Author's last name starts with S

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

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After Anna is Lisa Scottoline’s newest book.  It comes out the week after next and WOW. The story is a kick!  It is an oxymoronic situation for me - I so want to find out what is happening, but I so do not want to read more and hear more of descent into the bad happenings. You know it is coming!!!   You start reading just before what you know has to be a climax and then each chapter is back further in time, until you are back to the climax, which really … well enough said. You need to read it!   

The book is awesome!!! The story is based on a daughter moving in with her mother, her mother’s new husband and stepson.  Somehow in all the hoopla, the family seems to be struggling with the new addition. Anna had been used to making her own decisions for so long and she is not liking the loss of control. She also seems to be acting in such a way as to drive the mother and father apart - which is most curious. Then it gets even weirder.  

I loved how the story was told.  I love how the twisted pieces work together and are woven into a the story.  I loved the creepy feeling I got from the story as more pieces did not line up.  I even loved how I had to put the book down to worry about the new husband.

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline is a fabulously twisted read that held me from the beginning to the end!


About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis

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About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis is the newest in the Heartbreaker Bay Series. Once again we are brought to the same area and many of the characters from her past books appear, but it is the main characters that are so compelling.  

Joe is a ultimate bad boy turned soldier turned security expert is closed off and a static character until he kisses Kylie and can’t forget her. Not that he calls her afterward.   He works in the same building and wants to buy something she made for his sister.

Kylie is a craftsman working with wood.  Growing up, Kylie’s grandfather was a master craftsman and her main caregiver.  He died in a horrid fire years ago and she lost everything except for a wooden penguin. A wooden toy who went missing and now she is getting ransom demands… who does that?

Kylie turns to Joe for help and that’s when things get HOT HOT HOT!  The story moves right along and you really want to find the solution for Kylie and Joe to get a clue!!  Jill Shalvis has written a great new book, About That Kiss. It is a fabulous read!


The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman

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The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman is a very special book.  So special that I would consider it a 5 star read (something I do rarely).  The book highlights what is truly important in life; love and family. Viola Shipman has written a book that is universal in its message.

The main character,  Sam was trying to find herself and how she fit in life. She comes home to her family orchid after losing a job.  Her connections with her mother and grandmother are shared when they bake together and discuss life while baking.  Stories unfold from the different recipes from the Recipe Box (full of family recipes from the past). Each recipe brings warmth and love and stories that help illuminate the family, love, life and the strength of that.  

I loved the book.  Viola Shipman’s book is one I wholeheartedly suggest as a read for everyone. Bakers will love the old family recipes that are shared. Readers will connect with the characters as they show how they love and laugh.   The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman is a fantastic read.




The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve

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Anita Shreve’s newest book, The Stars are Fire is a great read.  We are brought to the coast of Maine in the 1940s and 50s.  The world and a woman’s place in the world were so regulated and regimented.  I loved how Anita Shreve wound a story around the coast of Maine!  I loved the characters she introduced us to - well except for one.  

Grace is resourceful and brave.  When a wildfire burned out of control in 1947 and headed toward her home on the coast of Maine, she took her friend and their children and found a way to survive on the edge of the cold ocean.  Many homes were lost and people died, but Grace still found a way.  I found her strength of purpose uplifting.  If she with all the struggles could not just survive and not just persevere, but find her future, then the rest of us could as well.

Anita Shreve empowered me with her portrayal of Grace.  She allowed us to realize that sometimes all we have is to keep on moving and digging deep.  Anita Shreve’s newest book, The Stars are Fire is a great read.

The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman

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Viola Shipman’s book, The Hope Chest is one of the most wonderful stories I have read.  It is a story that ties three people together, people who are struggling with hope.  Mattie has ALS and is nearing the end.  Don, her husband is floundering and overwhelmed.  Rose is hired as a home health aide and with her comes her precious and precocious daughter, Jeri.  Together, they find love and hope and family even in the midst of Mattie’s battle with ALS.  The story pulls on your heartstrings and reminds you of how each of us not only depend on each other, but grow and thrive with the comfort of family and friends.  

My mere words cannot possibly give this book the depth and passion it so deserves.  I can only tell you that to me The Hope Chest is a must read, however I would suggest that a cuppa tea and a box of tissues be your guide to enjoying the book.  Viola Shipman and The Hope Chest gives us a truly marvelous story that reminds us that home and hope are only a letter apart.

The Lost Rider by Harper Sloan

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The Lost Rider by Harper Sloan is a new series about family ranch in Texas called Coming Home. The father recently died and the brother who has been gone for so long returns.  Maverick Austin Davis is home from the rodeo.  He has been told to give up riding or give up living. Unfortunately it is the only thing that has given him any pleasure these last years.

Leighton Elizabeth James runs a shop called the Piehole.  It is famous for its wide range of pies. Leighton has put all her love and hard work to the shop since her parents died.  She is feeling alone, but glad for the shop.  She has always been in love with Maverick, but once he is home, she is pretty sure she hates him!

There are secrets to be uncovered and lies to be challenged.  There are two lonely people who have only loved each other suddenly put together.  The character of Maverick is not an easy character to like.  He is rude, crude, and brash.  Leighton smooths him out, but he still has stories to tell.

