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

Big Summer Jennifer Weiner

This book started off my summer reading in a big way.  This book has so many layers and so much packed into it, it will be a hard act to follow.  Our heroine Daphine is a plus-sized social media influencer, dog walker and baby sitter.  When an old friend Drue Lanthorpe Cavanaugh drops back into her life looking for a bridesmaid she has to face her past and search her heart before she agrees.

One she is on the wedding bandwagon she has to tell her other best friend what she’s gotten herself into as well as start working with a new client. Lila, who wants her to be the face of her brand.

When the wedding weekend arrives and things go wonderfully right and then horribly wrong it will take all of Daphne’s spunk and grit to help her figure things out and put her life and her past in order.

 

Daphne touched my heart.  I was never one of the pretty popular girls either and I could relate to Daphne instantly.   I also related to Drue quickly because anyone who has survived their teen years had someone like Drue as a part of them.

I loved the fact that Daphne was so honest about social media and how you can use it and make it appear the way you want it.

 

This book is honest, timely, and touching in a way that only Jennifer Weiner can create.  I am sorry that this book is done.  Daphne and her circle of friends will be sticking with me.

Around the Sun by Eric Michael Bovim

This novel is really three stories in one.  There is the story of a father who left on his own after his wife’s death must figure out how to help his son and move them forward toward a better tomorrow.

This is also the story of a son who must rely on his father who works too much and smiles to little and has no idea what he’s doing.

This is also the story of a man who has lost his wife and is questioning everything his life including his success and keeping his business going.

 

This story is full of the things you would expect like homework issues and Dad not making it home in time for dinner, but it is also filled with love and magic.  The love of a father who is looking for a way to make things better for his son and the magic that happens when they can leave work and school behind.

This story made me laugh and cheer and cry happy tears.  It is a story of saying goodbye and hello at the same time and finding your way forward even if the path is long and uneven.

The Bitter and Sweet of Cherry Season A Novel by Molly Fader

The Bitter and Sweet of cherry Season by Molly Fader is a story of family and what those ties really mean.  Can you go home again?  Can you feel safe? Can you start over?  These are just some of the questions that Hope must ask herself as she looks for a haven for her and her daughter Tink to regroup and figure out the next move.

Hope is running from someone and the only place she can think of going is Orchard House.  Her aunt’s home that she has heard about from her mother.  Hope has never been there, but she has to go somewhere so she packs up her car and heads to the only safe place she can think of.

Hope’s Aunt Peg is standoffish and quiet and strict.  She agrees to let Hope and Tink stay and offers them work helping harvest the cherry crop.  The work helps Hope to clear her head and start to think about staying.  Until her past catches up with her.

 

Hope must face her past and embrace her future.  If she can let herself dream and take chances a future and a fresh start.

 

Hope pulled at my heartstrings.  She wanted to be so strong, but she was so tired of being alone. I could understand how she felt and why she felt that way.  Tink is every little girl with big dreams.

 

This story is a rich family story with history and hope.

The Water Keeper by Charles Martin

The Water Keeper is a quest, a love story, and a story about family all beautifully blended together.  It is a story of love lost and found and lost again.

Murphy is following through on his friends last request to spread his ashes in his favorite spot, but along the way, he will reunite two families, face his past and redefine his future.

The story weaves between the past and presents so that we see him as he is now, but we see how he got to this place in his life and we understand how and why he is determined to help others.

 

Murphy starts his journey feeling lost and alone, but life soon reminds him that he has more to do and more people to meet.

 

His journey winds through Florida all the way to the keys and because he travels by boat the narrative has a totally different feel to it, and the story is full of twists and turns before it arrives at the conclusion.

 

I am hoping that Murphy and I have another adventure in the future.

The Sea Glass Cottage RayAnne Thayne

The Sea Glass Cottage ExcerptThe Sea Glass Cottage CoverThe Sea Glass Cottage Excerpt

This is a wonderful story about three women who have faced hardship and continue to fight to make the world a better place.  Juliet has lost a husband and daughter and became the sole parent of her granddaughter Caitlin.  Olivia left town and started over in Seattle after losing her father and sister.  Cooper returns to town to help out his sister whose husband has left her for another woman.  When Juliet has an accident that brings Olivia home their worlds will come together and turn like the pieces in a kaleidoscope.  None of them will the same, but they will all be better for it.  Olivia and Juliet must decide what they want out of life moving forward and Caitlin must answer questions about her mother and her past so she can move freely into the future.  The past and possibilities of the future will come together.   This is the story of three strong women and the ties that bind them together.  It is also the story of home and what that means to each of them.   I loved these ladies and I was sorry to part ways with them on the last page.  I hope you enjoy it as well.

Rebecca Raisin’s LITTLE BOOKSHOP ON THE SIENE,

Cover_THE LITTLE BOOKSHOP ON THE SEINE When Sarah gets the chance of life time to leave her quiet little bookshop in Ashford and run her friend Sophie’s shop in Paris her heart soars.  She’s always dreamed of going to Paris and now here is her chance.  Once Sarah gets to Paris she realizes it isn’t all she dreamt of.  She is a fish out of water and she struggles to find her place.    Gradually Sarah falls in love with Paris and gets to know her co-workers.  Along the way she finds parts of herself she never knew existed.  This story is filled with lovable characters, plenty of challenges and a bookstore that becomes a character as well.  The pages come alive with Paris and all it’s magic.   A great uplifting read.    I have included an excerpt provided by the publisher so you can try it out.

 

THE LITTLE BOOKSHOP ON THE SEINE Blog Tour Excerpt (1)

A Light in the Hallway

A Light in the Hallway by Amanda Prowse is the story of a family.   The story opens as Kerry is battling cancer and her husband Nick is trying to manage the day to day task and be there for their teenage son Oliver.  Nick struggles to manage everything and he finds it harder as time goes on.  I know this makes it seem like a  tear-jerker, and I admit I cried, but I also admired Nick for his strength in the face of the situation and his drive to keep going.  The story spans a few years.  The narrative moves through time showing us Nick’s scenes from Nick’s life and even letting us know what Kerry thinks.  Nick plucked my heartstrings as he navigated the changes in his life and tried to do the best thing for his son.    This story leaves you feeling hopeful and optimistic as you take Nick’s journey with him.  He is supported by his friends and family and they add their own special touches to his journey.   This book became available on November 11th and it might be just perfect for you or someone on your gift list.

Lost Along the Way: A Novel by Erin Duffy

Jane, Cara and Meg thought they would be friends no matter what but life had other plans.  Years later Jane is married to a man who stole money from his clients and looking for somewhere to go and get away from the press and the people who want her out of their lives.  In a desperate last ditch effort at a fresh start she turns up on Cara’s doorstep to the horror of Cara’s social climber husband, but even her brief stay convinces Jane that Cara’s life is not as it should be either and after a frank and straight shooting conversation the two agree to see if they can escape to Meg’s beach house for a few days.  Jane didn’t count on the fact that Cara and Meg had a falling out of their own so they go with plan B, track down Steve Meg’s husband and when they do they learn that Meg is already at the beach house, but their unexpected arrival creates havoc for Meg and yet despite the arguing and accusing the happens between them all of them admit it is great to be together again.  A touching and funny story of friendship and love and life.