Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

For My Ears: BEST BOY by Eli Gottlieb

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So — as you know if you read me regularly, I listen to audiobooks in the car on my hour plus commute each day. I get them from Audible. Audible often has sales and sends me emails of suggestions, so I chose this one rather randomly. It is the story of Todd Aaron, a middle aged man with autism who has spent most of his life in an assisted living facility for individuals with special needs.

Todd’s story centers around the events that occur that make him try to run away and get back to his former home. He has a new roommate- a brain injured young man who makes Todd uncomfortable, a new friend – a girl that is both funny and terrifying and to me seems psychotic, a beloved aide, and a new caretaker who scares Todd and reminds him of his abusive father. The story is told in Todd’s unique voice and provides a large amount of back story woven in.

I can hardly express how much I loved this book. It is so touching and sensitive, and unforgettable, it made me cry. Bronson Pinchot is the narrator and he is phenomenal — truly! His ability to “voice” Todd appropriately lends a whole new layer to the reading of the text. I rarely say this, but if you have the option, LISTEN to this book as opposed to reading it. You will NOT be disappointed. It runs in just under 7 1/2 hours.

Don’t miss this one!

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BEA “Buzz Authors” for Middle Grade Fiction

One great thing about the Book Expo is that you can find out what the “hot” titles are that are forthcoming. This year I stumbled into this session late (couldn’t find it) and they were just finishing talking about the first title. A young man from Scholastic was giving a heartfelt entreaty for folks to read and love and support their upcoming release of GEORGE. Here are the books that were cited as the ones to watch (links are to Amazon where I am an Associate) – they all release in August or September:

George by Alex Gino – about a young boy who knows he’s really a girl and wants to play Charlotte in the school play of “Charlotte’s Web”.

Last in a Long Line of Rebels by Lisa Lewis Tyre – about a spunky young girl who seeks to save her Civil War era home.

The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon – about a young boy who goes on an adventure to save his grandparents who are stranded on an iceberg.

The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB by Adam Shaughnessy – first in a series about two friends having adventures in the world of Viking gods they discover under their town.

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin – about a young girl dealing with the death of her best friend.

When I came out of the session I found myself right in front of a table with EACH of these books on it as a free gift for us! I was able to get a copy of each and look forward to reading them.

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Litfuse Blog Tour for A LOVE LIKE OURS by Becky Wade and GIVEAWAY

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Well — here I am as part of Becky Wade’s new release tour through Litfuse Publicity for A LOVE LIKE OURS.

If you know me, you know I enjoy Christian fiction, with a little bit of romance, but it’s not all I read and I have to find it relatable to me. All the summary info is below, but to give you a quick idea – this novel focuses on Lyndie James who reconnects with her childhood best friend, Jake Porter, when she comes to train horses for him. Jake is both emotionally and physically scarred from a tour of duty in Iraq. Will Lyndie break down his defenses to help him feel again?

Well, I’m not really doing it justice, because this book was a whole lot more. The other characters really made the book for me, especially Lyndie’s family, and her sister Molly with severe special needs. I loved her neighbor friend. I loved the Porter family. I loved how real these people felt. I loved how it was all about horses (and I’m not even a horse person).

Here’s the thing – I think I’m drawn to Christian fiction because it’s so redeeming. There’s often a message that no matter what mistakes you’ve made, no matter where you are in life, no matter how alone or lost you feel, that you are worth saving. Stories with this theme and the theme of self-forgiveness are often my favorite. This one was no exception.

This was my first Becky Wade book, but I just love Katie Ganshert and I know Katie loves Becky, so now I do, too! 🙂

Here’s info below on the book and a great giveaway that Becky is hosting (n.b. — sometimes with the free version of WordPress codes are stripped upon post publishing. So if something doesn’t link correctly, please look via my twitter feed @BethsBookBlog as I will cross-post).

Thank you for my review copy, via Net Galley, and having me be part of the tour!

