SPRING BLOGGIESTA: FINISH LINE POST….

 

It’s a wrap!  Our Spring Bloggiesta brought us to this place…and we’ve accomplished a lot.

Here are the items I completed:

 

❏  do two mini challenges  – DONE! 1) What Should Be On Your Sidebar, by Chelsea @ Books for Thought;   2) Revamp Your Blog Content – From Pamela, at Reverie Society.
 change or fix one thing on your sidebar Removed 3 items from sidebar
❏  add a page (about me, contact, policy, etc) Added a My Creations page
❏  change one thing on your layout and/or look – New header & background; new blog button
❏  comment on other Bloggiesta partipants blogs – Commented on 10 blogs, and will continue to comment throughout the event – DONE!
❏  participate in at least one Twitter chat

***

WEEKLY UPDATES: MORE RAINY DAYS….

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

 

We are in the final days of Bloggiesta, and I am almost finished.  Click the link to see what I’ve done so far.

Today we saw rain here, although there are signs that it is clearing up.  I hope we have sunshine before next weekend, when I take my beach (wedding) trip.  I am packing, a little bit each day, and checking things off of my list.

Meanwhile, the reading this week has been good.  Three books read and reviewed, and two were review books from NetGalley.  Now I have three more on the NetGalley stack, and two author review books, all spread out over April, May…and July.  I only finished one additional book for the Read the Books You Buy Challenge, bringing the total to 28.

I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix this week, and I’m halfway through Season IV of Scandal.  In my queue is Season III of Grace and Frankie, which I hope to start watching this weekend, too.

On Sunday, I will be eager to see what is happening on Big Little Lies and The Good Fight…also Feud:  Bette and Joan.

Let’s grab some coffee, and maybe a mimosa, and chat about our weeks.

 

***

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Potpourri:  “Bridges:  A Daphne White Novel”

My TBR Report for 2017:  So Far….

Hump Day Potpourri:  Captivating Books….

Coffee Morning:  Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts…

Bookish Friday:  “Persons Unknown”

Weekend Potpourri:  Relishing the Moments…

Review:  Never Change (e-book), by Elizabeth BergReview:  The Idea of You (e-book), by Amanda Prowse – (NetGalley – 3/21/17)Review:  Bridges:  A Daphne White Novel (e-book), by Maria Murnane – (NetGalley- 4/4/17)

***

INCOMING BOOKS (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One review book came in my mailbox…and I downloaded two (purchased) e-books.

Beach Breeze, by Joanne DeMaio – (Author Review Request)

 

***

Downloads:

The Secrets You Keep (e-book), by Kate White

 

***

The Housekeeper (e-book), by Suellen Dainty

 

***

WHAT’S UP NEXT?

Currently Reading:  Persons Unknown, by Susie Steiner (Amazon Vine Review)

 

***

And then…

One Perfect Lie (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline – (NetGalley – 4/11/17)

 

***

Slightly South of Simple, by Kristy Woodson Harvey (Author Review Request)

 

***

That’s my week…what did yours look like?  I plan to curl up here and watch some Netflix…and read.

 

***

REVIEW: THE IDEA OF YOU, BY AMANDA PROWSE

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…

This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?

My Thoughts: In an opening prologue, we are swept back to Lucy’s past and an event that will hover over everything that happens to her afterwards. The event is somewhat ambiguous, and we don’t learn all the details until later.

I felt such sadness for all of Lucy’s dreams that are lost, one by one, and also for the unfortunate timing of her stepdaughter Camille’s arrival. Camille is often rude and volatile, but then, just as we decide to hate her, she turns on a dime and becomes appealing and vulnerable.

What will happen when Camille faces her own troublesome crossroads, needing support from parental figures, and Lucy is in a position to offer a unique brand of assistance? How will Lucy’s revelations impact her own marriage? Will Lucy’s secret past open up the lines of communication with her mother?

Set in and near London, The Idea of You gripped my emotions from the beginning, as I rooted for Lucy and Jonah, and then for Camille, as they each hoped and dreamed for a cozy and happy life.

The characters felt like real people, all of whom I wanted to know. A 5 star read, and recommended for those who enjoy family drama, with plenty of issues to address.

***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley.

 

WEEKLY UPDATES: BLOGGIESTA IS COMING!

 

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

 

Ooh, yummy cup of coffee!  My coffee pot died yesterday (it was too soon, I thought!), but sadly, I had to go get a new one.  However, there is nothing better tasting than a fresh pot from a brand new machine.  After buying it, and a few other things I will need for my beach weekend, I had lots of coffee (and mimosas) at Mimi’s.  Just to assuage my caffeine withdrawal until I could get home and make a pot.

 

***

A week of mostly sunshine…again.  I even had to turn the air conditioner on for a little bit.  But…I am not certain that we are done with the rain.

Busy days, errands, appointments, including my annual physical exam..and THREE books read and reviewed.  My total at Read the Books You Buy:  27.

Guess what is coming this week!  Spring Bloggiesta, from March 20-26.  I’ve already started, as you can probably tell.  I will be working primarily on this blog, but the other five will get a tweak or two.

I am looking forward to more Big Little Lies on Sunday…and The Good Fight.  I am also hooked on Scandal again, on Netflix.

I had a nice long phone chat with my second son, the one from LA…he is the only one of my grown kids who actually enjoys talking on the phone instead of primarily texting. 

I’ve been missing my Skype calls from my eldest; the nine hour time difference and busy schedules can be such a barrier.  He and his wife did a recent photo shoot at the Prague Hilton.  Here they are, ready to go.

