Michelle Mason can’t remember that day, that drive, that horrible crash that killed the young man in her car. All she knows is she’s being held responsible, and her daughter is missing.
Despite a shaky marriage, a threatening lawsuit, and troubling flashbacks pressing in on her, Michelle throws herself into searching. Her daughter in the one person who might know what really happened that day, but the deeper Michelle digs, the more she questions the innocence of those closest to her, even herself. As her search hurtles toward a shattering revelation, Michelle must face the biggest challenge of her life.
A poignant story of the unshakable bond between mother and child, What a Mother Knows is about finding the truth that can set love free.
This novel just about ripped my heart out. The struggles that Michelle goes through during the book are heartbreaking yet inspiring. After the accident, she doesn’t really know fact from fiction (and neither do we as the reader) and was made to feel like she was moving her mind, even as the bits and pieces began to resurface. As I mentioned, Michelle is an unreliable narrator and to my recollection, this is the first time I’ve ever experienced reading something like that. I can see how some readers might get confused or annoyed, but quite frankly, I really enjoyed it. It definitely kept me on my toes and made the story thoroughly entertaining. I think it increased my need to know what happened that much more. As a parent, my heart ached for her and I was completely invested in her journey and struggle and it has been a long time since I’ve read a book this gripping. This book is a must read!
Rating: 5 stars
Decades ago, as Nazi planes dominated the sky, Lily Verner made a terrible choice. She’s tried to forget, but now an unexpected event pulls her back to the 1940s British countryside. She finds herself remembering the brilliant colors of the silk she helped to weave at her family’s mill, the relentless pressure of the worsening war, and the kind of heartbreaking loss that stops time.
In this evocative novel of love and consequences, Lily finally confronts the disastrous decision that has haunted her all these years. The Last Telegram uncovers the surprising truth about how the stories we weave about our lives are threaded with truth, guilt, and forgiveness.
I am a really, really big fan of historical fiction (especially those that take place during WWII) and absolutely devoured this book. The book opens up with quite the backdrop, and since it is told in first person, you really feel present and in the moment. I was really touched by Liz’s writing and thought she did such an amazing job at transplanting the reader and creating such remarkable moments between the characters. I really loved Lily as the main character and my heart broke a few times throughout the novel. Such an amazing novel, but let me warn you, keep a box of tissues handy for this one during the last few chapters because you will definitely need them.
The book takes place in the early 1920s in Louisville, at Waverly Hills, a tuberculosis sanatorium. When the disease flares up, the town becomes terrified and shuns the patients and the staff at the clinic. In addition to dealing with who have been cast out of society due to their condition, Louisville is also dealing with typical 1920s elements like racial tension and prohibition. But, these things are the least of Dr. Wolfgang Pike’s worries since the death of his wife. He is a musical man who has much skill at the piano and is torn between changing the direction of his life to become a priest or bring peace to the suffering patients through music. He knows deep down the dealing power of music and wishes to change lives, but when one particular patient takes stock in the sanatorium, Dr. Pike pushes to the extremes to help the man and in doing so, he breaks down many barriers both inside the center and outside as well.
To say the least, A White Wind Blew was quite the book. When I read the description, I wasn’t quite sure what to think because I am not really into music and have no idea how to play any instruments, but this book took me by complete surprise. This book is historical in certain aspects and really dives into the issues that Waverly Hills faces as far as the tuberculosis goes as well as the racial aspect but also really gives you an inside look at a man who is hurting since the passing of his wife. There is a lot of heart in places that you least expect but James does an amazing job at making it all fit together and creating such a genuine and lovely book. This book is so good.
Six Years have passed since Jake Fisher was left by the love of his life, Natalie. He sat and watched as she married another man and then left it all behind. He threw himself into a career as a college professor and attempts to move on. But, after so much time, there is still a love that burns deep down inside of him and he can’t help that he still loves Natalie. But, one fateful day brings an obituary into his view and it happens to be for Todd, who was the man who stole her away. He can’t help himself so he attends the funeral and optimistically hopes for a rare glimpse of her, but when he sees a mourning widow that claims to have been married to Todd for almost two decades, he begins to wonder what the heck really happened. He begins to question everything that he has ever none as so many things around him become a mystery. What has happened to the picture perfect memories that he has hung onto so tightly?
