Blog Tour Book Review: The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi

About The Color of Our Sky

• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 18, 2017)

In the spirit of Khaled Hosseini, Nadia Hashimi and Shilpi Somaya Gowda comes this powerful debut from a talented new voice—a sweeping, emotional journey of two childhood friends in Mumbai, India, whose lives converge only to change forever one fateful night.

India, 1986: Mukta, a ten-year-old village girl from the lower caste Yellama cult has come of age and must fulfill her destiny of becoming a temple prostitute, as her mother and grandmother did before her. In an attempt to escape her fate, Mukta is sent to be a house girl for an upper-middle class family in Mumbai. There she discovers a friend in the daughter of the family, high spirited eight-year-old Tara, who helps her recover from the wounds of her past. Tara introduces Mukta to an entirely different world—one of ice cream, reading, and a friendship that soon becomes a sisterhood.

But one night in 1993, Mukta is kidnapped from Tara’s family home and disappears. Shortly thereafter, Tara and her father move to America. A new life in Los Angeles awaits them but Tara never recovers from the loss of her best friend, or stops wondering if she was somehow responsible for Mukta’s abduction.

Eleven years later, Tara, now an adult, returns to India determined to find Mukta. As her search takes her into the brutal underground world of human trafficking, Tara begins to uncover long-buried secrets in her own family that might explain what happened to Mukta—and why she came to live with Tara’s family in the first place.

Moving from a traditional Indian village to the bustling modern metropolis of Mumbai, to Los Angeles and back again, this is a heartbreaking and beautiful portrait of an unlikely friendship—a story of love, betrayal, and, ultimately, redemption.

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Happy Monday! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi. I received a free copy of this book (ARC) from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review of it.

The Color of Our Sky is a contemporary fiction novel set in India following two women Tara and Mukta who met and became friends when they were younger when Tara’s father rescued Mukta from her village. Back in her village, Mukta was born into a line of women who were prostitutes in the name of the Goddess. A friendship blooms between these two girls until one night Mukta is kidnapped from Tara’s room. Eleven years later Tara, who lives with the guilt of Mukta’s kidnapping returns to India to retrace history’s footsteps and endeavor to find Mukta.

When I read the synopsis for The Color of Our Sky, I immediately knew that this book was going to be a story that I wouldn’t want to miss. Unsurprisingly, I was correct in that assumption.

First of all, Amita Trasi’s writing is beautiful and descriptive. I am a huge fan of writing that has a poetic, descriptive feel and the writing in this book definitely fed that obsession for me. The writing completely drew me in from the first sentence and gripped me until the very end. I loved that the narrative takes place both from Tara’s point of view and from Mukta’s, alternating between the past and the present. It was a unique and ultimately satisfying way to deliver the story to the reader.

The topics that are explored in this book were completely gripping to me. I could not put this book down for the life of me. It was a really great combination of the beautiful writing and the harrowing events of the story. I just had to know what happened to Mukta and whether these two women would be able to reunite and find a way to put their past and secrets behind them.

Although beautiful, this book was at times difficult to read because this is actually the reality of the world that we live in. It’s hard to realize that somewhere in the world something similar is happening to little girls and women. I think that’s the magic of books like this, they tell the stories that, although hard for us to think about, are SO important for us to learn about so that we can be informed and maybe start doing something to create change.

I highly recommend picking this book up. It will hurt you but it will also give you hope. There were alot of themes at play in this book that combined together delivered a beautiful, tragic narrative about friendship, pain, hope, love and the danger of tradition. 5 stars! Beautiful read, one of my favorites of the year so far.

Photo by Sameer Rao

About Amita Trasi

Amita Trasi was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She has an MBA in human resource management, and currently lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two cats.

Find out more about Amita at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Blog Tour Book Review: Say Goodbye for Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde

thumbnail_516dduv1x4l-_sx332_bo1204203200_About Say Goodbye for Now

Paperback: 364 pages

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (December 13, 2016)

On an isolated Texas ranch, Dr. Lucy cares for abandoned animals. The solitude allows her to avoid the people and places that remind her of the past. Not that any of the townsfolk care. In 1959, no one is interested in a woman doctor. Nor are they welcoming Calvin and Justin Bell, a newly arrived African American father and son.

