Wednesday, April 1, 2020

WWW Wednesday: April 1

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam over at Taking On A World of Words
The three W's are:



What did you recently finish reading?

What are you currently reading?

What do you think you'll read next?
Recently Finished
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These were both light and fluffy reads, which were great quarantine reading. However, I didn't particularly like either of them, unfortunately.
Currently Reading 
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Enjoying both of these books so far! Dear Edward is absolutely fantastic. Hoping to finish it today.

Up Next

 

What are you reading this week?

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Blogiversary Giveaway!!!


I can't believe it's been 6 years already! I'm so grateful to all of you that read and support my blog. I love writing and sharing my love for books, and it's so much fun to get to share what I'm reading with all of you!  I am also so thankful for all the great  friends I've met through book blogging, bookstagram, and readathons. 

To celebrate my Blogivearsy, I'm hosing a giveaway! Last year I did an ARC giveaway of some of my recent ARC's, but in light of everything going on, I want to support a local business through my giveaway, and still participate in social distancing . So, I am giving away a one month subscription to Libro.fm, a fantastic audio book organization that partners with local bookstores. My libro.fm purchases support Powell's Books in Portland, OR. The giveaway ends Saturday! Thank you again for all of your support!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Spreading Bookish Love and Support

Hello, friends! How are you holding up?  I've been working from home this last week and it's equal parts weird and great. I can still get a lot done, but it's weird not being physically in the office! As an introvert I didn't think I'd miss the social interaction aspect of work but..here I am, eating my words. I do have pretty awesome coworkers!

 

The picture above is my #sweetsixteen stack, which was started by Erica (@sand_between_pages) on instagram! Since we're all missing March Madness,  the sweet sixteen stack includes sixteen books we love (mine would make some great quarantine reads!)

During this time I am making extra effort to support small businesses. I've been getting takeout from local restaurants. Of course,  I've been thinking about ways to help local bookstores, as well. I wanted to share some ideas I've found and supported.

1. Libro.fm: Love audiobooks? Using the code SHOPBOOKSTORESNOW you can directly support your local bookstore with your membership (I chose Powell's in Portland, OR). You can join yourself, or give a one month gift membership. Proceeds from gift memberships go directly to the local bookstore as well. (Sneak peek: My blogiversary is coming up on Tuesday....I feel a giveaway coming on....:)

2. Buying books online directly from your local bookstore! Though many bookstores are closed due to restrictions in the respective states (I'm in Oregon and everything is closed down other than essentials) many bookstores are taking online orders or offering curbside pickup, depending on your area. Powell's in Portland, OR is still taking online orders but have said they're backed up in mailing out the orders due to both getting lots of orders (yay!) and now the Governor's Stay Home order.

3.Donating to BINC (Book Industry Charitable Foundation)I first heard about this organization this week when Reese Witherspoon talked about it on her book club Instagram page!

4. Support authors! So many authors have had book tours or other events canceled...I've been trying to show those authors extra love by buying their books, sharing their new releases on social media, etc.

What are some things you're doing to help your local community during this time? Hang in there, friends. We're all in this together!

Friday, March 27, 2020

TLC Book Tours: The Road to Delano (spotlight post)

About The Road to Delano

• Hardcover: 320 pages • Publisher: Rare Bird Books (March 10, 2020) Jack Duncan is a high school senior whose dream is to play baseball in college and beyond?as far away from Delano as possible. He longs to escape the political turmoil surrounding the labor struggles of the striking fieldworkers that infests his small ag town. Ever since his father, a grape grower, died under suspicious circumstances ten years earlier, he’s had to be the sole emotional support of his mother, who has kept secrets from him about his father’s involvement in the ongoing labor strife. With their property on the verge of a tax sale, Jack drives an old combine into town to sell it so he and his mother don’t become homeless. On the road, an old friend of his father’s shows up and hands him the police report indicating Jack’s father was murdered. Jack is compelled to dig deep to discover the entire truth, which throws him into the heart of the corruption endemic in the Central Valley. Everything he has dreamed of is at stake if he can’t control his impulse for revenge. While Jack’s girlfriend, the intelligent and articulate Ella, warns him not to so anything to jeopardize their plans of moving to L.A., after graduation, Jack turns to his best friend, Adrian, a star player on the team, to help to save his mother’s land. When Jack’s efforts to rescue a stolen piece of farm equipment leaves Adrian?the son of a boycotting fieldworker who works closely with Cesar Chavez?in a catastrophic situation, Jack must bail his friend out of his dilemma before it ruins his future prospects. Jack uses his wits, his acumen at card playing, and his boldness to raise the money to spring his friend, who has been transformed by his jail experience. The Road to Delano is the path Jack, Ella, and Adrian must take to find their strength, their duty, their destiny. Social Media Please use the hashtag #theroadtodelano, and tag @tlcbooktours, @rarebirdlit, and @johndesimone1969.
 