I am actually slightly embarrassed to admit that I’ve never read anything written by Harlan Coben before … but that is all changing now. To say the least, I am obsessed. He is such a talented writer and does an amazing job at crafting such detailed experiences that will literally blow you away. When I began reading this book, I assumed that poor Jake Fisher was just hurting from a broken heart when Natalie married another man, but this book kicked that ideal to the curb and definitely knocked me on my butt. This book is very fast paced and reads like a mystery/suspense novel – which I guess it might technically be classified as. Either way, SIX YEARS is amazing and you should definitely go out and grab yourself a copy. Plus, I just read that Hugh Jackman has signed on to star in the film adaptation. Um, yum!!
The Paparazzi Project begins as Livvie Peterson signs up for Interpersonal Communications, thinking that it would be an easy grade. Turns out, as their first assignment is handed out, her world flips upside down. She is assigned the role of Paparazzi and she is matched up with class hottie, Chas Montgomery as her Tabloid boss. Together they make one killer team and their skills really shine through. But, when Livvie decides to launch an anonymous blog that leaks photos and stories from her fellow classmates online, things start to get interesting. She becomes addicted to constantly checking her follower numbers and becomes dangerously close to crossing the line. Will she be able to reel herself back into reality? Or will she be forever lost into the new world that she has created?
I had so much fun reading this book and I was very upset when it ended. As an avid former watcher of Gossip Girl, this book was right up my alley and I instantly fell for Livvie Peterson. She is a very enjoyable character and I was so intrigued when the assignment was first handed out. At first, I thought that things would stay tame … but I was so wrong. This book is witty and hilarious and is also an excellent example of how rumors start. Honestly, I felt like I was back in high school and I can only imagine what would have happened if my school had a similar project to this back in the day. It wouldn’t have been pretty. Overall though, this book is a great read and I was very impressed.
You Had Me At Hello tackles the all-too-often question, what would you do if the one that got away came back. Well, lucky for you, you find out with Rachel and Ben. In the beginning, it was the two of them against the world. But, when things go awry, the relationship falls to shambles and they both attempt to move on. But, a decade later, Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day and she feels the years melt away, only there is one small obstacle, and that is that Ben is now married. And although she thought that they would always inevitably get married, it is hard knowing that he is married to someone else. Maybe they can be friends? Rachel hopes so as she feels the old friendship from a decade ago return, only along with it, hurt feelings and a memory of a broken heart accompany it.
I am such a sucker for books like this one and I love the scenario of the one that got away. All too often, it seems like things never work out for duo that is stuck in that situation, but oddly enough, sometimes it does work out … and maybe a friendship is the answer. Only, that tends to get complicated, and Rachel and Ben prove just that. Overall, this story definitely has “You At Hello” and I was smitten from the get go. At times I found myself laughing out loud and at other times, I could feel my heart breaking slowly for the characters. Goodness, this book has it all and I loved every second of it and I think you will too. I highly recommend this book.
Rating: 5 stars
THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS TOBIN HELTON! TOBIN, I WILL EMAIL YOU DIRECTLY!
I was provided with a copy of Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale by Lynda Rutledge in exchange for an honest review.
The book begins when the richest old lady in Bass, Texas, the sassy and grand Faith Bass Darling, decides to have a garage sale. She recruits a few of the local neighborhood boys and together they get started. The boys help her lug very luxurious and expensive items out onto her long lawn. People start rolling in and begin to wonder why she is selling off her dearest possessions and she tells them simply because GOD told her to do it. With that in mind, the fellow shoppers begin to wonder what possessions truly mean and do they hold anything more than sentimental value?
I must admit that at first, I was a little hesitant to get started on this book. The title made me thinking of fishing and I wasn’t quite sure what to think about a book that had the word garage sale in it … but I am so glad that I gave it a try. This book was exactly what I needed – a true eye opener and I really thought it had such an important and valuable message buried deep beneath the surface. I thought Lynda did a really great job at crafting real people with flaws and quirks and I loved Faith and her sassy-ness so much! She was a real hand full! Overall, this book is fantastic and I highly recommend it.
Rating: 5 stars
Bonus – there is one print book up for grabs (USA only). Just leave a comment and I will pick the winner at random on Monday morning (2/18).
The Lion Is In tells the tale of three gals. Tracee is a runaway bride and kleptomaniac. Lana’s is beautiful but also a recovering alcoholic. Rita is a holy-roller minister’s wife, who is tired and wants out of her marriage. One warm summer night brings the three ladies together and they go on the lam together. During the ride down a rural highway in the great state of North Carolina, their car breaks down and they are forced to seek shelter. They end up finding refuge in an abandoned nightclub. And, unexpectedly, they run into Marcel, who just happens to be a lion. This change encounter changes everything for the three ladies.
