Posted in Weekly Updates

WEEKLY UPDATES: FAIRY GODMOTHER NEEDED HERE!

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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.

 

The slightly cooler weather gives me hope of actual fall days coming soon.  It is supposed to be 85 today…but then 95 tomorrow.  The week flew by, however, and looking back, I am hard pressed to point out any one thing that made it so hectic.  There were appointments, of course, and those usually consume the days.

I only finished reading and reviewing two books this week, but I’m halfway through the third one.  My Read the Books You Buy Challenge total:  63!

The Bloggiesta week ended with this wrap-up post:  Bloggiesta:  Finito!

Netflix:  Still watching Offspring, now on Season 5; and Longmire’s 5th Season arrived!  Hope to watch it this weekend.

Other activities included looking at houses in a neighboring village.  I imagine a different kind of home, with beautiful floors and an updated kitchen.  But then I look around at my STUFF (there is still a lot, despite my purges over the past couple of years)…and I feel hopelessly mired and unable to even get up and start the process.  Unable to imagine the packing up and transporting everything, even with help.

In my fantasy, a Fairy Godmother would swoop in and everything would be transported to its destination.  I would just settle in.  Yeah, that’s going to happen!  LOL.

Until that happens, I’ll have another cup of coffee and chat about my blogging/reading week.  Here’s my breakfast tray, which I photographed on Thursday…but which looks the same every day.  The stack of books is still there, not one of which has been read this week.

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Sparks:  “Cruel Beautiful World”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Obsessing About Books

Hump Day Serendipity:  Reading…

Bookish Thursday #32:  Serendipitous Moments

Bookish Friday:  “I Am No One”

Outside My Interior World:  Branches of the Family Tree

Review:  Untethered, by Julie Lawson Timmerratings-worms-4-croppedReview:  If I Forget You (e-book), by Thomas Christopher Greenecropped-again-5***

INCOMING BOOKS (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Empty mailbox!

I downloaded two e-books – (purchased)

Finding Libbie (e-book), by Deanna Lynn Sletten

 

 

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The Kept Woman (e-book), by Karin Slaughter

 

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Currently Reading:  Sunshine Beach (e-book), by Wendy Wax

 

 

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And then….

Cruel Beautiful World (e-book), by Caroline Leavitt (NetGalley – October 4)

 

 

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More from Pippa are just waiting for me to pick them…

 

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That was my week…what did yours look like?

Last weekend, I had this Blushing Geisha drink and crab/avocado appetizers before seeing Bridget Jones’s Baby…

 

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Posted in Bookish Thursdays

BOOKISH THURSDAY #31: SERENDIPITOUS MOMENTS

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Welcome to Thursday, a day that once seemed lost, with nothing exciting happening anywhere.  But then that changed, and today I am celebrating a couple of the bookish events around the blogosphere, like Lexxie’s Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts; and Christine’s Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts.

 

 

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Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts:

Today’s feature is Sunshine Beach, by Wendy Wax, the fourth book in the Ten Beach Road series, which follows the three women who have found a new life after losing their money in a Ponzi scheme…and that new life is all about renovating houses in Florida.

 

 

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The three women (Maddie, Nikki, & Avery) are currently staying in Bella Flora, the first home they renovated, purchased for Maddie’s daughter Kyra and her son Dustin, by her ex-boyfriend, a celebrity.  Their next project is an old mid-century hotel on the beach.  Getting ready for the day, they are planning breakfast, when Maddie’s ex heads across the lawn to the main house.  He had dropped in the night before.

 

“You aren’t going to feed him again, are you?” Nikki asked as they watched Steve amble toward the house.  Once you fed a stray they never left.

“I’m not going to cook especially for him, no,” Maddie said as Steve disappeared through Bella Flora’s back door.  “But if I’m putting breakfast on the table, which I am, I’m not going to tell him he can’t have any.”  She smiled and stood.  “Speaking of which, I think it’s time to get things under way.”

“Geema!”  Nikki watched Dustin’s face light up when his grandmother entered the kitchen and felt the oddest tug.  Steve Singer looked pretty happy to see her, too, or maybe he was just hungry.  “Can Dustbin have Mench boast?”

“Absolutely!”  Maddie beamed at her grandson. “Do you want to help?”

Within moments Maddie had whisked eggs and milk in a big bowl, heated up fry pans and a griddle, and was helping Dustin, who stood on a chair beside her, to dip the pieces of bread into the egg mixture.  Syrup was put in the microwave to warm.  Kyra set the table while Nikki set out cartons of milk and orange juice, her stomach turning over at the smells that filled the kitchen.