When Pete Solomon, a neglected twelve-year-old boy, and Justin bring a wounded wolf-dog hybrid to Dr. Lucy, the outcasts soon find refuge in one another. Lucy never thought she’d make connections again, never mind fall in love. Pete never imagined he’d find friends as loyal as Justin and the dog. But these four people aren’t allowed to be friends, much less a family, when the whole town turns violently against them.

With heavy hearts, Dr. Lucy and Pete say goodbye to Calvin and Justin. But through the years they keep hope alive…waiting for the world to catch up with them.

“[A] heartwarming tale of transgression and redemption.” Kirkus Reviews

“A moving story about patience, trust, the families we choose, and the love it takes to let somebody go.” —Booklist

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Happy Monday! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Say Goodbye For Now  by Catherine Ryan Hyde. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review of it.

Say Goodbye for Now is told in the dual perspectives of Dr. Lucy who is a retired doctor who lives a pretty reclusive life in the country fixing injured animals and the occasional injured human and Pete, a young boy who befriends Dr. Lucy when he takes an injured wolf hybrid to her for emergency care.

I was drawn to this book first of all, because there is a dog on the cover. I have said time and time again that a book cover that features some sort of animal on it will always reel me in. This cover was no different. I usually like to skip reading the book synopsis so I can go into books without expectations or being slightly spoiled on their plots and I definitely did that was this one so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this book up.

I ended up really enjoying it. I loved the writing, which to me was simple in a very beautiful way. I loved the characters – specifically Dr. Lucy, Pete, Calvin, Justin and of course the plethora of animals we encounter in the story (especially Prince) and what they all learn from each other. There were alot of heavy, really interesting topics brought up in the story that I thought were handled really well and made the story just very real, tragic and also, touching. It dealt with the subjects of racism, child abuse, friendship, family and also, compassion both for animals and for our fellow human beings.

I am giving this book five stars. I loved it. It gave me so many feelings – dread, wamth, sadness…just a whole spectrum of feelings that I didn’t really expect. I could not put this book down and ended up reading it in a day.

thumbnail_unknown-2About Catherine Ryan Hyde

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of thirty published and forthcoming books. Her bestselling 1999 novel Pay It Forward, adapted into a major Warner Bros. motion picture starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, made the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults list and was translated into more than two dozen languages for distribution in more than thirty countries. Her novels Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List; Jumpstart the World was also a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards and won Rainbow Awards in two categories. More than fifty of her short stories have been published in many journals, including the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and the Sun, and in the anthologiesSanta Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her short fiction received honorable mention in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, a second-place win for the Tobias Wolff Award, and nominations for Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have also been cited in Best American Short Stories.

Ryan Hyde is also founder and former president of the Pay It Forward Foundation. As a professional public speaker, she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with AmeriCorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

Connect with Catherine Ryan Hyde

Website | Blog |Facebook | Twitter

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Blog Tour Book Review: The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

 

the-fate-of-the-tearling-cover About The Fate of the Tearling

• Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Harper (November 29, 2016)

Katniss Everdeen, you have competition.”—Entertainment Weekly

The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Tearling trilogy.

In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from a gawky teenager into a powerful monarch. As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, the headstrong, visionary leader has also transformed her realm. In her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies—including the evil Red Queen, her fiercest rival, who has set her armies against the Tear.

To protect her people from a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable—she gave herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy—and named the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, regent in her place. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign, imprisoned in Mortmesne.

Now, as the suspenseful endgame begins, the fate of Queen Kelsea—and the Tearling itself—will finally be revealed.

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the-queen-of-the-tearlingAbout The Queen of the Tearling

A #1 Indie Next Pick and LibraryReads Selection

Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.

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the-invasion-of-the-tearling-coverAbout The Invasion of the Tearling

In this riveting sequel to the national bestseller The Queen of the Tearling, the evil kingdom of Mortmesne invades the Tearling, with dire consequences for Kelsea and her realm.

