Top Ten Tuesday – 10 New Holiday Reads for Your TBR

 

op Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually Memorable Things Characters Have Said (quotes from book characters that have stuck with you), but I wasn’t feeling it so I decided it would be fun to share some of the great holiday fiction that has come out this year.  If you love holiday reads as much as I do, you’re going to want to put these titles on your reading list. I’ve read and loved two of them so far, A Holly Jolly Diwali and Christmas in Peachtree Bluff, and look forward to diving into the other eight this holiday season.  🙂

 

10 New Holiday Reads for Your TBR

 

1. THE CHRISTMAS BOOKSHOP by Jenny Colgan “When the department store she works in closes for good, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. She doesn’t want to move in with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered Edinburgh life. Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want Carmen there either. Her sister has always been sarcastic and difficult. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs a retail assistant for his ailing bookshop, so welcoming Carmen might still have some benefits for everyone. At Sofia’s behest, Carmen is thrown into the daily workings of old Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the streets of the old dark city. Can she use her design skills to revamp the store and bring it back to popularity in time to benefit from Christmas shopping traffic? Can she choose between bad boy literary rock star Blair and quiet Quaker student Oke? And will she heal the rift with the most important people of all: her family?”

 

2. THE CHRISTMAS ESCAPE by Sarah Morgan  – “It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas getaway—a trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband. Her solution? Alix can take Christy’s little daughter to Lapland, and they will reunite there for Christmas Day. It’s a big ask, but what else are friends for? There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy. But Christy’s request to save Christmas is giving Alix sleepless nights. She knows something is wrong, but for the first time ever, Christy isn’t talking. And even the Arctic temperatures in Lapland aren’t enough to dampen the seriously inconvenient sizzle Alix is developing for Zac, a fellow guest and nemesis from her past. As secrets unravel and unexpected romance shines under the northern lights, can Christy and Alix’s Christmas escape give them the courage to fight for the relationships they really want, and save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?”

 

3. DEAR SANTA by Debbie Macomber – “Lindy Carmichael isn’t feeling particularly joyful when she returns home to Wenatchee, Washington, for Christmas. The man she thought was “the one” has cheated on her with her best friend, and she feels completely devoid of creativity in her graphic-design job. Not even carolers or Christmas cookies can cheer her up–but Lindy’s mother, Ellen, remembers an old tradition that might lift her daughter’s spirits.  Reading through a box of childhood letters to Santa and reminiscing about what she’d wished for as a young girl may be just the inspiration Lindy needs. With Ellen’s encouragement, she decides to write a new letter to Santa, one that will encourage her to have faith and believe just as she’d done all those years ago. Little does Lindy know that this exercise in gratitude will cause her wishes to unfold before her in miraculous ways. And, thanks to some fateful twists of Christmas magic–especially an unexpected connection with a handsome former classmate–Lindy ultimately realizes that there is truly no place like home for the holidays. In Dear Santa, Debbie Macomber celebrates the joys of Christmas blessings, old and new.

 

4. THE HOLIDAY SWAP by Maggie Knox  – “A feel-good, holiday-themed romantic comedy about identical twins who switch lives in the days leading up to Christmas–perfect for fans of Christina Lauren’s In a Holidaze and Josie Silver’s One Day in December.

All they want for Christmas is a different life. When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell–both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over. With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician’s assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?

 