***

Hmm, I wonder what’s up with Nikki and her “upset” tummy?  More later, I’m sure.

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Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts:

 

  • Last week was all about Bloggiesta (click for my wrap-up post), which I enjoyed thoroughly.  I love doing the new layouts, headers, and tweaking the pages…I seldom do anything too techie.  Someday, maybe.
  • Tomorrow, Longmire’s fifth season is coming to Netflix!  Yay!

 

 

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  • In the interim period, I’ve been enjoying Offspring, and I’m now on Season 5 (there is one more season!).
  • Tonight the TGIT lineup arrives with the new season for Grey’s Anatomy & How To Get Away with Murder, along with a new show, Notorious.  The DVR is set!
  • Sunday, Secrets & Lies returns, and I’ll try to “stomach” Juliette Lewis’s very annoying cop character.  lol.
  • I read that the Showtime series, The Affair, is coming back on November 20.
  • So….the fall is full of stuff to watch.
  • I’m eager to get a Pumpkin Spiced Latte at the neighborhood Barnes & Noble...and browse for books.  Love going there and finding stuff, even though I only ever buy print books from the bargain table.  There’s something about being surrounded by books, while inhaling the scent of rich coffee.

 

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  • Now…here I am, writing this post, and haven’t yet had my first cup of coffee!  What’s wrong with me?!  Excuse me for a moment….Now, here’s the breakfast tray on my office coffee table/trunk, surrounded by stacks of books.

 

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That’s it for today…I am ready to eat that Special K with Coconut, Quinoa, etc.  And sip that coffee.  Enjoy your day!

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Posted in WWW Wednesday

HUMP DAY SERENDIPITY: READING…

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Today I’m participating in Sam’s WWW Wednesdays Here’s how it works:

 

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

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Currently Reading:

I am reading two books right now, as I have that restless feeling.  One of the books is part of a series, so I can jump over to another book when I’m feeling the mood change.

 

Sunshine Beach, by Wendy Wax, is another chapter in the series about the women who lost their money to a Ponzi scheme, and then started recovering by renovating the house they each had a part ownership in.  What started as a plan to flip that house turned into a career and then a TV show called Do Over.

 

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If I Forget You, by Thomas Christopher Greene, is about two former lovers that reconnect in this beautiful and haunting tale of great lost love from the critically acclaimed author of The Headmaster’s Wife.

 

 

 

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So far so good!

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JUST FINISHED:

Untethered, by Julie Lawson Timmer (click for my review), is a story rich with themes of blended families, the broken foster care system, and abandonment.

 

 

 

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

This book, from an author I love, is not coming until March 2017….but I have already requested it from NetGalley (fingers crossed), and I am longing to get my hands on it.

The Trophy Child, by Paula Daly, digs beneath the serene surface of the idyllic suburban Lake District community where families strive for perfection, delivering a suspenseful, surprising story of motherhood and fallibility.

 

 

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Blurb:  Karen Bloom is not the coddling mother type. She believes in raising her children for success. Some in the neighborhood call her assertive, others say she’s driven, but in gossiping circles she’s known as: the tiger mother. Karen believes that tough discipline is the true art of parenting and that achievement leads to ultimate happiness. She expects her husband and her children to perform at 200 percent—no matter the cost. But in an unending quest for excellence, her seemingly flawless family start to rebel against her.

Her husband Noel is a handsome doctor with a proclivity for alcohol and women. Their prodigy daughter, Bronte, is excelling at school, music lessons, dance classes, and yet she longs to run away. Verity, Noel’s teenage daughter from his first marriage, is starting to display aggressive behavior. And Karen’s son from a previous relationship falls deeper into drug use. When tragedy strikes the Blooms, Karen’s carefully constructed facade begins to fall apart—and once the deadly cracks appear, they are impossible to stop.

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So…these are my books for today.  Current, past, and future reading.  What are you sharing today?

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Posted in Weekly Updates

WEEKLY UPDATES: READING & VIEWING THROUGH THE HEAT….

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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.

 

It’s been a fun week, with Bloggiesta, reading, Netflix viewing, and more.  First, check out some of my accomplishments at my Bloggiesta updates post.

As for Netflix, I’m totally immersed in Season 3 of Offspring and almost finished with it….Season 5 for Longmire comes next Friday.

I did a segue onto Amazon Videos, and started watching a show called The Bay.  I’ve only seen a couple of episodes, and I’m not quite hooked.  But I see lots of familiar faces.  Actors that have been on some of my favorite soaps, and some still are there.  Which was a little confusing.  “Hey, there’s Kayla!” (Days of our Lives).  Oops, no, that’s Sarah.  “There’s Ridge,” (Ronn Moss, once from Bold & Beautiful, but now, here, with a different and somewhat evil role).