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.

In this dazzling sequel, Erika Johansen brings back favorite characters, including the Mace and the Red Queen, and introduces unforgettable new players, adding exciting layers to her multidimensional tale of magic, mystery, and a fierce young heroine.

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Happy Monday everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I received this book from the publisher Harper Collins through TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review of it. 

The Fate of the Tearling is the third and final book in the Queen of the Tearling series. It is a fantasy series about a young girl who discovers that she is actually the Queen of this land called the Tearling. She was raised as a normal child and unbeknownst to her, many people have been searching for her to either assassinate her or put her on the throne. It’s very much a tale of her journey to become the Queen and protect her people and her land. If you’d like to check out my reviews for the first two books you can check them out here: The Queen of the Tearling and The Invasion of the Tearling. 

There isn’t much I can reveal about the plot of this third book since this is the concluding installment but I can definitely tell you that this book is phenomenal. I have really enjoyed the series as a whole and I was so blessed to be able to read this book for a review as it is definitely my most anticipated book of 2016 because I just had to know what happened next after the cliffhanger ending of the second book.

I love a lot of things about this series and about this installment in general: this third book is definitely my most favorite of the three. It is definitely a fantasy story but it’s also dark and gritty. The setting is totally brutal at times and the events unbelievably harrowing. I was literally on the captivated and on the edge of my seat through the entirety of this book. 

Kelsea is my jam. She is such a wonderful character and her development throughout the series from a quiet girl unsure of herself into this badass, leader queen has been an awesome thing to see. She does many things in this book that just had he cheering out loud! She develops into a strong character who is a force to be reckoned with but I love that she was written in a very real way that shows that she has flaws, even while being completely badass.

I just really have loved the overall concept of this book and it’s unique multifaceted plot. I love that both YA and adult readers can enjoy it. It has been quite a journey with these characters. There has been so much conflict, betrayal, tragedy and even some romance. Once you start reading this book, you just don’t want to stop. It’s gripping, dark and will keep you glued to your seat. A five star read for sure! I actually gave this entire series five stars, it is that good and one that I will most surely reread in the future.

About Erika Johansen

Erika Johansen grew up and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She went to Swarthmore College, earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and eventually became an attorney, but she never stopped writing.

Follow the Tearling series on Facebook and Tumblr.

Blog Tour Book Review: Just Fine with Caroline by Annie England Noblin

just-fine-with-caroline-coverAbout Just Fine With Caroline

• Paperback: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 11, 2016)

From the author of Sit! Stay! Speak! comes a tender, terrific novel complete with long-buried secrets, a three-legged pot belly pig, and an irresistible dog—an unforgettable story about love, friendship, and community. Perfect for fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Mary Alice Monroe.

Caroline O’Connor never dreamed she’d be back home in Cold River, Missouri, the Ozark Mountain town where everyone is ‘up your business.’…they mean well as they drive you crazy. She thought she’d left town for good, but now she’s back, helping to care for her New York born mother—struck with Alzheimer’s, and prone to saying and doing anything—and her father, the beloved local doctor frustrated he can’t cure his own wife.

As for Caroline, she’s doing ‘just fine’ coping with her parents, her brazen cousin Ava Dawn’s marital disasters, her mostly-deaf dog…and with Noah Cranwell, far-flung relative of a local family mostly infamous for running moonshine, an ex-veteran who’s come to Cold River with troubles of his own.

Caroline believes she knows everything about Cold River and the people who live in its hills and hollers … but sometimes life’s greatest surprises happen closest to home.

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Thank you to the author, TLC Book Tours and the publisher Harper Collins for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for my honest review of it.

Just Fine with Caroline is the second book I have read and reviewed from Annie England Noblin. You can read my review of her debut novel here: Sit! Stay! Speak! 

This book is about Caroline, a young woman who finds herself back in her hometown working in her family’s shop and taking care of her mother who is struggling with Alzheimer’s and her adorable, deaf dog Yara. Though not what she had initially envisioned her life to be like, Caroline is content in the town where everyone knows your business and newcomers aren’t exactly welcome. But Caroline soon finds out that even small towns have their secrets.

