Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Monday, October 9, 2017

Book Spotlight: THE WELCOME HOME DINER by Peggy Lampman

The Welcome Home Diner by Peggy Lampman
ISBN: 9781542047821 (paperback)
ASIN: B06Y11Q9JX (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: October 10, 2017

Betting on the city of Detroit's eventual comeback, cousins Addie and Samantha decide to risk it all on an affordable new house and a culinary career that starts with renovating a vintage diner in a depressed area of town. There's just one little snag in their vision.
Angus, a weary, beloved local, is strongly opposed to his neighborhood's gentrification—and his concerns reflect the suspicion of the community. Shocked by their reception, Addie and Samantha begin to have second thoughts.
As the long hours, problematic love interests, and underhanded pressures mount, the two women find themselves increasingly at odds, and soon their problems threaten everything they've worked for. If they are going to realize their dreams, Addie and Samantha must focus on rebuilding their relationship. But will the neighborhood open their hearts to welcome them home?

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"Readers who like stories of activism, community change, and close but changing bonds will relish the depth in The Welcome Home Diner, which is far more than a culinary, small-business, or family relationship saga, but blossoms to embrace the entire microcosm of life representative in one struggling community's choices. Recipes included." —Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

"This book is cast with a colorful and diverse group of characters led by two cousins, both strong women, who decide to open a wholesome diner in a neglected part of Detroit. With a rich and descriptive flair, Peggy Lampman gracefully tackles the contentious issues the cousins face including prejudice, the community's resistance to change, and their own personal clashes." —Alison Ragsdale, author of Finding Heather, The Father-Daughter Club, and Tuesday's Socks

Meet the Author

Peggy Lampman was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After earning a bachelor's degree in communications—summa cum laude—from the University of Michigan, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for a public-relations firm. When she returned to Ann Arbor, her college town, she opened a specialty foods store, the Back Alley Gourmet. Years later, she sold the store and started writing a weekly food column for the Ann Arbor News and MLive. Lampman's first novel, The Promise Kitchen, published in 2016, garnered several awards and accolades. She is married and has two children. She also writes the popular blog www.dinnerfeed.com.

Connect with the author at her websiteFacebook, and Twitter 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Book Showcase: LILAC LANE by Sherryl Woods

Lilac Lane (Chesapeake Shores #14) by Sherryl Woods 
ISBN: 9780778331339 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781488028328 (ebook)
ASIN: B06VV67J1P (Kindle edition)
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: October 17, 2017

No one writes about friends, family and home better than Sherryl Woods. Told with warmth and humor, Lilac Lane is a brand-new story in her beloved Chesapeake Shores series, one readers all over the world have waited two years to read!
At the heart of Lilac Lane is Keira Malone, who raised her three children alone after her first marriage broke apart, and who, after years of guarding her heart, finally finds love again. But that love is short-lived when her fiancé suffers a fatal heart attack. Grieving and unsure of what's next, Keira agrees to move from Dublin to Chesapeake Shores, Maryland, to spend time with her daughter, Moira, and her new granddaughter, Kate, as well as to help her son-in-law, Luke, with his Irish pub, O'Briens.
Not wanting to live underfoot, she rents a charming cottage on Lilac Lane, replete with views of the ocean and her neighbor's thriving garden—not to mention views of the neighbor himself. The neighbor is none other than Bryan Laramie, the brusque and moody chef at the pub, with whom Keira is constantly butting heads. But things get real when Bryan's long-lost daughter, whom he hasn't seen since she was a baby, shows up out of the blue. As Bryan and Keira each delve into their pasts, reopening wounds, the rest of the town is gearing up for the Fall Festival Irish Stew cook-off, and making no bones about whose side they're on. It's Kitchen Wars meets This is Your Life—a recipe for disaster…or a new take on love?
You won't want to miss this epic return to Chesapeake Shores, a place we're betting you'll want to stay forever.

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Read an excerpt:

