Books I read in October…

October was a busy (and ended on a sad note) month. The good stuff: Boo Bash and Birthday celebration. The bad stuff: My dog, Zeke, died. Also it’s been 1 year since my grandmother passed away. Needless to say- October has a lot going for it; but is tinged with sadness, as well.

Through the good times and sad times- I did find time to read 8 books.

October reads:

The Mermaid Collector by Erika Marks- simply put- it was a great book. Wonderful storyline, interesting characters. And mermaids- beautiful and magical creatures. Here’s the review I posted earlier: The Mermaid Collector. If a story set in a coastal town with hints of magic and intrigue sounds good- read this book.

Ghosts of Manhattan by Douglas Brunt- tale of sex, drugs and Wall Street. Hints of a life-crisis. Nick Farmer is a likeable character- wooed by the money and power of Wall Street in his position as a bond trader at Bear Stearns. The life is getting to Nick, though. Interesting tale of Wall Street life and the choices that people make.  Here is the review of Ghosts of Manhattan that I posted previously.

New Kids on the Block: 5 Brothers and a Million Sisters by Nikki Van Noy- total fangirl moment (fangirl of the late 80’s-early 90’s). This tells the story of the past, present and future of NKOTB. Insightful take on the lives of the group- also with stories from the fans. If you loved (or still) love NKOTB- worth a read. Here is my review of New Kids on the Block: 5 Brothers and a Million Sisters.

Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio. Sarah Jio takes a tale of an event that happened many years apart- a Blackberry Winter (a late spring snowstorm) and creates a story of family, love, heartbreak, sadness, and a mystery with the characters. My review of Blackberry Winter as I previously posted.

The Guest Book by Marybeth Whalen- a story of love, forgiving others, and finding happiness. Touching story about a grown-up woman- her life is not what she thought it would be. And she wonders about the person she spent her childhood trading pictures with; but never met. Would her life be different? A Christian fiction story- interesting and an easy read. Has something for everyone.

Iced by Carol Higgins Clark- Regan is heading to spend Christmas in Aspen. She’s looking forward to skiing, enjoying some down time with family and maybe finding a hunky man. Little does she know she’ll spend more time solving a mystery of art thieves. Light, funny and fluffy.

Decked by Carol Higgins Clark- the first book in the Regan Reilly series. Regan is at a 10 year reunion for her overseas boarding school. While there, she find out that her former roommate was murdered- instead of simply run away as they had all thought. Regan is dying to solve the mystery, but due to travel plans is unable to stay behind in England. However, she need not have worried- the murder clues are following her to her next travel stop.

Laced by Carol Higgins Clark- Regan and Jack are married and celebrating their honeymoon in Ireland. Until a pair of criminals that have been taunting Jack set about to ruin the honeymoon. Will Jack and Regan be able to solve the mystery and enjoy their honeymoon? Another fun and fluffy read- Carol Higgins Clark books are easy reads- not suspenseful like her mother’s, Mary Higgins Clark.


Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio

Sarah Jio’s third book, Blackberry Winter, is a tale that will leave readers experiencing many emotions: Sadness, happiness, hopefullness, and joy. This is book that the reader keeps on reading not only because they want to know what happens, because they MUST know what happens. Sarah Jio has a gift for sprinkling enough clues and intrigue into each chapter to keep the reader guessing and intrigued. The book is written in a past and present time format with information being left for the readers in both time periods.

Seattle, May 1-2, 1933: Vera Ray, a hotel maid, leaves her 3 year old son in bed while she works the night-shift at the Olympic. She hates to leave Daniel at home by himself, but really has no choice. She reasons that he’ll be ok in the bed asleep while she works. The next morning, she leaves work to see that Seattle is experiencing a heavy snow.  When Vera gets home, the bed is empty. And all that she can find of Daniel is his teddy bear-outside in the snowy weather.

Seattle, May 2nd, Present day: Claire Aldridge wakes to see Seattle covered in a snowy blanket. Her editor at the Seattle Herald wants a story on the “blackberry winter” and remarks about the coincidence of the date. Claire, at first, does not think there is much to the story. But as she begins to find out more about the last time a “blackberry winter” happened- she is proved wrong. Not only is the story a much bigger deal, the story has links to the present.

Weaving a tale of 2 women of 2 different decades, Sarah Jio tells a story of strength, weakeness, poverty, riches, and the sadness of a lost child.

Highly recommend.

At this writing, Sarah Jio’s Blackberry Winter has made the NYT Bestseller’s List. Congratulations to Sarah Jio!

Literary Friday, ya’ll….

Been a couple of weeks since I posted about a #literaryfriday- September flew by and my hard drive crashed last week. Fun stuff, right?

Here goes:

1. Deep South Mag and their weekly Literary Friday is HERE. Tons of Events, news, and literary items in this weekly installment; but most notably: Oprah Winfrey included the book The Cutting Season by Attica Locke on her The Best New Books of October 2012. However, Deep South Magazine had already included The Cutting Season on their Fall/Winter Reading List. The Cutting Season looks like it’s off to a good start being on 2 different reading lists. For Deep South Magazine’s full Fall/Winter List- click HERE. Grab a book, and get ready to enjoy the fall and winter seasons!

2. September 30- October 6 is Banned Book Week.  You may have seen some of the cute pictures (especially the spoof of Carly Rae Jespen’s Call Me Maybe) this week as part of the week. Deep South Magazine has an article about Banned Book Week as well as Southern Spines.

3. She Reads is giving away a copy of Erika Marks newest book, The Mermaid Collector, today. I’ve already been raving about how good this book is, heck, even posted a countdown clock about the book’s release date. To win a copy of this book, all you have to do is make a comment HERE. Enter the contest, and find out about the magic of The Mermaid Collector first-hand.

4. If you haven’t read Sarah Jio’s Blackberry Winter, I encourage you to read this book. Great storyline and characters. Also, it’s the She Reads October Book Club pick.

5. Check back here for reviews on Blackberry Winter, The Mermaid Collector, and Ghosts of Manhattan. Have read the first 2, finishing the last book.

As always, enjoy the weekend and Happy Reading!