I really enjoyed this book and the feel of the setting. I love the small town vibe and the secrets that lie beneath the surface, in the history of the people there. 

What I loved most about this book were the many characters involved in it. I thought they all had such vibrant personalities and individual histories. It was fun to see them interacting with each other and to learn more about all of their lives and how they intertwine. The small town setting where everyone knows everyone was really fun, I just realized that I am a fan of books that are set in this type of setting. It made the book feel familiar and somewhat cozy to me.

I’ve said it before and I will say again, put a dog on the cover or in a story and you will have my heart. I am such a sucker for this type of marketing lol. I can’t control it. I am definitely a sucker also for how the author writes dogs in her stories. For me, this story was centered more on the people in the story though while her debut novel featured a dog that was more of a prominent character in that story so I guess I was expecting the dog in this one to be a more prominent character as well. But that’s okay, I still really really enjoyed this book and am giving it a four star review. It’s official, after two hits with me I am a Annie England Noblin fan and am looking forward to reading more in this series and just more of her writing in general. She is an ace at lovely, contemporary stories that are at the same time cozy and thought provoking. She usually deals with heavy subjects in her books but manages to also keep the story light and fun with some really good romance. Check this one out!

 

Annie England NoblinAbout Annie England Noblin

Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.

Connect with Annie on Facebook and Twitter.

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Blog Tour Book Review: Finding Libbie by Deanna Lynn Sletten

findinglibbie-22781-cv-ft-v4-2About Finding Libbie

Paperback: 331 pages

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (September 6, 2016)

Poring over a dusty hatbox of photographs in her grandmother’s closet, Emily Prentice is shocked to discover her father was married to his high school sweetheart before meeting her mother.

In the summer of 1968, Jack and Libbie fall in love under the spell of their small town, untouched by the chaos of the late sixties. Though Libbie’s well-to-do parents disapprove of Jack’s humble family and his aspiration to become a mechanic, she marries Jack a year after they graduate high school. But soon their happiness crumbles as Libbie’s mental state unravels and she is drawn to alcohol and drugs. Despite his efforts to help her, Jack loses the woman he loves and is forced to move on with his life.

Now that Emily’s mother has passed away, Jack is alone again, and Emily grows obsessed with the beautiful woman who had given her father such joy. Determined to find Libbie, Emily pieces together the couple’s fragmented past. But is it too late for happy endings?

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Finding Libbie by Deanna Lynn Sletten. I received an eARC of this book through NetGalley thanks to TLC Book Tours and the Publisher  Lake Union Publishing in exchange for my honest review of it.

Finding Libbie is about a young woman named Emily who, when helping her grandmother ready her home for sale, finds a box full of old photographs. When she learns that her father was married to his highschool sweetheart before her mother, their love story unfolds.

This isn’t my typical read but I am so glad that I read it. When I first started reading Finding Libbie I had no clue what I would be in for. It started off like a normal contemporary but then the narrative changed and it became a beautiful, tragic love story. I wasn’t expecting that at all!

I am giving this book a four star review, I really enjoyed it and finished it in a day. I loved the beginning stages of Libbie and Jack’s romance. It was tender, sweet and beautiful. This book really drives home the affect that addiction has on your loved ones and how it affects your well being and relationships, we can see that through how Libbie’s addictions affect her relationship with Jack and just her judgement and well being in general.  The story turns heartbreaking and tragic. My heart literally soared and then broke for these characters. I don’t want to reveal too much about the plot and what happens to the characters but at some point I found myself doubting whether a happy ending could even be possible, it had me fearing the worst.

This book was beautifully written! So many things come into play like the hard stuff i.e. Addiction to substances, war and social classes but it also had some wonderful things like first love, friendship and hope. An unexpectedly beautiful read! I look forward to reading more from this author.

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deanna-author-photo-lake-union-246x300About Deanna Lynn Sletten

Deanna Lynn Sletten grew up on the sunny coast of Southern California before moving to northern Minnesota as a teenager. Her interest in writing novels was sparked in a college English class, and she has been writing in some form or another ever since. In 2011, Deanna self-published her first novel and has since published several more, both on her own and with Lake Union Publishing.