 

 

***

Let’s take a peek at last week’s blog posts…and have another cup of coffee:

 

***

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

A Sunday Coffee Chat:  Planning My Day…

My Journey:  Book Musings…

Curl up with “The Futures”

A Journey through My Shelves….

Hump Day Sparks:  A Reading Journey

Spring Bloggiesta:  Sign-Up Post….

My Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts…

Bookish Friday:  “Never Change”

Interior Thoughts:  A Prague Photo Shoot….

Review:  The Mother’s Promise (e-book), by Sally HepworthReview:  The Futures (e-book), by Anna PitoniakReview:  Idaho (e-book), by Emily Ruskovich

***

INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One Vine Review book came in my mailbox…and I also received a purchased book.  Two NetGalley Review books came to my Kindle…and I purchased three downloads.

Small Hours, by Jennifer Kitses (Amazon Vine)

 

***

California Dreamin’, Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas, by Penelope Bagieu (Purchased)

 

 

***

Downloads:

Bridges:  A Daphne White Novel (e-book), by Maria Murnane (NetGalley – 4/4/17)

 

***

The Idea of You (e-book), by Amanda Prowse – (NetGalley – 3/21/17)

 

***

Every Wild Heart (e-book), by Meg Donohue – (Purchased)

 

***

The Widower’s Wife (e-book), by Cate Holahan – (Purchased)

 

***

Swimming Lessons (e-book), by Claire Fuller – (Purchased)

 

***

WHAT’S NEXT?

Currently Reading:  Never Change (e-book), by Elizabeth Berg

 

***

Then….some review books, etc., like these:

 

The Idea of You (e-book), by Amanda Prowse (NetGalley – 3/21-17)

 

***

Bridges:  A Daphne White Novel (e-book), by Maria Murnane – (NetGalley – 4/4/17)

 

***

One Perfect Lie (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline – (NetGalley – 4/11/17)

 

 

***

That was my week!  What did yours look like?  Grab some coffee, a mimosa, and let’s chat:

 

***

MY BOOKISH (AND NOT SO BOOKISH) THOUGHTS….

Welcome to another Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts post.  To participate, click on over to Christine’s Bookishly Boisterous site.

  • How did the week fly by so fast?  Yes, each day had errands or appointments, so that was part of it.  Yesterday’s appointment for my annual physical took up most of the day, as I fiddled about getting ready, and then afterwards had lunch out to relax again.  However, I have been doing a little reading, having finished reading and reviewing two books so far.
  • Earlier in the week I got an e-mail notification that Spring Bloggiesta is coming next week:  March 20-26.  I’ve been spending some time each day creating potential new blog headers.  This blog will be the focus of the event, but I tend to spend a little time on each site.
  • Only two more weeks until the beach trip for my daughter’s “wedding.”  Yes, in quotes, because they actually tied the knot in November so she could be on his health plan, but had already arranged for the beach getaway.  We will get to dress up, she will be wearing “bride’s” clothes, and we will have dinner afterwards.  Then…back to the city the next day for the reception.
  • I had trimmed down my list of NetGalley Review books...but then, unexpectedly, received two more!  Now I have four…but they are sort of spread out, with two in April, one in May, and another in JulyThe newest one:

Bridges:  A Daphne White Novel (e-book), by Maria Murnane.  I loved this author’s Waverly Bryson series.

 

I also love the cover!

  • Yesterday I received a new Amazon Vine review book in the mail:  Small Hours, by Jennifer Kitses, which I’ve been ogling.

 

***

So….these are my meandering thoughts on this Thursday.  What are yours?

***

REVIEW: THE MOTHER’S PROMISE, BY SALLY HEPWORTH

 

All their lives, Alice Stanhope and her daughter, Zoe, have been a family of two, living quietly in Northern California. Zoe has always struggled with crippling social anxiety and her mother has been her constant and fierce protector. With no family to speak of, and the identity of Zoe’s father shrouded in mystery, their team of two works—until it doesn’t. Until Alice gets sick and needs to fight for her life.

Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two women who are practically strangers but who are her only hope: Kate, a nurse, and Sonja, a social worker. As the four of them come together, a chain of events is set into motion and all four of them must confront their sharpest fears and secrets—secrets about abandonment, abuse, estrangement, and the deepest longing for family. Imbued with heart and humor in even the most dismal moments, The Mother’s Promise is an unforgettable novel about the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters and the new ways in which families are forged.

My Thoughts: From the very beginning pages of The Mother’s Promise, I was captivated by the challenges faced by each of the characters.

First there was Alice, a single mother diagnosed with a potentially deadly disease, confronted with the realization that she will be unavailable to her needy daughter while she fights her illness. Then there is Zoe, the fifteen-year-old daughter who suffers from social anxiety so crippling that speaking, eating in front of others, or forming any kind of normal connections becomes a daily struggle. Being at home with her mother is her only comfort zone.

As Alice begins to deal with her illness, she meets Kate, a nurturing nurse who goes above and beyond to assist, even taking Zoe into her home to avoid foster care placement during her mother’s hospitalization. Kate’s seemingly perfect life is full of personal heartbreak, but I liked seeing how she reached out to Alice and Zoe. The bond developing between Kate and Zoe was a blessing for them both.

Sonya, the hospital social worker, who seems closed-off and occasionally distant…has her own secret battles. Her marriage to George is not what it seems.

The circumstances of Zoe’s conception, and the identity of her father are woven into the story in unexpected ways.

I liked watching Zoe slowly learn to deal with her issues, while her mother began to lean on others. An emotional read that kept me engaged until the very end, this book earned 5 stars.

***