Cover Reveal: SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE by Kristy Woodson Harvey

SSOS CoverEarlier this year I had the chance to read a very lovely book by Woodson Harvey called, LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE.
She has a beautiful prose and story telling ability to say the least! Unfortunately her latest novel, SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE will not be out until spring 2017……but between now and then we can enjoy some stunning cover art today!
In addition to this lovely eye candy, Woodson Harvey is also hosting a giveaway for $100 Amazon gift card and several book bundles on kristywoodsonharvey.com/blog to celebrate the cover reveal! So I highly recommend heading over to her blog to see get entered! If you haven’t heard about the book here is a little summary:

From the next “major voice in Southern fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand) comes the first in an all-new series chronicling the journeys of three sisters and their mother—and a secret from their past that has the potential to tear them apart and reshape their very definition of what it means to be a family.

Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she’d spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.

Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms.

But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley’s life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.

Exploring the powerful bonds between sisters and mothers and daughters, this engaging novel is filled with Southern charm, emotional drama, and plenty of heart.

Special Feature: ENCHANTED AUGUST by Brenda Bowen

Last summer I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing ENCHANTED AUGUST by Brenda Bowen and now it’s coming to paperback this summer!

This fun summer beach read, is out in paperback on July 5th from Penguin Books with a gorgeous new cover.

A Maine Literary Awards finalist, ENCHANTED AUGUST transports readers to a tiny island in Maine, telling the story of four mismatched people who learn that sometimes—if you’re lucky—a change of scenery can lead you right back to where you belong. Romantic, optimistic, and as refreshing as a summer cocktail, the novel itself is a perfect escape.

Mary Kay Andrews agrees—she recently recommended ENCHANTED AUGUST as a summer pick, saying “Do yourself a favor and escape from the withering heat and humidity of a Southern summer by steering a course for Little Lost Island.”

Below is a great Q & A with Bowen sure to get you excited about summer reading!

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Review: 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad

This book came across my desk for review a couple of months ago and initially I passed on it for review and agreed to do a special feature instead.

I wasn’t sure that I could fit it into my review schedule and I wasn’t sure it was something that I really wanted to read. However when I did the special feature, I completely rethought my decision!

After reading the discussion questions of the feature, I was intrigued. This book sounded like it was going to be raw, honest, and dark but yet poignant and meaningful. This book was all of these things and more!

This book is set up with 13 different chapters, each of which reads like a short story. Initially I thought that each chapter was a short story about different women, but it was short stories about one main character, Lizzie (AKA Beth, Liz, Elizabeth).

Lizzie has never liked the way she looked. She has struggled with low self esteem and body images as well as a host of other issues when it comes to her weight. Each chapter addresses different aspects of her weight struggles. In some chapters she dates men online and trying to feel accepted by friends and boys, while others are a little more humorous such as when she talks about counting her almonds while trying to diet.

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Review: Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner

This is a novel that I liked so much more than I expected to. I love when books do that!

I’ve read a ton of books this year that have been set in the 1920s and 1930s eras, some with the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood as a backdrop. So many books in fact that I am getting a little tired of the era.

So when I picked up this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect and how I was going to feel about it. As soon as I started the book and found out the backdrop was not just old Hollywood but also had hints of the movie Gone with the Wind, I was immediately caught up in this story!

Flash forward to modern day Los Angeles. When an iconic hat worn by Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind  ends up in Christine McAllister’s vintage clothing boutique by mistake, her efforts to return it to its owner take her on a journey more enchanting than any classic movie…

The books then takes us back to Los Angeles, 1938.  Violet Mayfield sets out to reinvent herself in Hollywood after her  dream of becoming a wife and mother falls apart, and lands a job on the film-set of Gone With the Wind.

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Special Feature: RE JANE by Patricia Park

RE JANE: A Novel (Penguin Books ; On-sale: April 19, 2016; $16.00; ISBN: 978014310794) by Patricia Park is a fresh, contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre and a poignant Korean-American debut novel that takes its heroine Jane Re on a journey from Queens to Brooklyn to Seoul—and back.

For Jane, a half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens, is the place she’s been trying to escape from her whole life. Sardonic yet vulnerable, she toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncle’s grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation).

Desperate for a new life, she’s thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops, and nineteenth-century novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Ed’s blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.

Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is.

Perfect for readers of Ruth Ozeki, Chang-rae Lee, Allegra Goodman, and—of course—Charlotte Brontë, RE JANE is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for one’s self.

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