About the book:
A Love Like Ours (Bethany House, May 2015)Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion’s reluctance to run.Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

Purchase a copy:
 http://bit.ly/1R9Tv8p

About the author:

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, took time off to raise her children, then felt God nudging her to pursue contemporary Christian fiction. Becky’s work has been a finalist for both a RITA and an INSPY Award.

Find Becky online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Follow the tour!

Blog Tour Schedule
5/5/2015
Debra | 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!
Mary | the mary book
Gayle | A Love Like ours
Jalynn | A Simple Life, really?!
Erin | For Him and My Family
Megan | When life gets you down…read a book
Tima | Book Reviews by Tima
Sandra | Simple Harvest Reads
Marianne | Reviewing Nivels Online5/6/2015
Vicky | deal sharing aunt
Ruth | This That and the Other Thing
Kristie | Moments
Lydia | The Overweight Bookshelf
Cara | Cara Putman
Sarah | Running Through The Storms5/7/2015
Amanda | LoveandaPrayer
Cassandra | Cassandra M’s Place
Alyssa | Sunrise Avenue
Joan | Book Reviews from an Avid Reader
Karen | Ting’s Mom Books
Vera | Chat With Vera5/8/2015
Lena | A Christian Writers World
Lakin | Wonderou Reviews
Becky | Christian Chick’s Thoughts
Shannah | Faith * Love * Books5/9/2015
Renee | Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot
Julia | Avid Reader Reviews5/10/2015
Paige | Electively Paige
Dianna | Savings in Seconds
Joy | Splashes of Joy
Carole | The Power of Words
Cristi | Cristi’s Reviews
Ashley | Wandering the Pages
Margaret | The World As I See It

5/11/2015
Jolene | Beauty In the Binding
Amanda | Inklings and Notions
Brooke | i blog 4 books
Kellie | Nothing Less
Colleen | A Bit Bookish

5/12/2015
Shanae | Quirky Book Reviews
Michelle | I Hope YOu Dance
Jojo | JoJo’s Corner

5/13/2015
Billy | Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
Victor | Vic’s Media Room
Tara | This Sweet Life
Kav | Best Reads
Andrew | Andrew Smith’s Blog
Charity | aTransParentMom
Lisa | Living Echoes

5/14/2015
Rachel | EmpowerMoms
Krista | Welcome to Married Life
Brittany | Britt Reads Fiction
Laura | Crafty Booksheeps
Heidi | Heidi Reads…
Kathleen | Reviews From The Heart
Hallie | Book by Book
Iola | Iola’s Christian Reads
Jennifer | Jen’s JOurney
Andi | Radiant Light

5/15/2015
Deb | Positive Grace
Alison | Shortcut Saver
Margaret | Frugal-Shopping
Tressa | Wishful Endings
Amber | Seasons of Humility

5/16/2015
Marcia | Cia Says
Suzanne | Cows and Lasers and Everything in Between

5/17/2015
Jaime | The Mama Games
Leila | All Meant To Shine

5/18/2015
Angela | A Busy Mom of Two
Nicki | Tracks and Chapters, Pages and Characters:Christian or Fiction?
Kathy | Book Reviews & More by Kathy

5/19/2015
Shecki | Greatly Blessed
Heidi | Starts At Eight
Amy | the ramblings of miss aimymichelle
Terra | Heck Of A Bunch
Veronica | Veronica’s ‘Views
Beth-Anne | Book Reviews
Beth | Beth’s Book-Nook Blog

5/20/2015
Lori | Morning Glories and Moonflowers
Faye | Labor Not in Vain
Paula | Grow Where You’re Planted
Angela | all grown up

5/21/2015
April | Dixie n Dottie
Kemi | Homemaking Organized

5/22/2015
Abbi | Christian Novels
Celena | The Traveling Sisterhood
Marissa | The Review Stew
Alison | NOVA Frugal Family
Deb | Debs book review

5/24/2015
Jenny | Book Reviews By Jenny

5/25/2015
Cheryl | cherylbbookblog
Lindsey | Lindsey Bell: Faith and Family

5/26/2015
Krystal | glamour girl reviews
Amanda | The Talbert Report
Stacey | WORD Up!
Rebekah | Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews
Rachelle | Inspiring Daring
Shirley | A Mom After God’s Own Heart
Anna | Anna Weaver Books

And here’s exciting giveaway news!!

