Best Books of the Month: October Edition

Fall is FINALLY here! And so are a bunch of amazing books! We have one copy of each of these awesome novels to give away! Leave a comment to be entered. Contest will close on Sunday, October 19th after 8am PST.

The Way Life Should Be by Christina Baker Kline

THE-WAY-life-should-be-199x300The Scoop: Angela can feel the clock ticking. She is single in New York City, stuck in a job she doesn’t want and a life that seems to have, somehow, just happened. She inherited a flair for Italian cooking from her grandmother, but she never seems to have the time for it—these days, her oven holds only sweaters. Tacked to her office bulletin board is a photo from a magazine of a tidy cottage on the coast of Maine—a charming reminder of a life that could be hers, if she could only muster the courage to go after it.

On a hope and a chance, Angela decides to pack it all up and move to Maine, finding the nudge she needs in the dating profile of a handsome sailor who loves dogs and Italian food. But her new home isn’t quite matching up with the fantasy. Far from everything familiar, Angela begins to rebuild her life from the ground up. Working at a local coffeehouse, she begins to discover the pleasures and secrets of her new small-town community and, in the process, realizes there’s really no such thing as the way life should be.

Our thoughts: A Fall Favorite!

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf

imagesThe Scoop: Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity—the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children's advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.

Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends' couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen's and Jenny's lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.

A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together.

Our thoughts: Don't miss this one!

Vintage by Susan Gloss

Vintage by Susan GlossThe Scoop: At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, Wisconsin, every item in the boutique has a story to tell . . . and so do the women who are drawn there.

Violet Turner has always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. When she is faced with the possibility of losing it, she realizes that, as much as she wants to, she cannot save it alone.
Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect 1950s wedding dress, she discovers unexpected possibilities and friends who won't let her give up on her dreams. Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her old clothes, remnants of her past life. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears she has nothing more ahead for her.
An engaging story that beautifully captures the essence of women's friendship and love, Vintage is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal and hope when we least expect it.
Our thoughts: We couldn't put it down!

The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison

The Banks of Certain RiversIn the lakeside resort town of Port Manitou, Michigan, dedicated teacher and running coach Neil Kazenzakis shoulders responsibilities that would break a lesser man: a tragic accident has left his wife seriously debilitated, he cares for his mother-in-law who suffers from dementia, and he’s raising his teenage son, Chris, on his own. On top of all that, he’s also secretly been seeing Lauren, his mother-in-law’s caregiver.

When Neil breaks up a fight one day after school, he doesn’t give the altercation much thought. He’s got bigger issues on his mind, like the fact that Lauren is ready for a commitment and he has to figure out a way to tell Chris that he’s in a serious relationship with someone other than the boy’s mother. But when an anonymous person uploads a video of the fight to YouTube, the stunning footage suggests Neil assaulted a student. With his job, his family, and his reputation suddenly in jeopardy, Neil must prove his innocence and win back the trust of the entire community—including his son’s.

Our thoughts: A riveting novel that will keep you guessing until the very end!

Woman King by Evette Davis

Woman KingThe Scoop: Nobody who works with superstar political consultant Olivia Shepherd knows that she has supernatural empathic abilities—and that’s just how she likes it. But when she wakes up one morning to find Elsa, an ancient time-walker, standing in her kitchen, Olivia can no longer ignore her gifts or the mystical path that awaits her. Soon she is plunged into the hidden world of powerful “Others” who operate beneath the dense fog of San Francisco.

Drafted to work for the Council, a shadowy organization that controls the fate of humanity, Olivia must decide whether to dedicate herself to its cause. Complicating matters further is Olivia’s new love interest, William, a centuries-old vampire who is far too jaded to take an interest in human affairs. As shocking details from Olivia’s own past emerge and her role in the world begins to take shape, will she rise to the challenge of her destiny?

Our scoop: Looking for something different? THIS!

The Firelight Girls by Kaya McLaren

The Firelight Girls The Scoop: The summers you spend at summer camp are indelibly etched on your heart. But what happens when the camp you love is about to close? Can you ever really say goodbye to the place that made you who you are?  These are the questions that plagues Ethel, the seventy-year-old former camp director who is nursing a broken heart after losing the love of her life as she now faces the impending closure of the camp on Lake Wenatchee that she called home. It's also a question that inspires change in forty-year-old Shannon, who spent the summers of her youth as a vibrant, capable camp counselor and is now directionless after watching her career implode. And there's Laura, who has lost all intimacy with her husband and doesn't know if she can save what seems to be gone forever.  Finally, Ruby, who betrayed Ethel years ago and hasn't spoken to her since, hopes this will be her chance to make amends. When the four women learn that a homeless teen has been hiding at camp, they realize camp is something much more immediate for all: survival.

