August is over, and now we can turn our thoughts to what September can bring. Here’s what happened this month….and what’s coming next.
ON THE BLOGS:
Review: She Can Scream, by Melinda Leigh
Review: The Murders at Astaire Castle, by Lauren Carr
Review: The Good Daughter (e-book), by Jane Porter
Review: Good Girl, Bad Girl, by Christopher Finch
Review: Accused, by Lisa Scottoline
I received two review books in the mailbox; purchased one book at B & N; downloaded three e-books; and received a giveaway book from Rose City Reader.
The Pure Gold Baby, by Margaret Drabble (Amazon Vine)
Jessica Speight, a young anthropology student in 1960s London, is at the beginning of a promising academic career when an affair with her married professor turns her into a single mother. Anna is a pure gold baby with a delightful sunny nature. But as it becomes clear that Anna will not be a normal child, the book circles questions of responsibility, potential, even age, with Margaret Drabble’s characteristic intelligence, sympathy, and wit.
Drabble once wrote, “Family life itself, that safest, most traditional, most approved of female choices, is not a sanctuary; it is, perpetually, a dangerous place.” Told from the point of view of the group of mothers who surround Jess, The Pure Gold Baby is a brilliant, prismatic novel that takes us into that place with satiric verve, trenchant commentary, and a movingly intimate story of the unexpected transformations at the heart of motherhood.
Just What Kind of Mother Are You?, by Paula Daly (Amazon Vine)
Lisa Kallisto—overwhelmed working mother—is the not-so-perfect model of the modern woman. She holds down a busy job running an animal shelter, she cares for three demanding children, and she worries that her marriage isn’t getting enough attention. During an impossibly hectic week, Lisa takes her eye off the ball for a moment and her world descends into a living nightmare. Not only is her best friend’s thirteen-year-old daughter missing, but it’s Lisa’s fault. To make matters worse, Lucinda is the second teenage girl to disappear within the past two weeks. The first one turned up stripped bare and abandoned on the main street after a horrible ordeal. Wracked with guilt over her mistake, and after having been publicly blamed by Lucinda’s family, Lisa sets out to right the wrong. As she begins digging under the surface, Lisa learns that everything is not quite what it first appears to be.
In Paula Daly’s heart-stopping debut novel, motherhood, marriage, and friendship are tested when a string of abductions tear through a small-town community. Gripping and fast-paced, Just What Kind of Mother Are You? introduces an outstanding new thriller writer with a terrifying imagination for the horrors that lurk in everyday lives.
Cleans up Nicely, by Linda Dahl (contest win)
When twenty-something artist Erica Mason moves from laid-back Mexico to Manhattan in the mid-1970s, she finds a hard-edged, decadent, and radically evolving art scene.
Peppered with characters who could only come from the latter days of the turn-on-and-drop-out ’60s in then-crumbling New York (a spaced-out drummer who’s completely given up on using or making money, a radical feminist who glues animal furs to her paintings of vaginas, and icons in the making like Patti Smith), Erica’s New York is fast-moving, funny, and heartrending just like the city itself. Ultimately, her rite of passage is not only a love affair with art, men, alcohol, drugs, and music in the swirl that was the downtown scene in a radically evolving era in New York, but also a resurrection from addiction and self-delusion.
More than the study of a celebrated period of artistic expression, Cleans Up Nicely is the story of one gifted young woman’s path from self-destruction to a hard-won self-knowledge that opens up a whole new world for her and helps her claim the self-respect that has long eluded her.
Lily Steps Out (e-book), by Rita Plush
Empty nest, retired husband … after thirty-three years of marriage as wife, mother, nursemaid, and family mediator, Lily Gold has had it! There must be more to life than making beds and cooking dinners. A lot more, she discovers, when she decides she needs something of her very own – a job.
Re-entering the work force is harder than it seems, and Lily has difficulty finding a position that’s just right for her. When she finally does, she knows it’s a perfect fit. But husband Leon wants no part of it, and off he goes to the bank to put the kibosh on her chance of opening her own antique center.
This is marriage? This is war! Lily steps out of the tired old habit of always letting Leon have his way. This time she turns the status quo into quid pro quo and gives him a run for the money. And, while she’s at it, with a little help from her friends, she breaks the mold of Lily Gold. But does she have what it takes to create a new Lily – a Lily’s renaissance?
Lily Gold’s journey is the journey of every woman who wants it all – love, respect, personal fulfillment, and real happiness.
The Star Attraction (e-book), by Alison Sweeney
“Can you blame a publicist for blurring the lines between what’s real and what’s a dream, when her client is a gorgeous actor?” –Jodi Picoult
Sophie is a Hollywood publicist who has a fabulous job, a fabulous boyfriend, and a fabulous life. She even scores her PR firm’s most important actor client and every woman’s dream—Billy Fox.
But will a steamy make-out session in a restaurant alley with her big-name client cost Sophie her job? And does she really want an escape from her life and her loving, if imperfect, relationship with her investment banker boyfriend? The Star Attraction takes us on a wild ride through one woman’s daytime soap come to life. “Alison Sweeney’s novel is an entertaining, backstage glimpse at those who organize the lives of the Hollywood elite. It’s great fun for any reader who secretly sneaks peeks at People magazine in the checkout line at the grocery store, and wonders, What if . . . ?” –Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Lone Wolf and The Storyteller…
Cross Stitch Before Dying (e-book), by Amanda Lee
Embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer is about to find out that show biz and sew biz don’t mix!
Marcy’s mom Beverly is the costume designer for a lavish, Bollywood-style production…and she suggests Tallulah Falls as a great place to shoot part of the film. Everyone at the embroidery shop, and around town, is in a flutter that a glamorous movie production is taking place in their midst. But when the star of the film is found murdered, the police suspect Marcy’s mom, who made it no secret she did not care for the diva’s attitude regarding her wardrobe.
Marcy might as well issue an open call for suspects, because the star had a long list of enemies. To save her mom’s career and keep her from accessorizing with handcuffs, Marcy and her friends will need to stitch together the clues to catch one crafty killer who may have designs on Marcy next…
The Silver Boat, by Luanne Rice
In The Silver Boat, New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice has written a heart-wrenching yet heartwarming portrait of a family in all its flawed complexity. The McCarthy sisters have come to Martha’s Vineyard to say good-bye to their family’s beach house—the place they were happiest together. Each has her own complicated issues and is struggling with the difficult process of letting go, but when a cache of old letters spurs them to visit Ireland, each woman comes to see herself in a new light. True-to-life sisters, the beach, laughter, and passionate love—The Silver Boat is Luanne Rice at her very best.
Now I think I’d better settle back and start planning how to incorporate these new titles into my weeks ahead!
I hope you’ll come on by and chat!