5. A HOLLY JOLLY DIWALI by Sonya Lalli  – “One type-A data analyst discovers her free-spirited side on an impulsive journey from bustling Mumbai to the gorgeous beaches of Goa and finds love waiting for her on Christmas morning.  Twenty-nine-year-old Niki Randhawa has always made practical decisions. Despite her love for music and art, she became an analyst for the stability. She’s always stuck close to home, in case her family needed her. And she’s always dated guys that seem good on paper, rather than the ones who give her butterflies. When she’s laid off, Niki realizes that practical hasn’t exactly paid off for her. So for the first time ever, she throws caution to the wind and books a last-minute flight for her friend Diya’s wedding.  Niki arrives in India just in time to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, where she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji. Maybe it’s the splendor of Mumbai or the magic of the holiday season, but Niki is immediately drawn to Sam. At the wedding, the champagne flows and their flirtatious banter makes it clear that the attraction is mutual. When Niki and Sam join Diya, her husband and their friends on a group honeymoon, their connection grows deeper. Free-spirited Sam helps Niki get in touch with her passionate and creative side, and with her Indian roots. When she gets a new job offer back home, Niki must decide what she wants out of the next chapter of her life–to cling to the straight and narrow like always, or to take a leap of faith and live the kind of bold life the old Niki never would have dreamed of.”

 

6. THE MATZAH BALL by Jean Meltzer  – “Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach. But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy—Jacob Greenberg. Though Rachel and Jacob haven’t seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkah—and Jacob—in a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze. 

 

7. NICK AND NOEL’S CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST  – “Nick Winters and Noel Carter have known each other their whole lives. After years of shared family holidays, working together on the Winters’ Christmas tree farm, and being each other’s safe haven, they wouldn’t dream of crossing the line from friends to something more….But when Nick comes home for the holidays after serving overseas and finds that his long-term girlfriend has decided to get her stocking stuffed elsewhere, Noel is there to pick him up and show him that instead of a Blue Christmas he can still have a Wonderful Christmastime without his cheating ex.  A night on the town and an impulsive kiss later has Noel thinking that perhaps this year they’ll be rockin’ around the Christmas tree as a couple, but only if the ghost – er rather – girlfriend of Nick’s Christmas past doesn’t decide to haunt their holiday…. “

 

8. CHRISTMAS IN PEACHTREE BLUFF by Kristy Woodson Harvey  – “When the Murphy women are in trouble, they always know they can turn to their mother, Ansley. So when eldest daughter Caroline and her husband, James, announce they are divorcing—and fifteen-year-old daughter Vivi acts out in response—Caroline, at her wits end, can’t think of anything to do besides leave her with Ansley in Peachtree Bluff for the holidays. After all, how much trouble can one teenager get into on a tiny island? Quite a lot, as it turns out.  As the “storm of the century” heads toward Peachtree Bluff, Ansley and her husband, Jack, with Vivi in tow, are grateful they’re planning to leave for the trip of a lifetime. But Vivi’s recklessness forces the trio to shelter in place during the worst hurricane Peachtree has ever seen. With no power, no provisions, and the water rising, the circumstances become dire very quickly…and the Murphy sisters, who evacuated to New York, soon realize it’s up to them to conduct a rescue mission. With the bridges closed and no way to access Peachtree Bluff by land or air, they set sail on Caroline’s boat, The Starlite Sisters, determined to rebuild their beloved town—as well as their family.

In “pitch-perfect tones” (Publishers Weekly) and written with her signature Southern charm, New York Times bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey explores the magic of Christmas, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of family in a tale that reminds us that, no matter the circumstances, home is always where we belong—especially during the holidays. ”

 

9. THE SANTA SUIT by Mary Kay Andrews  – “When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.  At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold? Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.

 

10. A SEASON FOR SECOND CHANCES by Jenny Bayliss  – “Annie Sharpe’s spark for life has fizzled out. Her kids are grown up, her restaurant is doing just fine on its own, and her twenty-six-year marriage has come to an unceremonious end. Untethered for the first time in her adult life, she finds a winter guardian position in a historic seaside home and decides to leave her city life behind for a brand-new beginning.  When she arrives in Willow Bay, Annie is enamored by the charming house, the invigorating sea breeze, and the town’s rich seasonal traditions. Not to mention, her neighbors receive her with open arms–that is, all except the surly nephew of the homeowner, whose grand plans for the property are at odds with her residency. As Christmas approaches, tensions and tides rise in Willow Bay, and Annie’s future seems less and less certain. But with a little can-do spirit and holiday magic, the most difficult time of her life will become…a season for second chances.”