Deanna enjoys writing heartwarming women’s fiction and romance novels with unforgettable characters. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes readers on the adventure of a lifetime. She believes in fate, destiny, love at first sight, soul mates, second chances, magic, and happily ever after—all of which are reflected in her novels.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her home with her beautiful Australian shepherd or relaxing on her boat in the summer.

Connect with Deanna

Website | FacebookTwitter

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Book Review: Southernmost by Sarah Sadler

31080280Title: Southernmost by Sarah Sadler
Genre:  Fiction – Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Blue French Press
Page count: 338 pages
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Rating – 5/5!!

In this engaging new novel from critically acclaimed author of southern literature Sarah Sadler, Southernmost delivers a charismatic account of one woman’s journey through the rigors of starting over in life and love. Set in the charming city of Charleston, South Carolina, Southernmost is a satisfying spin-off to Sadler’s debut novel Southern Solstice and firmly establishes the sophomore author with a stand-alone release that is sure to capture new and return readers alike.

Former Alabama beauty queen Kayla Carter is given an ultimatum by her wealthy ex-boyfriend Jackson Winslow – either move to his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina with their seven-year-old daughter or support herself on a waitress’s salary. She relocates only to discover Jackson’s life is suddenly in shambles, and he has become a broke, undependable and depressed alcoholic.

Kayla hesitantly establishes herself in Charleston’s bustling culinary scene and becomes involved in a delicious fling with a free-spirited and visceral photographer. While she navigates the turbulent waters of Jackson’s new emotional state and fights feelings for him that she’s suppressed for years, Kayla’s personal success is overshadowed by an unexpected complication.

With a secret from the past threatening the chance of restoring her family, Kayla forces herself to break Jackson’s heart – and her own – once and for all, or risk everything by facing the shameful truth that has kept them apart.

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Happy Monday everyone! Today I am SUPER excited to share with you my review for one of my most highly anticipated books of this year: Southernmost written by Sarah Sadler. I had the pleasure of reviewing her first novel Southern Solstice (click to see that review) back in 2015. I was really fortunate to have received a copy of Southernmost from the publisher in exchange for my honest review of it as well!

Southernmost is a contemporary fiction book about a woman named Kayla who at her ex’s request, moves to Charleston with their young daughter Avery. She has more or less  been living in the shadow of Jackson’s relationship with his ex, Larken and she immediately feels out of place in the new town. When Jackson’s bad decisions concerning Larken impact their lives in unseen ways, Kayla’s world is further thrown off kilter which may actually have been just what she needed to find her place and people in Charleston.

Since I absolutely loved Southern Solstice, I had really high expectations for Southernmost and it really delivered. Sarah Sadler has done it to me a second time. I loved this book but I am not at all surprised. It’s been a full year and a few months since I read Southern Solstice and while I remembered adoring it, I couldn’t exactly remember the specifics of why and reading Southernmost reminded me exactly why from the very first page.

This book was beautifully written. The language is gorgeous and the characters are so wonderfully fleshed out. My most favorite thing about a Sarah Sadler book is the characterization, she is an ace at characterization. All of the characters in this book made an impact on me. I cared so deeply for all of them (except Justin!) and each of them just really felt like old friends to me. Slipping back into this world was such a comfort, but it was also really thrilling to unfold Kayla’s story – her coming into her own and her romantic story line as well.

I also loved that this book, although it took place amongst the same people as Southern Solstice and in the same place, you don’t have to have read it to read this one. It can definitely stand on its own although it was definitely great to have that background on the people and certain events that had transpired in the first book to put a few things in this book into clearer perspective. This book is not more about Larken, so if you’re expecting that, you won’t get it in this book although we do see a bit of her. But don’t fret! Our main character Kayla, is every bit as wonderful of a character as Larken is. I do have to say that Jackson Winslow has impeccable taste in women.