The Lost Rider by Harper Sloan is a good read.

By the Book by Julia Sonneborn

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By the Book by Julia Sonneborn brings us to the hallowed halls of a college.  Anne Corey is an English professor who is on her last legs.  She works hard, struggles to pay for her student loans and does not have tenure.  All that adds up to an insecure future and job.  She has the worries of publish or perish that many college professors have.  Anne has written her book, but no one has accepted it for publication.  

Meanwhile, the new college president is none other than her first love Adam Martinez.  He seems to not remember what they meant to each other.  He has new responsibilities and is surrounded by beautiful women who hang on his every word.  Meanwhile, her father is having medical issues, her sister is not being helpful, and her best friend is having an affair with a friend’s husband.   While she is hopeful and has some strong, caring friends life is sometimes quite hard.  Adam seems to be around, but is not showing her any special attention. She doesn’t know where she stands.  

Julia Sonneborn reminds of us of the greatness of the first love.  The academic world with all the rules and expectations is almost another character in the story, which adds to the atmosphere of the story.  By the Book by Julia Sonneborn was a good read.  

Rescuing Sadie by Susan Stoker

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Rescuing Sadie by Susan Stoker is a novella that mixes the Delta Team Group and the MacKay Taggart Group.  Two groups of men who work hard to make the world a safer place. Sadie witnessed too much helping her friend out.  She discovered a group of pediphiles who were stockpiling weapons. While most of the group had been taken out, Sadie is still in danger from the leader’s son.  Chase Jackson knew as soon as he saw her that she was the one. He would do anything to save her. Hopefully she feels the same way.

Rescuing Sadie is a novella with lots of action.  It is a book that can be read as a stand alone, but might read better as part of the series.  Susan Stoker’s writes in great characters and quick action stories. Rescuing Sadie is a good read.


Not That I Could Tell By Jessica Strawser

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Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser was a gripping psychological thriller that sent chills up my spine during the climax.  The story focused around a neighborhood and a group of woman in the neighborhood who were sitting around a fire pit one night swapping stories and the next day one of them was gone.  Gone, with her children, without any clues and a confused ex husband looking for her and the children. The rest of the woman were questioned again and again. Various theories were spouted but without evidence...there was no closure for the women.

The book is written in various voices mostly Clara and Izzy, although some of the thoughts are from Kristen (the missing mother).  The story goes back and forth opening up various avenues for the reader to ponder. What I found most remarkable is that I was glad I was along for the ride.  I was enjoying the story so much and was wondering so much about what was going to happen, that I really didn’t want the book to end and I read it very slowly (for me).  It is a rare occurrence in my world to have that happen. I liked the slow reveal and the main characters. I

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser was a great read, with good writing, characters and a plotline that built suspense as the book moved along!  

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawer

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Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawer was a story that brought the reader on a journey of self discovery.  I felt compelled to keep on reading and found myself emotionally attached to the main characters for various reasons. The book is written in the three viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin going back and forth in time drawing us a picture of the events that led up the the first scene and then the end.

Violet and Finn are married with a young child.  They were on vacation at the ocean when Finn and the baby disappear.  Caitlin and Finn have been friends for a long, long time.  They know so much about each other, enough that Finn blackmaled Caitlin to help him hide.  Violet and Caitlin are friends and had their babies together, but Caitlin doesn’t share everything - and then there is her husband in the mix.  The story of couples and marriages with secrets that some know and others do not, but they know others and no one seems to know them all.

Jessica Strawer’s first book, Almost Missed You was a great read. I enjoyed the story, the characters, the secrets and the writing.  I am looking forward to her next book!!!!

Willow's Way by Sharon Struth

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Willow’s Way by Sharon Struth was a charming second chance at love read.  The story takes Willow, who has always believed that she was unlovable because she was not skinny, to a place who realizes she is good the way she is! I love that in a story, especially when the cause of the self disgust is a person, I love to hate!  

Willow started her own company, Pound Busters with a philosophy about how to get and stay thin.  She was a prime member and proud of her self control. Then her husband of many years leaves her, her financial advisor steals all of the company’s and her personal money and her life spirals out of control.  The final straw, she was caught eating pizza - reallys shoveling it in her face by a photograph gone viral. The company’s board of directors want to fire her and she needs money. That is when she discovers she owns land and a home in the Cotswold in England, a very picturesque location.

Willow leaves to go there thinking of selling it and staging a comeback.  However what she finds is Owen Hughes and his daughter, a family history and a chance to find her way.   Willow’s Way by Sharon Struth was a good read.


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Latest comments

26.03 | 16:01

At first I thought it said spa season. Either way it is a sign of rejuvenation! On a Kristin Hannah kick, loved Winter Garden. Happy reading!

19.03 | 14:10

Cities are fun but exhausting. Like you the quiet is needed.

30.08 | 21:25

Have loved reading every one of Lisa Scottoline's books. Can't wait for the next one to arrive on bookshelves. Thanks for sharing your remarkable talent!

28.08 | 06:12

August snow days! What a fantastic idea! I've been reading Martin Walker's Bruno series set in rural France full or recipes. Yum

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