 

* * * * * *

Question:  Do you enjoy holiday reads?  Have you read any of these yet?

Can’t Wait Wednesday – THE REUNION by Meghan Quinn

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in since I first started blogging, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

* * * * *

My selection for this week is THE REUNION by Meghan Quinn.  I loved The Wedding Game when I read it earlier this year and have been wanting to try more of Quinn’s books ever since.  This book, which features romance, sibling rivalries, and a 50th wedding anniversary just sounds like too much fun to pass up.

THE REUNION by Meghan Quinn

Publication Date:  February 22, 2022 by Montlake

 

From Goodreads:

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Wedding Game comes a new romantic comedy about the antics that ensue when three siblings come together for their parents’ fiftieth-anniversary party.

Martin and Peggy Chance believe love should last a lifetime. With their fiftieth wedding anniversary on the horizon, they’ve modeled a beautiful relationship for their three grown children. But to their dismay, that lesson hasn’t quite caught on—the three siblings just can’t seem to take a chance and find love in their own lives.

There’s Ford, the eldest, devoted to his work and resistant to romance…or so he claims. Cooper, the middle child, can’t get past his divorce—until he reconnects with a feisty baker from his past. And Palmer, the baby of the family, is the free-spirited world traveler who always pictured herself with someone other than a handsome small-town family doctor.

When the Chance siblings come together to plan the ultimate anniversary party for their parents, they’ll have to navigate romantic entanglements, sibling rivalries, and the definitive end of their childhood. Whatever happens, The Reunion promises to be a fun, flirty, wild ride.

* * * * *

 

I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading Romance

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading.  I’ve been on such a romance kick lately after years of saying I didn’t like reading romances.  I was mostly reading my grandmother’s old historical romances and they just didn’t appeal to me.  It turns out, I just wasn’t reading the right kind of romances.  As soon as I picked up my first contemporary romance, I was hooked and have been devouring them ever since.  Rom-coms seems to be my preference of late, but I also just finally read my first Colleen Hoover book the other day and can attest that I’m also a fan of the more emotional, dramatic romances that rip your heart out and have you reaching for the teaching.  All of that said, today I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite romances, ones that I would definitely hand to someone I was trying to convince that they’d like romance as soon as they found the right book.  Most of these are standalones, but there are a few books from series included as well, including The Bromance Book Club, The Brown Sisters, and Wild.

 

Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading Romance

 

1. PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry “Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.  Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.  Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.  Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?”

 

2. THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS by Ali Hazelwood  – “As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.  That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.  Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.”

 

3. THE SIMPLE WILD by K.A. Tucker – “Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born. She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild. Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.”

 

4. ACT YOUR AGE, EVE BROWN by Talia Hibbert  – “Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how… Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right. Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.”

 

5. RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston  – “First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?”

 

6. THE KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang  – “Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases—a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.  It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice—with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan—from foreplay to more-than-missionary position… Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…”

 

7. THE SOULMATE EQUATION by Christina Lauren  – “Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.  But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.”

 

8. IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER by Tessa Bailey  – “Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington. Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face. Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart.”

 

9. VERY SINCERELY YOURS by Kerry Winfrey  – “Teddy Phillips never thought she’d still be spending every day surrounded by toys at almost thirty years old. But working at a vintage toy store is pretty much all she has going on in her life after being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend. The one joy that she’s kept is her not-so-guilty pleasure: Everett’s Place, a local children’s show hosted by Everett St. James, a man whom Teddy finds very soothing . . . and, okay, cute.  Teddy finds the courage to write to him, feeling slightly like one of the children who write to him on his show. He always gives sound advice and seems like he has everything figured out–and he pretty much does: Everett has a great support system, wonderful friends, and his dream job. But there’s still that persistent feeling in the back of his mind that something’s missing.  When a woman named Theodora starts writing to Everett, he is drawn to her honesty and vulnerability. They continue writing to each other, all the while living their lives without meeting. When their worlds collide, however, they must both let go of their fears and figure out what they truly want–and if the future they want includes each other.”