On the quick drive to the pub, Luke ran through the short list of waitstaff, many of whom were college students working part-time. "You'll be working most closely with the chef, Bryan Laramie," he concluded. "Bryan's pretty easygoing, but he considers the kitchen his domain."
"The name doesn't sound Irish."
Luke chuckled at that. "No, Bryan's a New Yorker by birth, a graduate of the Culinary Institute, who landed somehow in Baltimore working at a deli. I've never heard the whole story about that. He doesn't talk much about himself or his past." 
"Isn't a deli one of those places known for matzo ball soup and pastrami on rye sandwiches?"
"Among other things, yes."
"Why would you hire someone like that to run the kitchen in an Irish pub?" Kiera asked.
"Of all the applicants, Moira and I liked him the best. And Nell put him to a test with some of her best recipes and he won the position hands down over two others we considered. You'll see. He knows his way around the kitchen and we're building something of a reputation for the quality of our food, as well as for our selection of ale and the fine Irish music we bring in on the weekends."
"Then I'll keep an open mind," Kiera promised.
Luke gave her a worried look. "Kiera, O'Brien's runs smoothly because we operate as a team. We all know our roles and respect each other's contributions, from the wait-staff and kitchen staff all the way through to Moira and me."
"And where exactly am I to fit in?"
"Once you've spent a little time learning the way we operate, getting to know our regular customers and so on, you'll make recommendations just as any of the rest of us might. We're always open to fresh ideas. And anything that ensures our customers of a true Irish experience will be especially welcomed. We'll trust you about that."
It all sounded perfectly reasonable to her, even if offering a little less control than she'd been anticipating. Still, she would have Luke's ear if there were changes she felt needed to be made in the name of Irish authenticity.
"How will you be introducing me to the staff?" she asked "Am I to be one of them, or a consultant only, as Moira suggested, or a nosy troublesome mother-in-law who happens to be visiting from Ireland and can't keep her opinions to herself ?"
Luke gave her a curious glance. "Are you in need of a formal title?"
"Not for my ego," she replied tartly. "But it will be a help to all of us, if I know my place."
"Since I can't give you an official position just yet until Connor settles that paperwork, why don't we just say you're helping out and lending us your expertise from years of working in pubs in Ireland?"
Kiera nodded slowly. "So a voice, but no authority." 
"Something like that," Luke said, his tone cautious. "Are you okay with that for now?"
"I'll do my best to make it work," she said. She'd spent years under similar restraint in her old job. She'd had far more freedom and say at Peter's pub, but she could put that aside for now. At least she hoped she could, if only in the name of family harmony.
Bryan looked up from the Irish soda bread he was about to put into the oven to see Kiera Malone regarding him intently, her expression radiating disapproval.
"Something on your mind?" he asked.
"Just observing," she said, backing off a step.
"But you have something to say. I can see that you're practically biting your tongue. Just say it."
Ever since  Kiera had been introduced to the staff at O'Brien's, she'd been lurking about, observing as she put it. It was driving him a little bit crazy. He didn't like extra people milling about in his kitchen, especially with an unmistakable hint of judgment in their eyes. He'd grown used to being respected, thanks to regular praise from not only the customers, but from Nell O'Brien, who was his go-to person for inspiration with the menu and its execution.
To be fair, from what he'd seen, Kiera was a hard worker in general and she got on well enough with the customers and even the waitstaff. She wasn't still for a minute and was always eager to take on any task that was given to her, even pitching in to help out washing dishes or scrubbing the floor after hours. All of that was admirable.
It was the way she watched him as he worked, though, that made him want to banish her from his kitchen. It was only out of respect for Luke and Moira that he'd kept his mouth shut till now and tried to accept her presence underfoot.
He studied her expression and could tell she was torn between speaking out and staying silent. "Just say whatever's on your mind before your head explodes," he told her impatiently.
"The soda bread is going to be hard as a rock," she blurted finally.
He frowned at her. "And just why is that?"
"You were pounding it as if you had a grudge against it," she told him.
Bryan drew in a deep breath to try to calm himself before he said something he'd regret. It was true, he'd been taking out his frustration over Kiera's presence on the dough. And, quite likely, she was right. Overkneading would be the kiss of death for the soda bread. It would likely be inedible.
Rather than admitting as much, however, he simply gestured to the array of ingredients. "Would you like to show me how it's done?"
Her expression brightened at once. "You won't be offended?"
Given that it was his way of saving face when his own loaves of bread were tossed in the trash, no, he wouldn't be offended at all.
"Have at it," he said, instead. "I have other work to do if we're to be ready when the doors open for lunch."
When he turned back a few minutes later, Kiera was lovingly kneading the bread with a touch that stirred an annoying hint of longing. Out of the blue a shocking image of those hands on him, massaging his shoulders at the end of the day, made him more irritable than ever. Images like that were not only inappropriate, they were totally unwelcome. At this rate, the woman was going to drive him to the brink of insanity and she hadn't even been underfoot a full week.

Excerpt from Lilac Lane by Sherryl Woods, to be released on October 17, 2017, by MIRA Books. Copyright © 2017 by Sherryl Woods. All Rights Reserved.

Meet the Author:

With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether in her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. Sherryl is best known for her ability to creating endearing small town communities and families. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 75 romances for Silhouette Desire and Special Edition.

Connect with the author at her websiteFacebook, and Twitter

This excerpt and tour brought to you by TLC Book Tours 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 Book 331: THE STOLEN MARRIAGE by Diane Chamberlain

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain
ISBN: 9781250087270 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781250087294 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781427289407 (audiobook)
ASIN: B06XKJVT8D (Kindle edition)
Publication date: October 3, 2017 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

In 1944, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina, a small town struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. Tess's new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows no interest in making love. Tess quickly realizes she's trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.
The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town's prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and Tess is blamed. Tess suspects people are talking about her, plotting behind her back, and following her as she walks around town. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? Feeling alone and adrift, Tess turns to the one person who seems to understand her, a local medium who gives her hope but seems to know more than he's letting on. 
When a sudden polio epidemic strikes the town, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry's wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Yet at home, Henry's actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle her husband's mysterious behavior and save her own life?   

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Tess DeMello has only wanted two things in life: to become a nurse and to marry the love of her life. When her fiance is away for months on end working on the polio epidemic, Tess travels to Washington D.C. with a childhood friend. Who knew that one weekend away from home would change her life forever in The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain.