And so the three generations of women search for a way to save the place that saved them all, finding in the process a way back to themselves and each other in The Firelight Girls, Kaya McLaren's novel of love and loss, heartbreak and healing.

Our thoughts: We couldn't put this down!

Outrageous Optimist by Lyne Noella

23263579The Scoop: Outrageous Optimist is the story of family, friendship, romance, failure and fresh starts. Lisette Latour shutters her San Francisco marketing agency and returns to Playa Tiempo to regroup after over-investing in Silicon Valley startups. While applying for work, Lisette discovers that her San Diego County hometown has blossomed in her absence, with citizens as creative and unorthodox as those she left behind in San Francisco. An exploding microbrewery scene, a handsome but elusive attorney, clean skies and intrigue beguile Lisette, making it difficult to choose between family and friends in Playa Tiempo and the opportunities and lifestyle of the big city.

Our thoughts: Fun, Fun, FUN!




She Sins At Midnight by Whitney Dineen

She_SinsThe Scoop:  Lila Montgomery, thirty-two-year-old Hollywood assistant extraordinaire, has a secret. On the outside, she’s a hard-working dedicated employee, a good friend, and a loving daughter. But above all else, she’s been raised to be a lady, which of course is why she’s determined to conceal her secret life. If her straight-laced friends and family back home ever discover that she is really the smashing new author of a steamy romance novel, their disapproval would shame her forever! That’s why Lila has chosen to publish her sexy narrative under the nom de plume, Jasmine Sheath. With her fifteenth high school class reunion on the horizon, Lila finds herself at a crossroads. More than anything she wants to go home and see her childhood friends but is embarrassed that she hasn’t accomplished the things she feels she should have by this time in her life; mainly marriage and children.

After another brutal run-in with Melinda Forrester, Oscar nominated actress and client of her boss, Josh Furber, Lila decides that fleeing Hollywood for a month is the best thing for her. Lila packs her bags for her childhood home of Bentley Hills, sure that her friends and family will be the touchstone of normalcy that she so desperately needs. What she doesn't expect is that Melinda will follow her and a tabloid media circus will ensue! Not only does Lila discover that her home is nothing like she remembers, but she meets and falls in love with the very man that inspired the hero in her novel. She Sins at Midnight is full of laugh out loud hi-jinks that will make you never look at Hollywood the same way again! Author, Whitney Dineen, swears that this novel is based purely on fiction and that any characters bearing any resemblance to any celebrities you know are completely and totally fictitious; even though she spent eighteen years in La La Land, with a celebrity client base for her real job…

Our thoughts: A juicy read!

Aunty Lee's Deadly Specials by Ovidia Yu

Aunty_Lees_Deadly_SpecialsThe scoop: Rosie “Aunty” Lee, the feisty widow, amateur sleuth, and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved home cooking restaurant, is back in another delectable, witty mystery involving scandal and murder among the city’s elite. Few know more about what goes on in Singapore than Aunty Lee. When a scandal over illegal organ donation involving prominent citizens makes news, she already has a list of suspects. There’s no time to snoop, though—Aunty Lee’s Delights is catering a brunch for local socialites Henry and Mabel Sung at their opulent house. Rumor has it that the Sung’s fortune is in trouble, and Aunty Lee wonders if the gossip is true. But soon after arriving at the Sung’s house, her curiosity turns to suspicion.

Why is a storage house she discovers locked? What is the couple arguing about behind closed doors? Where is the guest of honor who never showed up? Then, Mabel Sung and her son Leonard are found dead. The authorities blame it on Aunty Lee’s special stewed chicken with buah keluak, a local black nut that can be poisonous if cooked improperly. Aunty Lee has never carelessly prepared a dish. She’s certain the deaths are murder—and that they’re somehow linked to the organ donor scandal. To save her business and her reputation, she’s got to prove it—and unmask a dangerous killer whose next victim may just be Aunty Lee.

Our thoughts: Another deliciously scandalous mystery from Ovidia Yu!