 

10. THE BROMANCE BOOK CLUB by Lyssa Kay Adams  – “The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.  Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.  Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.  Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.”

 

* * * * * *

Question:  What romance novels would you hand to someone who claims not to like reading romance?

Can’t Wait Wednesday – THE MAGNOLIA PALACE by Fiona Davis

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in since I first started blogging, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

* * * * *

My selection for this week is THE MAGNOLIA PALACE by Fiona Davis. Davis writes historical fiction novels that are set in iconic buildings in New York City, including the New York Public Library, Grand Central Station, The Chelsea Hotel, the Barbizon Hotel for Women, and the Dakota apartment building.  As someone who loves historical fiction and New York City, Davis’ books are a perfect fit for me and I’ve enjoyed all that I’ve read so far.

THE MAGNOLIA PALACE by Fiona Davis

Publication Date:  January 25, 2022 by Dutton

 

From Goodreads:

Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue, returns with a tantalizing novel about the secrets, betrayal, and murder within one of New York City’s most impressive Gilded Age mansions.

Eight months since losing her mother in the Spanish flu outbreak of 1919, twenty-one-year-old Lillian Carter’s life has completely fallen apart. For the past six years, under the moniker Angelica, Lillian was one of the most sought-after artists’ models in New York City, with statues based on her figure gracing landmarks from the Plaza Hotel to the Brooklyn Bridge. But with her mother gone, a grieving Lillian is rudderless and desperate—the work has dried up and a looming scandal has left her entirely without a safe haven. So when she stumbles upon an employment opportunity at the Frick mansion—a building that, ironically, bears her own visage—Lillian jumps at the chance. But the longer she works as a private secretary to the imperious and demanding Helen Frick, the daughter and heiress of industrialist and art patron Henry Clay Frick, the more deeply her life gets intertwined with that of the family—pulling her into a tangled web of romantic trysts, stolen jewels, and family drama that runs so deep, the stakes just may be life or death.

Nearly fifty years later, mod English model Veronica Weber has her own chance to make her career—and with it, earn the money she needs to support her family back home—within the walls of the former Frick residence, now converted into one of New York City’s most impressive museums. But when she—along with a charming intern/budding art curator named Joshua—is dismissed from the Vogue shoot taking place at the Frick Collection, she chances upon a series of hidden messages in the museum: messages that will lead her and Joshua on a hunt that could not only solve Veronica’s financial woes, but could finally reveal the truth behind a decades-old murder in the infamous Frick family.

* * * * *

 

I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – Halloween Freebie – My Favorite Books That Feature Ghosts

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is a Halloween freebie.  Since I already shared some entertaining witchy reads for your TBR a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be fun today to share some of my favorite books that feature ghosts.  Now keep in mind that I’m a huge chicken so most of my selections feature ghosts that aren’t scary at all and that in some cases are actually funny or even just charming and delightful.  I did include a few reads that are actually spooky and a little scary, but nothing that I would truly classify as horror.

10 of My Favorite Books That Feature Ghosts

 

1. CITY OF GHOSTS by Victoria Schwab (middle grade fantasy) – Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspecters, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one. When The Inspecters head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.

 

2. A BRIDGE ACROSS THE OCEAN by Susan Meissner  – Post WWII historical fiction that features a dual timeline and a haunted ocean liner that used to transport war brides across the Atlantic. 

 

3. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman – Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy. Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the world of the dead. There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard: the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer; a gravestone entrance to a desert that leads to the city of ghouls; friendship with a witch, and so much more. But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.

 

4. HOME BEFORE DARK by Riley Sager  – In this thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls?

 

5. THE KINDRED SPIRITS SUPPER CLUB by Amy E. Reichert  – For Sabrina Monroe, moving back home to the Wisconsin Dells–the self-described Waterpark Capital of the World–means returning to the Monroe family curse: the women in her family can see spirits who come to them for help with unfinished business. But Sabrina’s always redirected the needy spirits to her mom, who’s much better suited for the job. The one exception has always been Molly, a bubbly rom-com loving ghost, who stuck by Sabrina’s side all through her lonely childhood.

