Parting Gifts by Katrina Anne Willis

Oldest sister Catherine is battling breast cancer and wondering when her life will get back to “normal” and what that might be.  Middle sister Anne is fighting to have the suburban life she didn’t grow up but wants her children to have.  She is overwhelmed with pre-school and playgroup and a mounting stack of bills.  Youngest sister Jessica just wanted to escape, and she fled to California A.S.A.P. but she has moved back to town.  What all three sisters want is to be loved and to belong to something bigger than themselves, yet for each one of them the prize remains elusive at best.  Catherine has never had a long term close relationship other than her best friend Michelle from college, Anne must control everything and everyone and Jessica wants to make peace with her past and move on but it is much harder than it seems.  Anne must deal with the day to day issues for their mother Eva who is battling Alzheimer’s and despite the passing of their larger than life father Big Jim the girls are still not close at all.  Jessica has been out of touch for years and Catherine and Anne are not close by any stretch of the imagination, yet life will continue to try to bring the sisters back together, but will it be too little to late? #itsrainingbooks

 

 

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The Memory Jar by Elissa Janine Hoole

When Taylor and Scott have a snow mobile accident on top of all the other things going on in their lives it is more that Taylor can take, but at least she is awake, the problem is she doesn’t really remember what happened, did she cause the accident and if so than whatever happens to Scott is her fault.  Taylor must decide how to make peace with her past and decide what she wants for her future, but at the moment it takes all she has just to get out of bed and shower and attend a class or two.  Taylor’s therapist gives her a memory jar so she can write down and store her memories and hopefully figure out the puzzle her life has become, but like everyone else Taylor learns life is never as simple as it could be, but it might not be as hard as she wants it to be either.  A touching portrait of life and lost and hope and dreams. netgalley

A Time for Friends: A Novel by Patricia Scanlan July 14th

I adored this story about Hillary and Colette, two unlikely friends who manage to stay together through thick and thin.  Colette is the daughter of two busy lawyers who can have anything she wants except her parents time and attention.  Hillary lives in a warm laughter filled home that is more modest, but her parents always have time for her.  As the girls grow up and move into adult hood Hilary marries a man she loves and makes a good life for her family, Colette follows in her parents footsteps and marries a man with huge social ambitions which keep her away from her daughter and keeping up appearances at all costs.  When Colette’s world falls apart in a matter of hours, it is Hilary who picks her up and tires to get her back on her feet, but at a terrible price.  Along with our leading ladies we also meet the families and then there is Jonathan, Hilary’s friend and business partner who is also searching for a way to have the life he wants.  A touching story about friends, good and a bad, old and new, and the importance they have in our lives.

The Witch of Belladonna Bay Suzanne Palmieri Available Now

Wyn leaves Magnolia Creek Alabama when her mother dies and does not plan on coming back, but years later when her brother Patrick  is imprisoned for a crime he did not commit she returns to care for Byrd,  her niece who has lost both her parents, and to clear her brother’s name.  As you would expect the truth is never easy to see or easy to take and Wyn has her share of ups and downs as she tries to reconcile the place that Magnolia Creek is now with the home she remembers, and if reconciling the town wasn’t hard enough the people are even harder.  The more Wyn looks into the past for answers to try to free Patrick the more she learns about herself and her place in the world.    I loved the characters and the family dynamics of this novel.  Both of Wyn’s parents are obsessed in their own ways, and only as an adult can she begin to accept them for who they are.  The dynamic is this book are wonderful, the town comes alive in your mind and I was sad to leave it when I had read the last page.  This is a story of family, of love, and betrayal, laced with magic and hope.  A great summer read.

 

 

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Back To You by Jessica Scott, available today

This is the next in the Coming Home series and this installment addresses the issues of returning to real life after living in a war zone.  That said it is full of tender moments and honesty.  The characters are wonderful and real, as is the the readjustment process, but don’t worry that is lots of love a bit of steam in there as well so all the bases are covered.  The real question is how does a solider return to their family and can they do it for life instead of just until the next deployment?  Journey with Trent and Laura as they navigate the distance between them and try to find a way to fix what is broken.

Secrets on Cedar Key by Terri DuLong Available Nov 26

ImageThis book takes in so many themes and somehow weaves them together beautifully.  Overall it is a story of starting over and forgiving both oneself and others to have a truly fresh start.  All our friends from Cedar Key are back.  This novel features Marin, Dora’s daughter as the focus of the story.  Marin has relocated to Cedar Key after the death of her husband Andrew.  She has settled in to helping her mother at the knitting shop and plans to open up a needle point area and create a seating area as well when the shop expands.  As you can probably imagine the renovations don’t go as planned, and Marin’s carefully ordered life is turned upside down by a letter she receives which moves her life in a new direction and causes her to re evaluate her past and made choices for her future.  Marin ends up in a place in her life she never expected and the sharing the journey with her is enjoyable and thought provoking.  I often found myself wondering if I would make the same decisions if I was in her place.  An enjoyable read that includes the holiday season which I always finds makes books a bit more special, but my family has always been a bit over the top with Christmas celebrations, I remember the year my mom ordered gift wrap to match the theme of the tree, no I didn’t make that up, so the special holiday touch might just be me.  Check this one out a good heartwarming story with great characters and special moments.