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Rare Bird Books

  Excerpt

Chapter 1

The Combine

1968

The voices from the fields woke Jack early on Saturday. The musky odor of grapes sifted into his bedroom even though his closed window was shut to the morning cold. He pulled back the drape and row upon row of trellised vines emerged from the gauzy twilight. They stretched to the horizon on three sides of his house. He thrust the window up and leaned out, and a biting wind chilled his face. Thick dark clouds filled the sky, and the voices of workers trimming and bundling echoed in the morning stillness. In these quiet moments, he imagined the land calling to him. Did it matter anymore that all of it was gone? 

"Jack, you up?" his mother called from downstairs.

Off to the east,  a red bruise ran across the rugged spine of the Sierra peaks. The air heavy with moisture, it was time to get on the road before a storm rolled in.

Jack slipped into his jeans and plaid shirt, tall and sinewy, hardened from work and sports. Ella, his girlfriend, always told him he never fought his clothes like some guys; they moved with him. He didn't know what to say when she said things like that. He brushed back his blond crew cut and stooped to tie his boots, then he snatched his sheepskin coat off the hook by the door. His mother called again. The day was already half gone from the tone of her voice.  In the kitchen, he grabbed a piece of toast, slurped some coffee, and bolted outside.

He mounted the cab of his father's dirt-splattered combine parked by the rickety porch of the Victorian, now tired and sagging. Jack fired it up and the engine idled under his throttle foot. The strong pulses surprised him after all those years of sitting idle. He revved it up, ready toe make its last run into Delano.

The cab of the boxy, once-bright yellow combine, now the peeling paint, was pocked with rust, perched over the rotary thresher blade in front, raised for road travel. The square separation box that stripped the stalks of their grain pods hunched behind him. Most of the gauges worked--fuel, oil, temp, volts. He flicked on the headlights in the gray morning, two above on the cab's roof and two below, illuminating the rusting threshing blade.

 "Mr. Lacey's waiting for you." His mother stood on the porch, her arms crossed over her chest. Her back erect, and her gray hair pulled back in a ponytail, still marked with the leanness of one who worked the land.

Despite his sheepskin coat with the collar up and a knit cap over his crew cut, the damp chill sunk through. He tugged on the rim of his cap, snugging it tight, ready to go. THe importance of the moment weighed on him. She was counting on him. He eyed the road at he end of the drive. 

"I'm expecting you back by ten." Tall and pensive, she studied him with her steely gaze. Fatigue, worry, or both, Jack wasn't certain, had settle around her eyes, etching thin branches that fanned out over her temples.  "Don't stop for anybody. if any of those strikers get in your way, just plow through them, you hear?"

 

About John DeSimone

John DeSimone is a published writer, novelist, and teacher. He’s been an adjunct professor and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. His recent co-authored books include Broken Circle: A Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan (Little A Publishers), and Courage to Say No by Dr. Raana Mahmood, about her struggles against sexual exploitation as a female physician in Karachi. His published novel Leonardo’s Chair published in 2005. In 2012, he won a prestigious Norman Mailer Fellowship to complete his most recent historical novel, Road to Delano. His novels Leonardo’s Chair and No Ordinary Man have received critical recognition. He works with select clients to write stories of inspiration and determination and with those who have a vital message to bring to the marketplace of ideas in well-written books. Find out more about John at his website, and connect with him on Instagram.

 
Follow the tour!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

WWW Wednesday: March 25

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam over at Taking On A World of Words
 
The three W's are:
 
What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you'll read next?
 
Recently Finished
 
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With the quarantine I've been getting a lot of reading done, as I'm sure we all have! I really enjoyed Keep Me Afloat and Sharks in the Time of Saviors (both 4 stars). The Road to Delano wasn't for me, but it could be a timing issue here--with all that's going on I'm just wanting lighter reads. 

Currently Reading

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I'm reading the latest from Christina Lauren on my kindle, and listening to The Jetsetters on audio. Both are what I need right now--light and fluffy. While The Jetsetters isn't one of Reese's best book club picks...it is perfect for the mental break I need right now.

Up Next

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We'll see what I feel like reading after my current reads...but these are some options.

