The Friendship List By Susan Mallory




The Friendship List cover_FINAL


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

Remember to Forget, Revised and Expanded from Wattpad sensation @_smilelikeniall by Ashley Royer

Levi’s world falls apart in hours and he is left to deal with his changed reality.  As his depression gets worse and he continues to remain silent totally silent his mother sends him from their home in Australasia to Maine, USA to live with his father hoping that a total change will force him out of his funk.  Now on top of all his other issues Levi must deal with the father he has not seen in years and the culture shock of living in a totally new place, but gradually he finds a few good friends including three year old Lucy and slowly puts his world back together.  A moving story about rebuilding after a huge loss, finding the courage to live again.  Levi touched me with his honest and open story and I loved watching how Lucy melted his heart and wormed her way into his life. Witty, touching and warm yet not afraid to ask tough questions and demand answers.

What the Waves Know: A Novel by Tamara Valentine

I loved Isabella’s story. I felt bad for her, but I loved her grandmother and her mother and Remy their confident outspoken neighbor who is good influence on all of them. Each of the women try to help Isabella with her issues surrounding the night her father disappeared, but being back on the island is forcing her to remember things she would rather forget, and teaching her new lessons along the way. Isabella must face the past to give herself a future she deserves, but it seems easier for her to simply lock it all inside, until the day she can’t. I loved the strong women in this novel and the quaint inland in this novel the senses of people and place are strong and Isabella is a wonderful girl facing something that is hard for people much older than she is.

The Restaurant Critic’s Wife A Novel by Elizabeth LaBan

I loved Lila Soto who is feeling like a fish out of water in her new town.  Her husband Sam is a critic for the local paper and he is overly paranoid about being recognized, so much so that he constructs many disguises and some of them are so good his own boss does not recognize him.  His over the top concerns about being recognized make life hard for Lila he wants her to keep her distance from most people especially anyone tied to a food establishment in any way.  Lila is left to try to navigate a new town while caring for  two kids.  As you might imagine Lila craves adult interaction  and misses her old job, but she must figure out how to balance her husband’s concerns and her dreams of going back to work and doing what is best for he children.  I could absolutely identify with Lila’s wanting to be out in the world and I often laughed out loud at Sam especially some of his costumes, and her kids made me smile with their antics.  Lila does finally find a happy place but I loved sharing her journey with her and I think you will too.netgalley

No Weddings by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion Sept 8th

I really liked this book. I have to admit at the start I wasn’t sure what to think of Cade, but as the pages turned and I learned more about him I liked him more and more. Hannah is spunky and fun and smart and she keeps Cade in his place, something his sisters try to do but don’t do as well. I like the characters and the plot in this one a fun read, looking forward to more of the series.



The Walk in Closet Abdi Nazemian Out Now

While this is a story of growing up and creating the life one truly wants, it has a great feel to it.  Kara is in her late 20’s and while she is done college she is still in that life could be whatever I want it to be period and you can almost feel how fun and light her life is.  She spends lots of time with her best friend Bobby Ebadi and his family, often pretending to be more girlfriend than best friend, and life with Bobby does have it’s perks, free rent, designer castoffs from his mother Leila, a great deal on a car from his father Hossein who owns a car dealership, the perks are many.  But as life moves on Kara must decide what she really wants and how she wants to get there.  A moving and fun story about life being what you make it.



Breaking Free by Winter Page available now

Breaking Free is the story of Raimi who has had gender reassignement surgury and has moved to a new town to start over with a new life and a clean slate.  Raimi has been plagued by feelings and uncertainly for a long time and she is truly looking forward to a fresh start.  She meets Claire who is beautiful, popular and Brad’s girlfriend.  Brad has a nickname as the beast and it seems to be earned, he is a bully and not afraid to push others around.  As Raimi and Clair grow closer Brad’s dislike of Raimi increases until the three of them are caught in a struggle for power that will leave all of them changed.  Raimi is a likeable girl who knows her heart and after all she has been through while she is at times timid and careful she knows what she wants even if she is cautious about going after it.  Claire has what every girl wants on the surface, but few of us are only skin deep and both girls realize they can be honest with each other and that they need someone who understands.  A touching novel of friendship and choices both easy and hard.



Liv Forever by Amy Talkington Publication Date March 11th

I loved this book.  Technically it is a Young Adult book but I still loved it.  Liv Bloom gets the chance of a lifetime to spend her last two years of high school at a prestigious private school and she jumps at the chance.  Sadly she meets her untimely demise on the campus and there is where our story begins.  Liv’s ghost or spirit knows she did not kill herself even though the school is writing her off as just another scholar ship student suicide, luck for her she has an ally in her work study partner Gabe who can hear the schools ghosts and see them in certain places, yes Liv is not alone.  With Gabe’s help Liv tries to make her case and of course to do it properly Gabe will have to form an alliance with Malcolm Liv’s boyfriend who is you might have guessed it very high on the social ladder and part of the schools secret society called the “Victors”.  Once the trio starts investigating they realize that Liv’s death is only the most recent event in a long standing list of suspicious deaths, but they must find a way to prove the deaths happened and stop them for good.  This book gripped me and pulled me in, I loved the characters and the setting, the plot was well done, and along with Liv’s story we also get the back story on all the other ghosts as well.  In the end it was touching and heartwarming, a story about friendship, choices and creating the life you want.

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.