Review: Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes

When it comes to romance, there are few better than Jojo Moyes. Her stories are always so full of emotion and heart.

Over the years I have read quite a few of her novels and each novel is unique and I always have a hard time putting them down. The main characters are always interesting, well drawn women and the romance elements are tenderhearted and emotionally charged.

I don’t read a lot of short stories or collections of stories as I prefer a fully developed novel where I can focus on one character but because Moyes novels are always so enjoyable, I thought I would give this one a go.

Initially I didn’t know that this was a collection of stories because the first story, Paris for One, was actually more of a novella in length while the others were more like short stories.  Each of the women in the stories were memorable, interesting, and unique. I especially liked that one of the stories had a Christmas theme to it…..this time of year I love Christmas romances so I really enjoyed that one.

The title story, Paris for One, is about Nell, a twenty-six year old who has never been to Paris. She’s never even been on a romantic weekend away to anywhere before. Everyone knows travelling abroad isn’t really her thing. But when Nell’s boyfriend fails to show up for their romantic mini-vacation, she has the opportunity to prove everyone including herself wrong.

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Special Feature: DOGS AND THEIR PEOPLE by Barkpost

picture-device-independent-bitmap-1Who doesn’t love dogs? Sure I might have started off as a cat person when I was younger but when I got my first dog the first year I was married…..I was in love.

A suddenly became a dog person! Now I have two dogs and can’t imagine life without them! They just add so much love to my life!

So when I saw this super cute dog book come across my desk, I couldn’t pass up doing a special feature to highlight how wonderful dogs really are.

This is a collection of community-sourced and never-before-told anecdotes, stories, photos, and intimate insights, DOGS AND THEIR PEOPLE captures the depth, spirit, and power of the extraordinary bond between humans and their pups and spotlights more than two hundred unique and remarkable dogs.

Some are celebri-dogs (oh hello, Tuna Melts My Heart and Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund) while others are just making their debut (like Putnam publicist Katie’s Newfoundland, Hank, on page 228!); some will make your heart ache while others will make it soar; and others simply look dapper in color.

But this book isn’t just about the dogs; it’s about celebrating the crazy, consuming, unconditional love we feel for them. It’s about the songs you’ve made up for them, the hugs you’ve given them on bad days, and all the outfits that—let’s be honest—you forced them into. It’s about the lightness they’ve brought to our lives just by being there—and having smushy faces. We hear you, dog people; this one is for you.

BarkPost is the mastiff-sized media outlet for all things dog. By creating original (and heart-warming, and goofy) content for dog people, BarkPost helps dogs share their stories with the world using the power of humans.

BarkPost is part of Bark & Co, the New York-based startup dedicated to making dogs and their people happy. Since launching in 2012 with BarkBox, a monthly box of funny toys, treats and chews that you can’t find together anywhere else, the dog-obsessed humans at Bark & Co have shipped more than 25 million products to date.

The company has since expanded in recent years with a goal of getting the backs of dog parents for everything – creating its own products, experiences and entertainment with BarkShop, BarkLive, and BarkPost.

So if you have a dog lover on your holiday shopping list this year than this book is a must buy!

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.

Release Day Blitz: LEAVING LUCY PEAR by Anna Solomon

Two-time Pushcart Prize-winner Anna Solomon’s new novel, LEAVING LUCY PEAR, is officially out today!

It is a moving exploration of motherhood, friendship, and marriage, and a perfect beach book for readers who like their summer reading smart and nuanced!

Early reviews are unanimous in their enthusiastic praise, calling the novel “truly new and fresh” (Good Housekeeping), “beautifully told” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune), and “fully-fleshed, compassionate, and satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). Novelists Sue Monk Kidd, Celeste Ng, J. Courtney Sullivan, and Paula McLain are also early fans.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1917, Beatrice Haven—the unwed teenage daughter of wealthy Jewish industrialists in Boston—sneaks out of her uncle’s house on Cape Ann in the middle of the night, abandons her newborn baby at the foot of a pear tree, and watches as another mother claims the baby as her own.

Ten years later, Prohibition is in full swing and Bea has again sought refuge from her troubles at her uncle’s house, but she discovers far more than she bargained for when the rum-running manager of the local quarry inadvertently reunites her with Emma Murphy, the headstrong Irish Catholic woman who has been raising Bea’s abandoned child—now a bright, bold, cross-dressing girl named Lucy Pear, with secrets of her own.

As spring turns into summer, Emma and Bea begin to build a strained, strange friendship, ultimately confronting decisions whose consequences will forever change their lives—and Lucy’s.

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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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