Love Like Ours Becky WadeFall in love with Becky Wade‘s new book, A Love Like Ours, a story of healing, romance, and cowboys. A glimmer of the hope Jake thought he’d lost returns when Lyndie lands back in Texas, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

To celebrate the release of her new book, Becky is giving away a $100 cash card and a book-inspired prize pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A $100 cash card
  • A copy of A Love Like Ours
  • A copy of the Secretariat DVD
  • A scarf
  • A dog-tag/cross keychain
  • A pair of earrings
  • A Scarf
  • A Texas-shaped cutting board
  • A Jake Porter mug
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Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 26th. Winner will be announced May 27th on Becky’s site.

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Giveaway!! (Oct. 1-4) A TASTE FOR INTENSITY by Dominique Perregaux

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I’m excited today to be hosting another giveaway!!

Jennifer at Smith Publicity has offered a copy of A TASTE FOR INTENSITY to one lucky reader of my blog! Here’s some info on the book (thanks, Jennifer!):

A Taste for Intensity
by Dominique Perregaux
 
DISCOVERING RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY
–International art dealer explores life, love, and the depth of our inner strength in provocative new novel based on real events
 
         Life, it’s been said, is somewhat like a blank canvas waiting to be painted with the brushstrokes of experience, emotion, heartbreak, and love. In the end, each life is a piece of art that tells a unique story, and each has the potential to be a masterpiece. How we fill our blank canvas is entirely up to us and the choices we make.
         Sometimes it takes something extraordinary to get us painting.
         Such was the case with stockbroker turned international art dealer and gallery owner, Dominique Perregaux. After years of international study and travel, as well as a life-changing career switch, it took looking extreme adversity straight in the eye for Perregaux to discover one of the keys to life: resilience. In his captivating new novel based on real-life events, A Taste for Intensity, he explores this theme as he pulls us into one man’s transformational journey.
            When Swiss art dealer, Hector, meets American Midwestern Elizabeth Bennett in Hong Kong, he senses there is a unique emotional bond between them. The beginning of their relationship is intense and “Romanesque.” Yet, unbeknown to each other, behind the infatuation and anticipations, they are both holding secrets. The weight of these secrets and their high expectations are the grounds for a formidable adventure to the depth of the human soul. 
Readers follow Hector on a reminiscent and nostalgic trip through Europe. During this journey he opens up about his adolescence, about his passion for art, about his early professional achievements as a successful stockbroker and about opening the first international contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong. We then glimpse at Hector back in Hong Kong, three years after settling down in the city, as he shares the excitement and doubts he feels about building a relationship with Elizabeth while, at the same time, fighting the battle of his life. When havoc eventually strikes, Hector uncompromisingly immerses us into his inner-self and shares his battle for life and love.
         “Telling this story,” says Perregaux, “was my ‘real life’ solution for resilience and the best way to overcome an incredibly difficult and transformational time in my life. It is brutally honest and beautifully emotional, but at it’s core, it’s a story of optimism.” 
         In his riveting work of autobiographical fiction, Perregaux explores such themes as:
·  Resilience: when, why, and how it is discovered and its life-altering power
·  How optimism can help us through life’s toughest challenges
·  The difficulty and beauty of building a genuine and lasting relationship (and exploring the emotional differences between men and women)
·  What it means to be “Romanesque” and how one can provoke exciting experiences in their life
·  The insights and revelations that surviving near-death situations can bring
         In a universal story of loss, love, and life, Perregaux takes us on a global
adventure, uncovering deep secrets and exploring the intricacies of the human soul.    
 