Her personal life starts looking up when Ray, the new local restaurateur, invites Sabrina to his supper club, where he flirts with her over his famous Brandy Old-Fashioneds. He’s charming and handsome, but Sabrina tells herself she doesn’t have time for romance–she needs to focus on finding a job. Except the longer she’s in the Dells, the harder it is to resist her feelings for Ray. Who can turn down a cute guy with a fondness for rescue dogs and an obsession with perfecting his fried cheese curds recipe?

 

6. THE RAVEN CYCLE by Maggie Stiefvater  – A YA paranormal fantasy series about a group of boys at a private school where one of the main characters turns out to be a ghost.  It’s a “spellbinding series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.”

 

7. SHADOWLAND by Meg Cabot  – Suze is a mediator — a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won’t leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn’t seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations. But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it’s not that easy. There’s a ghost with revenge on her mind … and Suze happens to be in the way.

 

8. THE SUN DOWN MOTEL by Simone St. James  – (paranormal thriller) – The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…

Haunted motel anyone?

 

9. UNDER THE WHISPERING DOOR by T.J. Klune  – When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead. Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life. When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.  Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.

 

10. THE WHOLE TOWN’S TALKING by Fannie Flagg  – Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it’s called, is anything but still. Original, profound, The Whole Town’s Talking, a novel in the tradition of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and Flagg’s own Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die, and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways. Lordor Nordstrom created, in his wisdom, not only a lively town and a prosperous legacy for himself but also a beautiful final resting place for his family, friends, and neighbors yet to come. “Resting place” turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, however. Odd things begin to happen, and it starts the whole town talking.

With her wild imagination, great storytelling, and deep understanding of folly and the human heart, the beloved Fannie Flagg tells an unforgettable story of life, afterlife, and the remarkable goings-on of ordinary people. In The Whole Town’s Talking, she reminds us that community is vital, life is a gift, and love never dies.

 

* * * * * *

Question:  Do you have any favorite books that feature ghosts?  Have you read any of these?

Can’t Wait Wednesday – PART OF YOUR WORLD by Abby Jimenez

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in since I first started blogging, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

* * * * *

My selection for this week is PART OF YOUR WORLD by Abby Jimenez. Pretty much everything about the synopsis for this book is calling to me, from the gorgeous cover to the opposites attract trope, the younger man/older woman dynamic, the small town vs big city setting, and of course the baby goat. 🙂

PART OF YOUR WORLD by Abby Jimenez

Publication Date:  April 19, 2022 by Forever

 

From Goodreads:

The New York Times bestselling author of Life’s Too Short delivers a refreshingly modern fairy tale perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Emily Henry.

After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.

While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people.

Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?

 

* * * * *

 

I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – Online Resources That Enhance My Reading Life

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Online Resources for Book Lovers (what websites, podcasts, apps, etc. do you use that make your reading life better?).  I almost skipped this week’s topic because I just couldn’t think of anything beyond Goodreads at first.  I put on my thinking cap though and was finally able to come up with a complete list of resources that just make my book-loving heart happy.

Online Resources That Enhance My Reading Life

 

1. Goodreads.com  – It probably goes without saying that this is the main online resource I use in my reading life.  I use it to track my reading, to reads reviews to see what new books I might want to read, and to keep my reading wishlist all in one place.

2. Overdrive.com  – A way to read ebooks and listen to audiobooks for free, that works through my local library?  Heck yes!

3. Scribd.com – Pay a reasonable monthly fee and read as many ebooks and listen to as many audiobooks as you want.  They have a pretty decent selection, including new releases, so I use it when I’m way down the list for library holds and am too impatient to wait.

4. Kindle App  – I have this app installed on every device I have and love that any ebook I’m reading will sync across all of the devices. This is my preferred app for reading ARCs as well as other ebooks.