This book is absolutely unforgettable and I loved every second of THE LION IS IN. When I first received the review request, I read the title and thought that the lion was symbolic of something – but no, I was wrong. – because there is actually a lion in this book. Delia does an amazing job at crafting three wonderful female characters that are witty and beautiful in their own respective ways. I loved their journeys to self discovery and I loved Marcel’s role in helping the women. This book is truly great and so very smart! I highly recommend it!
I received a copy of SkinnyTinis by Teresa Marie Howes from CLP Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.
SkinnyTinis is a cocktail recipe book with more than 70 recipes. For people watching their weight, this book is perfect because Teresa has gone through drink favorites and thinified them … and now they rake in around 142 calories each. The recipes still offer the same great taste as the traditional (and full calorie) alternatives, yet you won’t have the guilt that goes along with them.
Oh boy, I was so excited when I received my SkinnyTinis in the mail. Ironically, my mother-in-law was in town and I had just purchased a few bottles of alcohol, so I had some assistance in taste testing. By far my favorite was the Skinny Cosmopolitan (which is one of my go-to-drinks when out on the town) and I absolutely loved how quick and easy all of the recipes were. Now, I am not that big of a drinker so I have only tried a few, but so far, the ones that I have tried have been delicious and light. I also really enjoyed the great photographs that accompanied each recipe and I really loved that the book was so colorful. I have already recommended this book to a few gal pals and I will continue to do so. Thank you so much Teresa for doing the research and creating skinny solutions for my favorite mixed drinks. I love this book! A new bar staple!
Teresa Marie Howes is a health enthusiast, expert skinny mixologist, avid runner and published author. Backed with a formal education with degrees in both nutrition and business and over a decade of professional experience consulting in the weight loss industry, she certainly knows the “right” things to do when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. She is also well versed in the challenges that an active social and travel calendar can infringe on ones best efforts to do these “right” things. As it turns out, what’s “right” isn’t always “realistic” and that’s where her personal experience plays a key role. She has battled out the conflict of “right” and “realistic” in the bars, on the road and on vacation for 15+ years – and now in her mid-thirties and at a weight less than she weighed in high school, she’s feeling pretty confident in her strategies and is eager to share them!
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I was provided with a copy of THE DARLING GIRLS by Emma Burstall in exchange for an honest review by CLP BLOG TOURS.
The Darling Girls by Emma Burstall begins as Leo, a world famous conductor, dies and his three lovers meet for the first time at his funeral. The three women realize that they have an abdundant amount of unanswered questions and wonder about the man who was capable of juggling his brilliant career and his secrets all at the same time, whilst none of them ever had a clue.
Victoria, his partner of twenty years and mother of two of his children, relishes the fact that she thinks she knew Leo best, but when secrets start to come forward, she begins to question whether or not she knew him in the first place. Maddy, mother of Phoebe, is a typical career woman who creates trouble of her own when she becomes involved with someone off limits. And then there is Cat, the youngest of the trio. She is dealing with some emotional family issues and seems to be the most wounded of the three. All three of the “Darling Girls” couldn’t be more different … but you soon realize that they couldn’t be more alike as well.
The Darling Girls is a heartbreaking story that touches on loss, heartache, love and friendship and I absolutely adored every second of it. Emma magically orchestrates the tale of the three women in a way that makes them like puppets in the grand scheme of things in Leo’s world, and you wonder if he will forever control their worlds. Luckily for us, and for the trio, everything works out for the best, but we see how connected everything in the story truly is. I found myself putting pieces of the puzzle together until the very end. Beautifully written, heartbreaking and honest – a truly magical tale.
**Everyone who leaves a comment on Emma’s tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of The Darling Girls before January 28 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**
Emma has written extensively for national newspapers and women’s magazines including the Guardian, Independent on Sunday, Red, Good Housekeeping, Woman & Home and Woman.
She read English at Cambridge University and began her career as a cub reporter on the Western Morning News in Plymouth, later becoming features editor of Woman and Family Circle.
She gets by in French and Spanish and works out – occasionally – at her local gym. After walking her youngest to school, you might also spot her jogging in Richmond Park with some friends. Slowly.
Emma lives in South West London with her husband, the political commentator Kevin Maguire, and their three children, aged 25, 20 and 10.
She’s currently working on her fourth novel.
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