What are you reading this week? Hang in there, friends!!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Review: Oona Out of Order

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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Blog Tour: The Sea Glass Cottage (excerpt)

Author: RaeAnne Thayne 
ISBN: 9781335045164
Publication Date: 3/17/2020
Publisher: HQN Books


Buy Links: 
Kobo 

About the Book:
From the New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne comes a brand-new novel for fans of Debbie Macomber and Susan Wiggs. RaeAnne Thayne tells the story of an emotional homecoming that brings hope and healing to three generations of women.

The life Olivia Harper always dreamed of isn’t so dreamy these days. The 16-hour work days are unfulfilling and so are things with her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when she hears that her estranged mother, Juliet, has been seriously injured in a car accident, Liv has no choice but to pack up her life and head home to beautiful Cape Sanctuary on the Northern California coast.

It’s just for a few months—that’s what Liv keeps telling herself. But the closer she gets to Cape Sanctuary, the painful memories start flooding back: Natalie, her vibrant, passionate older sister who downward-spiraled into addiction. The fights with her mother who enabled her sister at every turn. The overdose that took Natalie, leaving her now-teenaged daughter, Caitlin, an orphan.

As Liv tries to balance her own needs with those of her injured mother and an obstinate, resentful fifteen-year-old, it becomes clear that all three Harper women have been keeping heartbreaking secrets from one another. And as those secrets are revealed, Liv, Juliet, and Caitlin will see that it’s never too late—or too early—to heal family wounds and find forgiveness.