Of course that happens all the time, even in daytime.  Actors hop between soaps.  The familiarity is comfortable…sometimes.

Back to reading, then.  Where I can find the characters I’m loving right now.  This week I read and reviewed three books, bringing my Read the Books You Buy total to 62.

It’s still pretty warm here; 95 predicted for today, but back to 102 on Monday.  Yikes!  Why am I even surprised?  Not.  Business as usual in these parts.

So let’s have something cold to drink later, but first…more coffee, please!

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Potpourri:  “All the Ugly and Wonderful Things”

Hump Day Potpourri:  Changes, Frustrations, & Obsessions

Hump Day Serendipity:  Bookish Wednesday

Bookish Thursday #30:  Serendipitous Moments

Pinterest Sharing:  Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge

Meandering Through My Interiors…

Bookish Friday:  “Untethered”

Review:  Girl on the Run, by Daryl Wood Gerber (Review Book from Author)ratings-worms-4-cropped

Review:  They May Not Mean To, But They Do (e-book), by Cathleen Schineratings-worms-4-cropped

Review:  Watching Edie (e-book), by Camilla Waycropped-again-5

 

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Nothing in the mailbox, but I got two e-books for review!

 

The Girl Before (e-book), by J. P. Delaney (NetGalley – 1/24/17)

 

 

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A Poisonous Journey (e-book), by Malia Zaidi (Author Review Request)

 

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Currently Reading:  Untethered, by Julie Lawson Timmer (Amazon Vine)

 

 

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Then what?  Well, how about these?

 

Cruel Beautiful World (e-book), by Caroline Leavitt (NG – 10/4)

 

 

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All the Ugly & Wonderful Things (e-book), by Bryn Greenwood

 

 

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Then…my Pippa is holding several tempting e-books:

 

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That’s my week…what did yours look like?  Join me in some coffee or a cold drink, and let’s chat.

 

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Posted in Bookish Thursdays

BOOKISH THURSDAY #30: SERENDIPITOUS MOMENTS

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Welcome to Thursday, a day that once seemed lost, with nothing exciting happening anywhere.  But then that changed, and today I am celebrating a couple of the bookish events around the blogosphere, like Lexxie’s Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts; and Christine’s Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts.

 

 

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Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts:

Today’s feature is an ARC from Amazon Vine:  Untethered, by Julie Lawson Timmer.

 

 

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When Char Hawthorn’s husband dies unexpectedly, she is left questioning everything she once knew to be true: from the cozy small town life they built together to her relationship with her stepdaughter, who is suddenly not bound to Char in any real way. Untethered explores what bonds truly form a family and how, sometimes, love knows no bounds.

***

In this scene, family and friends are hanging around in the days after the funeral, and food seems to be a focus.  Some are trying to figure out what one particular guest will eat, since she tends to prefer wheatgrass shakes.

 

“Or something.  Whatever it is, it likely doesn’t allow her to eat a regular lunch.  Or any of this stuff.”  She waved her hand toward the stove, where Char was scrambling eggs and Will was tending to two frying pans, one filled with bacon, the other with sliced potatoes and onions. “It’s just as well she’s tied up this morning.”

“We’d better clean up all the evidence before she gets here,” Will said.  He winked at Allie.  “Don’t want to get you in trouble.”  Looking at his sister, he added, “Or you.”

***

 

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My Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts:

 

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  • My sofa table now looks like this, with fewer and smaller pieces:

 

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  • This weekend was frustrating for me, as I couldn’t comment on any Word Press sites, even though all of my blogs are at WP…and I obviously have an account.  They somehow ended up in spam folders everywhere.
  • Thankfully, by Tweeting to the various blog owners about my situation, they were able to find the comments and retrieve them.
  • Could my user name “laurelrainsnow,” which showed up on comments, be the problem?  If so, why now?
  • I changed the name on my comments to Laurel-Rain Snow, rather than the user name, thinking it seems less “spammy.”  Or not.  My name, no matter what form it takes, does sound a bit like a weather report…lol.  My comments are going through this week, but probably because a number of bloggers pulled some out of the spam folders, which alerted Askimet that all is good here.
  • My Netflix viewing of Longmire is on hold until Season 5 arrives on the 23rd.
  • Meanwhile, I’m obsessed with a show called Offspring, which is dramatic, funny, with some characters I enjoy, and others that are truly annoying.

 

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  • Bloggiesta starts tomorrow, going through the 18th.  As usual, I’ve already begun working on my chosen blog:  Curl up and Read.
  • On the bookish front, I’ve read two books so far this week:

Girl on the Run, by Daryl Wood Gerber (Click title for review):  a story that captures a world of fantasy, secrets, and ultimate betrayal.