Dominique Perregaux began his career as a stockbroker and was consistently ranked “best stockbroker” in the Asian Markets in Switzerland. After leaving finance, Perregaux relocated to Hong Kong and opened the first contemporary art gallery there, representing well-known international artists. Six years later, he opened another gallery branch in Tokyo.
 
Perregaux was inspired to write his first novel (which is largely based on events from his own life), A Taste for Intensity, after overcoming a difficult situation and having his eyes opened to some of the most important aspects of life. Studied and lived abroad for over ten years, Perregaux is currently based in Hong Kong.
 
Website: www.atasteforintensity.com
 

Sounds interesting, yes?? While I haven’t read it, I am intrigued by the idea of autobiographical fiction.

Here are the rules:

1) You MUST be a follower of my blog to enter. You can follow my blog itself, or follow me on Twitter (@BethsBookBlog), or be one of my personal friends/family members who connect through Facebook.

2) Leave a comment and say “hey!” and tell me how you follow me (honor system here, folks!).

3) ONE entry per person.

4) Open to US and INT’L!!

5) I will use random.org to generate the winning entry number. I will post who the winner is by Sunday, October 6. You can contact me with your mailing info, which I will send in to the publicist for your copy.

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Giveaway!! STONEFLY by Scott Holliday

This week I am really excited to be hosting a giveaway!! (cue cheering and clapping)

STONEFLY by Scott Holliday is the first book in the Jacob Duke series. I am reading it now, but Amazon blurbs it as:

Jacob Duke has come back to Braketon­–a sleepy, backwoods town bordering Dover, the mental institution where he spent his formative years. Jacob’s intention is to enjoy Braketon’s woods and water for the first time as a free man, but he soon discovers that Dover isn’t through with him yet. Driven by a curse that compels him to grant any wish he hears, Jacob is drawn back into his disturbing former life by a young boy’s desire to see his own father dead. Complicating things is the irresistible and erratic Lori Nelson, who continues to put new boyfriends in Jacob’s path, along with Motown, Jacob’s friend from his years at Dover, who carries a secret that rocks Jacob’s foundation and makes him question his own morality.

Here’s the rules:

1) You MUST be a follower of my blog to enter. You can follow my blog itself, or follow me on Twitter (@BethsBookBlog), or be one of my personal friends/family members who connect through Facebook.

2) Leave a comment and say “hey!” and tell me how you follow me (honor system here, folks!).

3) ONE entry per person.

4) Open to US and INT’L!!

5) I will use random.org to generate the winning entry number. I will post who the winner is by Monday, August 26. You can contact me with your mailing info, which I will send in to the publicist for your copy.

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Review: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

My Kindle suggested that I would like “The Peach Keeper” by Sarah Addison Allen, so I downloaded a sample. I found myself immediately pulled into the story, so I purchased it. “The Peach Keeper” tells the story of two 30-year-old women in North Carolina: down to earth Willa Jackson – who owns a natural products hiking store/coffee shop – and Paxton Osgood – the head of the ladies society who still lives at home (though in her parents’ pool house). Paxton has worked to renovate a lovely estate, the Blue Ridge Madam, once owned by Willa’s family and is hosting a gala event for her ladies society. When Paxton reaches out to Willa to attend, the past is re-opened, and their relationship and that of their grandmothers are re-examined in a new and extraordinary light.

I really enjoyed reading this novel! It had some mystery to it (a skeleton is found while renovating the Madam) as well as some light romance (both Willa and Paxton has love interests that they are fighting against). There was also an air of mystical realism in this story: the smell of peaches, a ghost that haunts them, pictures moving to places where they weren’t put, etc.

I hadn’t read anything else by Ms. Allen, but this novel made me want to!

If you enjoy stories about women and the relationships they forge – as well as they strength they convey – then you’ll probably enjoy this book!

See this book on Amazon where I am an Associate:

Check out the book trailer! (via You Tube – also found on Amazon)

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