The Rules of the Road by Ciara Geraghty

 

 

 

 

9780778309710_TS_PRDTerry never expected her friend Iris to disappear, but when she calls the Yoga Retreat where Iris is spending her birthday to tell them she will stop by with a cake she learns that Iris isn’t there. Terry gathers her father from his nursing home which is dealing with a vermin problem and heads out in search of Iris.

 

Terry is a first-class worrier and full-time mother, so she fears that Iris lays in a heap at the bottom of the stairs, and rushes to check on her.   The house is empty and still and clean.  Iris has never been tidy.  Terry soon realizes where Iris is and jumps in headlong to save her.

 

Throwing caution to the wind is not something Terry would normally do, but she knows that Iris doesn’t have anyone to look out for her, so she skips out on her duties to her grown daughters and her husband and heads off to find Iris before something horrible happens.

 

Terry’s adventure is full of twists and turns.  She will challenge herself, test her friendship with Iris, strain her marriage and have the adventure of a lifetime that she never saw coming.

 

Terry makes it her job to hinder Iris’s plans with results that are touching, comical and often not at all what she planned or hoped they would be.  I see so much of every Mom I know in Terry:  Let me handle that, let me make it easy, let’s not fuss.   It made me smile and sometimes laugh out loud.

 

Ultimately, Terry and Iris will learn things about themselves and each other that they never knew and sometimes regret as they travel through Europe on a tour de force neither of them will forget.    Their friendship will suffer a strain, almost break and change forever.

 

Bet this one is on your reading list.  Check out the first chapter here:

Chapter 1 excerpt

 

The Friendship List By Susan Mallory

 

 

 

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When Unity and Ellen decide they need to shake things up, they create a friendship list to challenge each other to do the things they have been putting off.

 

Ellen needs a decent shopping trip, a date and a life.  Unity needs to stop living in the past and step into the present.  Easier said than done for both these ladies, but they slowly move forward with heart-warming and sometimes hilarious results.

 

Both our ladies are graduates of the school of hard knocks.  Ellen was a teen mother and is a single mom.  As her son plans for college and the future, she must face the empty spot he will leave behind.  Unity has faced loss since an early age.  Her parents died in an accident, and then her husband died while serving his country.  Can Unity see the good and trust that good things will happen, or will she let her past hold her back?

 

I loved the fact that these ladies have had their share of hard knocks and heartbreak, yet here they are trying to change things even though it is challenging for both of them.

 

The list ranges from the expected, such as a wardrobe update for Ellen, to the outlandish such as getting tattoos and staying out all night.

 

Ellen heads out on a two-week bus trip with her son and the high school football coach, her friend Keith, that will test her will.  She must separate two over friendly teens on the trip.  One of them is Keith’s daughter.  She will also test herself on the trip, trying to mark things off her list.  She spends the first night of the trip all fancied up sitting in the hotel bar.   Her trip continues to surprise her each day, but she will shocked at what Unity has accomplished herself.

 

Unity is the victim of a well-meaning match maker, but she goes out with Thaddeus so she can cross an item off her list.  Instead, she sees her life with a fresh perspective and makes changes.  She will go skydiving, hire her first full-time employee and make even bigger changes.

 

What starts as a simple challenge between friends becomes so much more.  I am so glad I was along for the journey.  A warm and witty look at life, where we want to go, and getting to where we are meant to be.

 

Start reading now.  You won’t want to stop.

Chapter 1 Excerpt

The Memory Book by Lara Avery

Cassie must face the fact that her memory is going to be stolen from her by a disease and she must fight back the only way she knows how with a memory book.  She writes it to her future self and in it she lists everything from locations of important things like her study guides to debate stories about her best friend, to dating her long term crush and how much she misses her child hood friend Cooper.  Cassie has always had a plan and this time is no different, this time she must remember, she must keep her grades up, she must prove to her doctors and her parents that she can handle college, and she must remember her life.  A touching story of the things in life that catch us by surprise and how we face them.

Eleven Things I Promised by Catherine Clark April 5th

Frances and Stella are the kind of friends who challenge each other and make each other better, and they are always honest with each other so at Stella’s insistence Frances agrees to do a week long charity bike ride with Stella and go to prom, but when the world goes sideways as Frances is trying on prom gowns neither girl will ever be the same.  Frances must find something to do and some way of keeping the hopes and dreams she and Stella had going and when she finds a list of challenges for the bike ride on Stella’s desk she knows she has to do them like it or not.  There are easy things on the list like swimming in a biking outfit and a wearing a swimsuit for one days ride and then there are harder things like that amusement park ride that has always terrified Frances.  Can Frances really do this?  Frances will learn many things about herself and about her biking teammates during a week of self discovery that will benefit others but teach Frances and her fellow riders about themselves as well.  I loved the dynamic between Frances and Stella and I love Frances for doing this ride despite how hard it is for her and how out of place she feels.  I admire her spunk and grit, but even that isn’t enough to get her to the finish line, it will take being honest with her team mates and a shared goal to get them all across the finish line and into their future.  A warm and touching read about growing up in many ways, yet still being innocent and open to the things life presents to you.

Be Frank With Me: A Novel by Julia Claiborne Johnson

When reclusive but much loved writer M.M. (Mimi) Banning calls her agent to announce she has a manuscript in the works her loyal and faithful agent sends his assistant Alice to help her with “whatever she needs.” Alice assumes this will be help with the manuscript itself ,but she ends up being maid, chef, chauffeur and babysitter to Frank Mimi’s nine year old son. Frank loves classic movies and music and loves to dress in outfits similar to those of his movie star heroes. As you might suspect this opens up Frank to much teasing and many rough days at school. Alice does her best to respect Frank’s rules and over time she becomes truly fond of him. Alice and Frank face many curve balls on their adventures, but the always find a way to come up swinging. Frank left an empty space in my world when I finished the last page and I loved sharing his adventures good and bad. A great read.

Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers Out September 2nd

Fans of Randy Susan Meyers and new readers alike will be thrilled with this book.  A touchingly woven story about a family who falls apart and then must find a way to be a family again even if they are a different family from the kind they were before.  Ben is a lawyer with a hectic work week and a high stress level, his wife Maddy is a social worker with a high stress level of her own and between them they juggle their three children Emma, Gracie and Caleb.  When a tragedy strikes and Maddy ends up being a much different woman than she was before Ben must deal with his own guilt and help her find a way to rebuild with him instead of without him not only for their children but because they need each other in ways they never realized until their life changed.

 

 

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Now I See You Nichole Kear Out June 24th

I really enjoyed this book.  I found Nichole’s narrative touching and funny and honest to a fault.  Nichole is  diagnosed with n college and she slowly changes the way she lives her life as the disease evolves.  It does not stop her in the least from finding love and happiness and having a full life, not one bit, I was silently cheering her on as she tackled foreign travel and parenting which terrifies her since she is afraid of her illness limiting her parenting skills and putting her children in harms way.  As someone who does not have the greatest vision in the world I could identify with her fears on some level.  I found this story uplifting and heatwarming even with it’s heavier moments.  A great read.

 

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