5. Audible App  – I don’t buy too many audiobooks but my husband has a subscription to Audible so I’ll occasionally use his credit to get audiobooks that are Audible exclusives.  One of my favorite things about this app is that it has more reading speed options than any other reading app I use.

6. Get Booked Podcast  – I don’t really listen to many podcasts but I tried Get Booked from Book Riot and enjoyed it.  Who can resist a weekly show that gives personalized book recommendations to help grow your TBR?  LOL!

7. Novel Pairings Podcast  – Again, I don’t listen to many podcasts but I came across this one and thought it was fun.  The goal of this podcast is to make classic novels “readable, relevant, and fun.”

8. Bookoutlet.com  –  I’m kind of cheating here since this is more about book collecting than it is actually reading, but anywho, I use this site to buy cheap copies of books I want for my collection.  You can sometimes catch some pretty amazing sales and pick up titles you’re looking for as low as $1.99. I pick up a lot of older books this way, especially if I’m trying to read an author’s backlist and can’t find it on any of the other sites and apps I use.

9. Bookbeau.com  – This is another site that isn’t really about reading but that just enhances my overall love of books.  They sell book sleeves and other great bookish merchandise.

10. Fly Paper Products – Literary Gifts for Book Lovers  – Yet another retail site that feeds my bookish addiction.  They sell so many great bookish gift items. I especially love their wooden bookmarks and their mugs.

 

* * * * * *

Question:  Do you have any websites or apps that enhance your life as a reader?  

Can’t Wait Wednesday – ADULT ASSEMBLY REQUIRED by Abbi Waxman

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in since I first started blogging, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

* * * * *

My selection for this week is ADULT ASSEMBLY REQUIRED by Abbi Waxman.  I have a while to wait for this one since it doesn’t come out until May but I’m still just so excited because I love Abbi Waxman’s books. They’re always so heartfelt and fun and they always leave me with a smile on my face.

ADULT ASSEMBLY REQUIRED by Abbi Waxman

Publication Date:  May 17, 2022 by Berkley Books

 

From Goodreads:

A young woman arrives in Los Angeles determined to start over, and discovers she doesn’t need to leave everything behind after all, from Abbi Waxman, USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

When Laura Costello moves to Los Angeles, trying to escape an overprotective family and the haunting memories of a terrible accident, she doesn’t expect to be homeless after a week. (She’s pretty sure she didn’t start that fire — right?) She also doesn’t expect to find herself adopted by a rogue bookseller, installed in a lovely but completely illegal boardinghouse, or challenged to save a losing trivia team from ignominy…but that’s what happens. Add a regretful landlady, a gorgeous housemate and an ex-boyfriend determined to put himself back in the running and you’ll see why Laura isn’t really sure she’s cut out for this adulting thing. Luckily for her, her new friends Nina, Polly and Impossibly Handsome Bob aren’t sure either, but maybe if they put their heads (and hearts) together they’ll be able to make it work for them.

* * * * *

 

I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Witchy Reads for Your Spooky Season TBR

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually supposed to be Favorite Book Settings.  I’ve done similar topics a few times and couldn’t think of any book settings I hadn’t already covered, so I thought it would be fun to go rogue and share some of the latest witchy reads that have come out in 2021.  I know not everyone enjoys scary books for spooky season, so I’m hoping I’ve found enough of a variety of titles that everyone can find something they enjoy.

 

10 Witchy Reads for Your Spooky Season TBR

 

1. THE ORPHAN WITCH by Paige Crutcher  – “Mystical, magical, and wildly original, THE ORPHAN WITCH is a great story from an exciting new voice in fantasy. Persephone May is a witch for the ages, a tough, uncompromising, powerful time walker with a wicked gaze and a heart of gold. Her journey to find her family and herself and the lost witches of Wile Ilse is both rollicking adventure and intimate exploration. If Alice Hoffman and Sara Addison Allen had a witchy love child, she would be Paige Crutcher. Do not miss this beautifully realized debut!”— JT Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of HER DARK LIES

2. PAYBACK’S A WITCH by Lana Harper  – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The L Word in this fresh, sizzling rom-com by Lana Harper.