Theresa "Tess" DeMello has always been a good Italian Catholic girl. She loves and respects her mother. She's studying hard to become a nurse and considers herself fortunate to be engaged to marry the love of her life, the son of her next-door neighbors. Her fiance is a pediatric physician, Vincent Russo, and is called away from Maryland to work on the polio epidemic in Illinois and it doesn't seem like he's ever going to make it back home. In an effort to take Tess's mind off of her studies and absent fiance, her friend Gina talks her into taking a weekend trip from Baltimore to Washington D.C. Gina and Tess stay in a tourist home and meet two visiting businessmen in the home upon their arrival. A simple dinner with these men turns into something that soon devastates all of Tess's future plans. After being kicked out of her childhood home by her mother, Tess leaves Baltimore for a new life in Hickory, North Carolina. Tess's new life is anything but idyllic and soon tragedy strikes her new family. When polio strikes Hickory, Tess does the only thing she knows how to do and pitches in along with the other townsfolk to combat this scourge. Tess is willing to make a go of her marriage but it seems as if her husband has secrets he isn't willing to share even with his wife. Can their marriage survive secrets and tragedy after tragedy?

I found The Stolen Marriage to be a fast-paced and haunting read. Ms. Chamberlain finds interesting historical tidbits, such as the town of Hickory NC and their ability to build a hospital to treat polio in less 100 hours (yes it's a real town and yes they pulled together to fight polio), and build a heartwarming and often heart-wrenching story around that historical fact. I enjoyed all of the drama and tension within the story, between Tess and her husband Henry, between Tess and her mother-in-law, between Tess and the societal norms of Hickory NC that were foisted upon her after her marriage to Henry, the racial tension of the time, the fight to battle polio, and more. Yes, there's quite a bit happening in this story, but it all works and works quite well. I liked all of the characters, even Henry with all of his issues and man does he have issues (read the book to find out more). For those of you that have read anything by Ms. Chamberlain in the past, I won't have to tell you to grab a copy of The Stolen Marriage because you probably already have it. For those of you that haven't read anything by this author, I strongly encourage you to get a copy of The Stolen Marriage to read ASAP. It's been a few weeks since I read The Stolen Marriage and I still can't get it out of my mind. I look forward to rereading The Stolen Marriage as well as any future writings by Ms. Chamberlain. 

Disclaimer: I received a free digital advance reader copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Read an excerpt here.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Book Blast: JOHNNY BIG EARS, THE FEEL-GOOD FRIEND by John Paul Padilla

Johnny Big-Ears, The Feel-Good Friend

by John Paul Padilla
October 3, 2017 Book Blast

October is National Bullying Prevention Month! Join the Campaign with this Amazing Book!

Johnny Big-Ears, the Feel-Good Friend by John Paul Padilla

Book Details

Genre: Children

Published by: Padilla Goldworks

Publication Date: March 20, 2012

Number of Pages: 40

ISBN: 0979889847 (ISBN13: 9780979889844)

Purchase Links:   Johnny Big-Ears, The Feel-Good Friend on Amazon Johnny Big-Ears, The Feel-Good Friend on Barnes & Noble Johnny Big-Ears, The Feel-Good Friend on Goodreads


Johnny BIG-EARS is just like every other five-year-old child, but when he starts his first day of kindergarten, children begin to tease him because of his enormously large ears. Follow Johnny as he faces the challenges that being different presents. How will Johnny react to being teased? Find out why Johnny turns out to be a winner in this endearing, thoughtful book that addresses typical childhood bullying and offers children advice on how to deal with teasing. Whether you're a parent or an educator, now you will be able to encourage your kids or students through this special book and help motivate all young kids to start feeling good about themselves no matter who they are, or what they look like!


Author Bio:

John Paul Padilla

John Paul Padilla was born on December 11, in Los Angeles, California. He is a multi-award winning author that includes Mom's Choice Award. He is also a public speaker and advocate against bullying. He is currently residing in the Central Valley of California. John Paul is an ex-model and has danced for fifteen years with a dance academy. He has written lyrical, verses that were recorded by Nashville artists. He has previously published Wings to Cross an Ocean, an inspirational poetry book that encourages personal growth and happiness for adults. John Paul was inspired to write his first anti-bullying book, Johnny Big Ears, the Feel Good Friend, based on his own childhood experiences with teasing and bullying. He has also written Johnny Big-Ears, Meets His New Neighbor Suzy, for little girls, who get teased because of their weight. Both of his books are now out in Spanish. Most recently, Johnny Big-Ears won the Grand prize for best overall, Best Book Cover in the 2017 IndieBRAG First Annual Book Cover Contest.

Visit John Paul's website: Website or catch up with Johnny Big-Ears on Twitter & Facebook!

Tour Host Participants:

Stop by the other hosts for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for John Paul Padilla. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card AND 5 winners of one (1) print copy of Johnny Big-Ears, The Feel-Good Friend by John Paul Padilla, Continental US Mailing Addresses only. The giveaway begins on October 3 and runs through October 10, 2017.

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