I truly can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed my time with this book. I could have read it in one sitting but I chose to draw it out and enjoy it for as long as I could but there came a point where I just couldn’t anymore and I needed to devour it. My copy at this point looks pretty well read because I took it with me everywhere. This book will definitely give you all the feels…it certainly gave me all the feels!!

I am giving Southernmost a five star review, hands down. One of my favorite 2016 reads for sure…perfect for reading at the beach or to just curl up with at night for some good romance. If you are a fan of contemporary romances definitely pick this one up although I feel like the romance angle is just one piece of this book, there is so much more dealing with family, southern life and Kayla’s journey to really being comfortable with herself. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Southernmost, you purchase it on Amazon! (Isn’t the cover gorgeous?)

P.S. I’m still waiting for the first book to be adapted to film and now I also need a sequel. Ahhh!

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img_3040About the Author

With her first song published at the age of twelve, Sarah Sadler had a pretty good notion early on that words would be her compass.  Nurtured by a wildly creative family full of Opera singers, inventors, pianists, hippies, preachers, pageant girls, master gardeners, world travelers and fellow writers, Sarah explored every gamut of where words and their possibilities could take her.

A sixth generation North Carolinian, Sarah’s family moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming when she was nine (where an insatiable love of the Wild West was born) before returning to Nashville, TN where much of her writing is influenced by the rich cultural distinction of being born a southern woman.

Sarah lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and their young son. When she’s not writing books and songs, she’s riding horses.

Blog Tour Book Review: Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

Be Frank With Me PB coverAbout Be Frank With Me

• Paperback: 320 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 6, 2016)

A sparkling talent makes her fiction debut with this infectious novel that combines the charming pluck ofEloise, the poignant psychological quirks of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and the page-turning spirit of Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff-style ponzi scheme, she’s flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time in decades, and to ensure the timely delivery of her manuscript, her New York publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. The prickly Mimi reluctantly complies—with a few stipulations: No Ivy-Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane.

When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she’s put to work right away—as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric nine-year-old, a boy with the wit of Noel Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth-graders.

As she slowly gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who Frank’s father is, how his gorgeous “piano teacher and itinerant male role model” Xander fits into the Banning family equation—and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.

Full of heart and countless “only-in-Hollywood” moments, Be Frank with Me is a captivating and unconventional story of an unusual mother and son, and the intrepid young woman who finds herself irresistibly pulled into their unforgettable world.

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Welcome to my blog tour stop for Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson!  I received this book for review from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.

Be Frank with Me is a contemporary fiction novel about a young boy named Frank. Alice, is sent to Los Angeles by her employer to be an assistant to a famous, reclusive author thus enabling her to finish her long awaited second book. When she arrives she realizes that most of her job consists of caring for the author’s eccentric and stylish young son.

I thought that Be Frank with Me was a really good book. I fell in love with Frank right away when we first meet him in the prologue which takes place towards the middle-end of the book. I loved getting to know his character throughout the book just as Alice gets to know him. I felt bad for him throughout alot of the story because although he seems to have a pretty good relationship with his mother, it seems like alot of what he does is to get her attention and she doesn’t seem to give him as much as he needs. It seems like he has had to grow up alot because of the way that she acts. One thing I loved about all the characters in this book is that they are all flawed…they all have their past demons that still weigh on their present. This book was so good. There were fun moments, sad moments and funny moments. There were times when my heart just broke and when I broke out into a giggle.

I recently went to California for the first time so since most of this book takes place in California, it was really awesome to be able to picture the places the character’s go and I think that the author captures the smell and feel of the California air so wonderfully. It was also really interesting to see a young child talk about movies like Casablanca and Some Like Hot. It was really entertaining and a pretty short read…I read it in one day. It was charming, smart and funny. I definitely recommend it if you are looking for a good, contemporary read…four stars!

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Photo by Christa Parravani

Photo by Christa Parravani

About Julia Claiborne Johnson

Julia Claiborne Johnson worked at Mademoiselle and Glamour magazines before marrying and moving to Los Angeles, where she lives with her comedy-writer husband and their two children.

Connect with Julia on Facebook and Twitter.

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