3. THE BOOK OF MAGIC by Alice HoffmanMaster storyteller Alice Hoffman brings us the conclusion of the Practical Magic series in a spellbinding and enchanting final Owens novel brimming with lyric beauty and vivid characters. The Book of Magic is a breathtaking conclusion that celebrates mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, and anyone who has ever been in love.

4. THE NATURE OF WITCHES by Rachel Griffin  – Practical Magic meets Twister in this debut contemporary fantasy standalone about heartbreaking power, the terror of our collapsing atmosphere, and the ways we unknowingly change our fate.

5. THE EX HEX by Erin Sterling  – New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, writing as Erin Sterling, casts a spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.

6. THE WITCH’S HEART by Genevieve Gornichec  – When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this moving, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse mythology.

7. THE WITCH HAVEN by Sasha Peyton Smith  – The Last Magician meets The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy in this thrilling and atmospheric historical fantasy following a young woman who discovers she has magical powers and is thrust into a battle between witches and wizards.

8. WITCH PLEASE by Ann Aguirre  –  Practical Magic meets Gilmore Girls in this adorable witchy rom-com with: 1) A bisexual virgin baker with a curse, 2) A witch looking to avoid romantic entanglements, and 3) A chemistry between them that causes literal sparks

9. HOUR OF THE WITCH by Chris Bohjalian  – A twisting, tightly plotted novel of historical suspense from one of our greatest storytellers, Hour of the Witch is a timely and terrifying story of socially sanctioned brutality and the original American witch hunt.

10. CACKLE by Rachel Harrison  – A darkly funny, frightening novel about a young woman learning how to take what she wants from a witch who may be too good to be true, from the author of The Return.

 

* * * * * *

Question:  Do you have a special TBR for spooky season?  

Can’t Wait Wednesday – ONE NIGHT ON THE ISLAND by Josie Silver

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in since I first started blogging, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

* * * * *

My selection for this week is ONE NIGHT ON THE ISLAND by Josie Silver. I really enjoyed Silver’s first two novels.  They made me laugh, cry, and just feel all the feels so I’m hoping for the same kind of magic here.  I’m loving the remote Irish island setting and of course the fact that Cleo and Mac don’t like each other when they first meet.  Definitely sounds like my kind of book. 🙂

ONE NIGHT ON THE ISLAND by Josie Silver

Publication Date:  February 15, 2022 by Ballantine Books

From Goodreads:

From the New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December…When a solitary one-bedroom cabin is accidentally double-booked, the two lodgers find that although company was the last thing either of them wanted, it may be just the thing they both needed.

Spending her thirtieth birthday alone is the last thing that dating columnist Cleo wanted, but she is going on a self-coupling quasi-sabbatical–at the insistence of her boss–in the name of re-energizing herself and adding a new perspective to her column. The remote Irish island she’s booked is a far cry from London, but at least it’s a chance to hunker down in a luxury cabin and indulge in some quiet, solitary self-care while she figures out her next steps in her love life and her career.

Mac is also looking forward to some time to himself. With his life in Boston deteriorating in ways he can’t bring himself to acknowledge, his soul searching has brought him to the same Irish island in search of his roots and some clarity. Unfortunately, a mix-up with the bookings means both solitude seekers have reserved the same one-bedroom hideaway on exactly the same dates.

Instantly at odds with each other, Cleo and Mac don’t know how they’re going to manage until the next weekly ferry arrives. But as the days go by, they no longer seem to mind each other’s company quite as much as they thought they would…

Written with Josie Silver’s signature warmth, charm and insights into the human heart, One Night on the Island explores the meaning of home, the joys of escape and how the things we think we want are never the things we really need.

 

* * * * *

 

I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