 

 

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They Might Not Mean To, But They Do, by Cathleen Schine (click for review):  a family story, with characters that span the generations.  It’s about aging, about dying, and about coping.

 

 

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  • It is almost 10:00 p.m., and I got a frantic call from my daughter.  The cordless phone was in another room, so she called repeatedly until I went to retrieve the phone.
  • What was the emergency?  Well, some of the offspring had been texting me, and got worried when I didn’t text back.   (Because, if I’m not attached to my iPhone like they are, I, the doddering old woman, must have fallen and can’t get up).
  •  I was just talking to someone about the Millennials (my grandchildren) and how they are attached to their devices and don’t know how to actually converse.
  • It seems Gen-X has the same problem (my grown kids).  I think they are Gen-X.

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So, now that I have been properly reprimanded for setting my phone down, I guess I’ll close…and go text some of them.

What has your week been like?  Share, please.

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Posted in BOOK REVIEW

REVIEW: THEY MAY NOT MEAN TO, BUT THEY DO, BY CATHLEEN SCHINE

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Joy and Aaron Bergman have been the matriarch and patriarch of the family for years. A family that includes son Daniel and daughter Molly, now grown and living their own lives.

Daniel is married to Coco and has two daughters, Ruby and Cora.

Molly married and divorced Doug Harkavy, and the two have a grown son, Ben. Molly now lives in California with her female partner, Freddie.

Like most families, there are issues. But the primary one at the beginning of They May Not Mean To, But They Do, is that Aaron is dying. But the process of dying is eating up the funds, which were already considerably depleted by Aaron, via gambling and risk-taking.

Joy is adamant that Aaron will not leave the family home. An assisted-living facility is something she has fought against, so home help is provided. The funds continue to dwindle.

The primary setting is Manhattan, where the family has lived over the years. They own a second home that Joy inherited, north of the city. Daniel and Molly try to get Joy to sell the house they’ve dubbed Upstate, a getaway named thus because of its geographical location. It is a place with no mortgage that could generate much-needed funds, but there is a dilemma. It is also a symbol of the past memories of good times as a family. A place to connect.

What happens when Joy is finally left a widow? Will she reclaim her life, or will she continue to struggle? Why does she feel dismissed and ignored by her children and grandchildren, even when they are all together? Why does she sense that they are eagerly awaiting her death, so they can sell the house Upstate and organize the financial mess of her life?

Alternating narratives show us the family in all of its chaos, with occasional sweet moments. I found myself disliking Daniel, who loves to control and organize things, and while I can relate to those feelings, I felt hurt for Joy, whose feelings were often overlooked. As if she has already gone. As if she is invisible.

The story moved slowly for me, mostly because the process of Aaron’s dying took up a large chunk of the book, a process that was depressing, but very real, too.

So…the meandering through the life moments felt necessary. There was also some humor, as Joy was a character that showed a self-deprecating quality. I loved observing her still making discoveries about herself at her age, despite her physical frailties. A reminder that we all must face our mortality at some point, and hopefully, our families will support us. In the end, would Joy’s family finally see her? 4.5 stars.

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Posted in WWW Wednesday

HUMP DAY SERENDIPITY: BOOKISH WEDNESDAY

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Today I’m participating in Sam’s WWW Wednesdays Here’s how it works:

 

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

***

Currently Reading:

This book has a tongue-twisting title, but the characters, the issues, and the settings are spot on.  They May Not Mean To, But They Do, by Cathleen Schine, is a story about family.  About vows, like “until death do you part,” and about the “sandwich” generation, and how they deal with ailing parents, while rearing the younger set.

 

 

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The pages do not fly by, as each section and narrator bring out some heavy thoughts and show us some interactions that we must pause and consider.  I hope to finish it today, though.

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JUST FINISHED:

Girl on the Run, by Daryl Wood Gerber, was a fast-paced mystery that kept me turning pages. (Click title for my review).

 

 

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I had read some of the author’s cozy mysteries, so I was eager to see her take on the thriller genre.  She did not disappoint.

 

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

The Good Daughter, by Alexandra Burt, will not arrive until 2/7/17.   I requested it from NetGalley, but haven’t heard anything yet.

I read and enjoyed another book by the author (Remember Mia), so I am eagerly anticipating this book.

 

 

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Synopsis:  From the author of Remember Mia comes the tale of a young woman in search of her past, and the mother who will do anything to keep it hidden…

What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?

Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.

In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighboring farm, she’ll learn that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered…

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So….that’s my reading week so far.  What does yours look like?

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