Excerpt

1
Olivia

Olivia shoved her hands into her pockets against the damp Seattle afternoon. Nothing would 
take the chill from her bones, though. She knew that. Even five days of sick leave, huddling in
 her bed and mindlessly bingeing on cooking shows hadn’t done anything but make her 
crave cake.
She couldn’t hide away in her apartment forever. Eventually she was going to have to reenter
 life and go back to work, which was why she stood outside this coffee shop in a typical spring
 drizzle with her heart pounding and her stomach in knots.
This was stupid. The odds of anything like that happening to her again were ridiculously small.
 She couldn’t let one man battling mental illness and drug abuse control the rest of her life.
She could do this.
She reached out to pull the door open, but before she could make contact with the metal 
handle, her cell phone chimed from her pocket.
She knew instantly from the ringtone it was her best friend from high school, who still lived in 
Cape Sanctuary with her three children.
Talking to Melody was more important than testing her resolve by going into the Kozy Kitchen 
right now, she told herself. She answered the call, already heading back across the street to her
 own apartment.
“Mel,” she answered, her voice slightly breathless from the adrenaline still pumping through her 
and from the stairs she was racing up two at a time. “I’m so glad you called.”
Glad didn’t come close to covering the extent of her relief. She really hadn’t wanted to go into 
that coffee shop. Not yet. Why should she make herself? She had coffee at home and could 
have groceries delivered when she needed them. 
“You know why I’m calling, then?” Melody asked, a strange note in her voice.
“I know it’s amazing to hear from you. You’ve been on my mind.”
She was not only a coward but a lousy friend. She hadn’t checked in with Melody in a few 
weeks, despite knowing her friend was going through a life upheaval far worse than witnessing 
an attack on someone else.
As she unlocked her apartment, the cutest rescue dog in the world, a tiny, fluffy cross between
 a Chihuahua and a miniature poodle, gyrated with joy at the sight of her.
Yet another reason she didn’t have to leave. If she needed love and attention, she only had to 
call her dog and Otis would come running.
She scooped him up and let him lick her face, already feeling some of her anxiety calm.
“I was thinking how great it would be if you and the boys could come up and stay with me for a 
few days when school gets out for the summer,” she said now to Melody. “We could take the 
boys to the Space Needle, maybe hop the ferry up to the San Juans and go whale watching. 
They would love it. What do you think?”
The words seemed to be spilling out of her, too fast. She was babbling, a weird combination of
 relief that she hadn’t had to face that coffee shop and guilt that she had been wrapped up so 
tightly with her own life that she hadn’t reached out to a friend in need.
“My apartment isn’t very big,” she went on without waiting for an answer. “But I have an extra
 bedroom and can pick up some air beds for the boys. They’ve got some really comfortable 
ones these days. I’ve got a friend who says she stayed on one at her sister’s house in Tacoma
 and slept better than she does on her regular mattress. I’ve still got my car, though I hardly 
drive it in the city, and the boys would love to meet Otis. Maybe we could even drive to Olympic
 National Park, if you wanted.” “Liv. Stop.” Melody cut her off. “Though that all sounds amazing 
and I’m sure the boys would love it, we can talk about that later. You have no idea why I called, do you?”
“I… Why did you call?”
Melody was silent for a few seconds. “I’m afraid there’s been an accident,” she finally said.
The breath ran out of Olivia like somebody had popped one of those air mattresses with a bread knife.
“Oh no. Is it one of your boys?” Oh please, she prayed. Don’t let it be one of the boys.
Melody had been through enough over the past three months, since her jerkhole husband ran 
off with one of his high school students.
“No, honey. It’s not my family. It’s yours.”
Her words seemed to come from far away and it took a long time for them to pierce through.
No. Impossible.
Fear rushed back in, swamping her like a fast-moving tide. She sank blindly onto the sofa.
“Is it Caitlin?”
“It’s not your niece. Stop throwing out guesses and just let me tell you. It’s your mom. Before 
you freak out, let me just say, first of all, she’s okay, from what I understand. I don’t have all the
 details but I do know she’s in the hospital, but she’s okay. It could have been much worse.”
Her mom. Olivia tried to picture Juliet lying in a hospital bed and couldn’t quite do it. Juliet 
Harper didn’t have time to be in a hospital bed. She was always hurrying somewhere, either 
next door to Sea Glass Cottage to the garden center the Harper family had run in Cape Sanctuary 
for generations or down the hill to town to help a friend or to one of Caitlin’s school events.
“What happened?” 
“She had a bad fall and suffered a concussion and I think some broken bones.”
Olivia’s stomach twisted. A concussion. Broken bones. Oh man. “Fell where? Off one of the 
cliffs near the garden center?”
“I’m sorry. I don’t know all the details yet. This just happened this morning and it’s still early for 
the gossip to make all the rounds around town. I assumed you already knew. That Caitlin or 
someone would have called you. I was only checking in to see how I can help.”
This morning. She glanced at her watch. Her mother had been in an accident hours earlier and
Olivia was just finding out about it now, in late afternoon.
Someone should have told her—if not Juliet herself, then, as Melody said, at least Caitlin.
Given their recent history, it wasn’t particularly surprising that her niece, raised by Olivia’s 
mother since she was a baby, hadn’t bothered to call. Olivia wasn’t Caitlin’s favorite person right
 now. These days, during Olivia’s regular video chats with her mother, Caitlin never popped in 
to say hi anymore. At fifteen, Caitlin was abrasive and moody and didn’t seem to like Olivia 
much, for reasons she didn’t quite understand.
“I’m sure someone tried to reach me but my phone has been having trouble,” she lied. Her 
phone never had trouble. She made sure it was always in working order, since so much of her 
freelance business depended on her clients being able to reach her and on her being able to 
Tweet or post something on the fly.
“I’m glad I checked in, then.”
“Same here. Thank you.”
Several bones broken and a long recovery. Oh dear. That would be tough on Juliet, especially
 this time of year when the garden center always saw peak business.
“Thank you for telling me. Is she in the hospital there in Cape Sanctuary or was she taken to
 one of the bigger cities?”
“I’m not sure. I can call around for you, if you want.”
“I’ll find out. You have enough to worry about.”
“Keep me posted. I’m worried about her. She’s a pretty great lady, that mom of yours.”
Olivia shifted, uncomfortable as she always was when others spoke about her mother to her. 
Everyone loved her, with good reason. Juliet was warm, gracious, kind to just about everyone 
in their beachside community of Cape Sanctuary.
Which made Olivia’s own awkward, tangled relationship with her mother even harder to 
comprehend.
“Will you be able to come home for a few days?”
Home. How could she go home when she couldn’t even walk into the coffee shop across the 
street?
“I don’t know. I’ll have to see what’s going on there.”
How could she possibly travel all the way to Northern California? A complicated mix of emotions
 seemed to lodge like a tangled ball of yarn in her chest whenever she thought about her 
hometown, which she loved and hated in equal measures.
The town held so much guilt and pain and sorrow. Her father was buried there and so was her 
sister. Each room in Sea Glass Cottage stirred like the swirl of dust motes with memories of 
happier times.
Olivia hadn’t been back in more than a year. She kept meaning to make a trip but something 
else always seemed to come up. She usually went for the holidays at least, but the previous 
year she’d backed out of even that after work obligations kept her in Seattle until Christmas 
Eve and a storm had made last-minute travel difficult. She had spent the holiday with friends 
instead of with her mother and Caitlin and had felt guilty that she had enjoyed it much more 
than the previous few when she had gone home.
She couldn’t avoid it now, though. A trip back to Cape Sanctuary was long overdue, especially
 if her mother needed her.

About the Author

RaeAnne ThayneNew York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com. 
Twitter: @RaeAnneThayne
Instagram: @RaeAnneThayne