author’s life and imbued with wit and profound insight into relationships, Multiple Listings speaks poignantly—and often hilariously—about the ties that bind families of all types together. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

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March New Releases

MARCH NEW RELEASES

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

cover74034-mediumTITLE: Work Like Any Other

AUTHOR: Virginia Reeves

PUBLISHER: Scribner

RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2016

GENRE: General Fiction (Adult)

In this astonishingly accomplished, morally complicated, “exceptional and starkly beautiful debut” (Kevin Powers, National Book Award–nominated author of The Yellow Birds), a prideful electrician in 1920s rural Alabama struggles to overcome past sins and find peace after being sent to prison for manslaughter.

Roscoe T Martin set his sights on a new type of power spreading at the start of the twentieth century: electricity. It became his training, his life’s work. But when his wife, Marie, inherits her father’s failing farm, Roscoe has to give up his livelihood, with great cost to his sense of self, his marriage, and his family. Realizing he might lose them all if he doesn’t do something, he begins to use his skills as an electrician to siphon energy from the state, ushering in a period of bounty and happiness. Even the love of Marie and their child seem back within Roscoe’s grasp.

Then a young man working for the state power company stumbles on Roscoe’s illegal lines and is electrocuted, and everything changes: Roscoe is arrested; the farm once more starts to deteriorate; and Marie abandons her husband, leaving him to face his twenty-year sentence alone. Now an unmoored Roscoe must carve out a place at Kilby Prison. Climbing the ranks of the incarcerated from dairy hand to librarian to “dog boy,” an inmate who helps the guards track down escapees, he is ultimately forced to ask himself once more if his work is just that, or if the price of his crimes—for him and his family—is greater than he ever let himself believe. (Description found on NetGalley.com)


 

cover77816-mediumTITLE: At The Edge Of The Orchard

AUTHOR: Tracy Chevalier

PUBLISHER: Penguin Group Viking

RELEASE DATE: March 15, 2016

GENRE: General Fiction

From internationally bestselling author Tracy Chevalier, a riveting drama of a pioneer family on the American frontier

1838: James and Sadie Goodenough have settled where their wagon got stuck – in the muddy, stagnant swamps of northwest Ohio. They and their five children work relentlessly to tame their patch of land, buying saplings from a local tree man known as John Appleseed so they can cultivate the fifty apple trees required to stake their claim on the property. But the orchard they plant sows the seeds of a long battle. James loves the apples, reminders of an easier life back in Connecticut; while Sadie prefers the applejack they make, an alcoholic refuge from brutal frontier life.

1853: Their youngest child Robert is wandering through Gold Rush California. Restless and haunted by the broken family he left behind, he has made his way alone across the country. In the redwood and giant sequoia groves he finds some solace, collecting seeds for a naturalist who sells plants from the new world to the gardeners of England. But you can run only so far, even in America, and when Robert’s past makes an unexpected appearance he must decide whether to strike out again or stake his own claim to a home at last.

Chevalier tells a fierce, beautifully crafted story in At the Edge of the Orchard, her most graceful and richly imagined work yet. (Description found on NetGalley.com)


 

cover74959-mediumTITLE: The Charm Bracelet

AUTHOR: Viola Shipman

PUBLISHER: Thomas Dunne Books

RELEASE DATE: March 29, 2016

GENRE: Women’s Fiction

Through an heirloom charm bracelet three women will rediscover the importance of family, love, faith, friends, fun and a passion for living as the magic of each charm changes their lives.

Lolly, still lives in the family cabin on Lost Land Lake where her mother gave her the charm bracelet that would become Lolly’s talisman and connection to family past and Lolly hopes the present, but her daughter, Arden, and granddaughter, Lauren, haven’t visited in years and time is running out for Lolly.

Arden, couldn’t wait to leave her small town life behind for Chicago, but now divorced and burned out at work, she’s simply trying to make it from day to day. In the rush of life she’s let the years and all the things she once enjoyed slip away. When she receives an unexpected phone call about her mother she must decide if she can face going home.

Lauren, a talented young painter buries her passion to study business in the hopes of helping her mother after she discovers that her father left Arden struggling to make ends meet, but Lauren is slowly dying inside and doesn’t know how to tell her mother the truth. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

 

What new releases are you excited about this month?

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Book of the Week | Where My Heart Used To Beat by Sebastian Faulks

cover78682-mediumTITLE: Where My Heart Used To Beat

AUTHOR: Sebastian Faulks

PUBLISHER: Henry & Holt

RELEASE DATE: January 26, 2016

GENRE: Literary Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | INDIEBOUND

A sweeping drama about the madness of war and the power of love that marks acclaimed novelist Sebastian Faulks’s return, after twenty years, to the fictional territory of his #1 international bestseller Birdsong

London, 1980. Robert Hendricks, an established psychiatrist and author, has so bottled up memories of his own wartime past that he is nearly sunk into a life of aloneness and depression. Out of the blue, a baffling letter arrives from one Dr. Alexander Pereira, a neurologist and a World War I veteran who claims to be an admirer of Robert’s published work. The letter brings Robert to the older man’s home on a rocky, secluded island off the south of France, and into tempests of memories–his childhood as a fatherless English boy, the carnage he witnessed and the wound he can’t remember receiving as a young officer in World War II, and, above all, the great, devastating love of his life, an Italian woman, “L,” whom he met during the war. As Robert’s recollections pour forth, he’s unsure whether they will lead to psychosis–or redemption. But Dr. Pereira knows. Profoundly affecting and masterfully told, Where My Heart Used to Beat sweeps through the 20th century, brilliantly interrogating the darkest corners of the human mind and bearing tender witness to the abiding strength of love. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

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