Mike Greenberg

Best books of the month: January edition

Can y'all believe we're already almost a month into 2015? Time is a' flyin'! And, of course, we already have a long list of fabulous books to add to your reading list this year. From sparkling debuts to authors who've been wowing us for years, we're giving you a chance to win a copy of each of these books!  Just leave a comment to be entered. The contest closes on January 26 at 8am PST.

1. The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie EffectThe scoop: The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Rosie Project, starring the same extraordinary couple now living in New York and unexpectedly expecting their first child. Get ready to fall in love all over again.

Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are back. The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York. But they’re about to face a new challenge because— surprise!—Rosie is pregnant.

Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he’s left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie.

As Don tries to schedule time for pregnancy research, getting Gene and Claudia to reconcile, servicing the industrial refrigeration unit that occupies half his apartment, helping Dave the Baseball Fan save his business, and staying on the right side of Lydia the social worker, he almost misses the biggest problem of all: he might lose Rosie when she needs him the most.

Our thoughts:  The Rosie Project is one of our absolute favorite books and this sequel absolutely delivers another dose of humor and heart when a pregnancy is added into the mix!

2. Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline

BetrayedThe scoop: Blockbuster author Lisa Scottoline returns to the Rosato & Associates law firm with Betrayed, and maverick lawyer Judy Carrier takes the lead in a case that's more personal than ever.  Judy has always championed the underdog, so when Iris, the housekeeper and best friend of Judy's beloved Aunt Barb, is found dead of an apparent heart attack, Judy begins to suspect foul play.  The circumstances of the death leave Judy with more questions than answers, and never before has murder struck so close to home.

In the meantime, Judy's own life roils with emotional and professional upheaval.  She doesn’t play well with her boss, Bennie Rosato, which jeopardizes her making partner at the firm.  Not only that, her best friend Mary DiNunzio is planning a wedding, leaving Judy  feeling left behind, as well as newly unhappy in her relationship with her live-in boyfriend Frank.

Judy sets her own drama aside and begins an investigation of Iris’s murder, then discovers a shocking truth that confounds her expectations and leads her in a completely different direction.  She finds herself plunged into a shadowy world of people who are so desperate that they cannot go to the police, and where others are so ruthless that they prey on vulnerability.  Judy finds strength within herself to try to get justice for Iris and her aunt -- but it comes at a terrible price.

Our thoughts: Completely satisfying!

3. Lost and Found by Brooke Davis

medium_Lost_&_FoundThe scoop: Millie Bird, seven years old and ever hopeful, always wears red gumboots to match her curly hair. Her struggling mother, grieving the death of Millie’s father, leaves her in the big ladies’ underwear department of a local store and never returns.

Agatha Pantha, eighty-two, has not left her house—or spoken to another human being—since she was widowed seven years ago. She fills the silence by yelling at passersby, watching loud static on TV, and maintaining a strict daily schedule.Karl the Touch Typist, eighty-seven, once used his fingers to type out love notes on his wife’s skin. Now that she’s gone, he types his words out into the air as he speaks. Karl’s been committed to a nursing home, but in a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes. Now he’s on the lam.Brought together at a fateful moment, the three embark upon a road trip across Western Australia to find Millie’s mother. Along the way, Karl wants to find out how to be a man again; Agatha just wants everything to go back to how it was.Together they will discover that old age is not the same as death, that the young can be wise, and that letting yourself feel sad once in a while just might be the key to a happy life.
Our thoughts: We gobbled up this sparkling debut!

4. Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

beforeigocolleenoakleyThe scoop: A heart-wrenching debut novel in the bestselling tradition of P.S. I Love You about a young woman with breast cancer who undertakes a mission to find a new wife for her husband before she passes away.

Twenty-seven-year-old Daisy already beat breast cancer three years ago. How can this be happening to her again?

On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.

With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack’s perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy’s forced to decide what’s more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband’s happiness—or her own?

The scoop: We were hooked as soon as we read the synopsis and could not put this book down once we opened it! Loved. It.

5. House Broken by Sonja Yoerg

House BrokenThe scoop: In this compelling and poignant debut novel, a woman skilled at caring for animals must learn to mend the broken relationships in her family.…

For veterinarian Geneva Novak, animals can be easier to understand than people. They’re also easier to forgive. But when her mother, Helen, is injured in a vodka-fueled accident, it’s up to Geneva to give her the care she needs.

Since her teens, Geneva has kept her self-destructive mother at arm’s length. Now, with two slippery teenagers of her own at home, the last thing she wants is to add Helen to the mix. But Geneva’s husband convinces her that letting Helen live with them could be her golden chance to repair their relationship.

Geneva isn’t expecting her mother to change anytime soon, but she may finally get answers to the questions she’s been asking for so long. As the truth about her family unfolds, however, Geneva may find secrets too painful to bear and too terrible to forgive.

Our thoughts: Another debut that left us wanting more from this new author!

6. My Father's Wives by Mike Greenberg

My Fathers WivesThe scoop: Jonathan Sweetwater has been blessed with money, a fulfilling career, great kids and Claire, his smart, gorgeous, sophisticated wife. But there is one thing Jonathan never had: a relationship with his father.

Percival Sweetwater III has been absent from his son’s life since Jonathan was nine years old. A five-term U.S. senator, now dead, Percy was beloved by presidents, his constituents, and women alike, especially the five women who married him after Jonathan’s mother.

Jonathan hasn’t thought about Percy or the hole he left in his life for years. Dedicated to Claire and his family, he’s nothing like his serial monogamist father. But then Jonathan discovers evidence that everything in his marriage may not be as perfect as he thought. Hurt and uncertain what to do, he knows that the only way to move forward is to go back.

On this quest for understanding—about himself, about manhood, about marriage—Jonathan decides to track down his father’s five ex-wives. His journey will take him from cosmopolitan cities to the mile-high mountains to a tropical island—and ultimately back to confront the one thing Jonathan has that his father never did: home.

Our thoughts: This is a man who definitely knows how to write books women want to read! Bravo!

7. One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis

One Step Too FarThe scoop: No one has ever guessed Emily’s secret.

Will you?

A happy marriage. A beautiful family. A lovely home. So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life—to start again as someone new?

Now, Emily has become Cat, working at a hip advertising agency in London and living on the edge with her inseparable new friend, Angel. Cat’s buried any trace of her old self so well, no one knows how to find her. But she can't bury the past—or her own memories.

And soon, she’ll have to face the truth of what she's done—a shocking revelation that may push her one step too far. . . .

Our thoughts: This thriller took us on one hell of a ride!



7 Seconds in Heaven with Mike Greenberg

15818396Our guest today: Mike Greenberg Why we want to spend 7 Seconds in Heaven with him: Not only does All You Could Ask For rock, but Mike is donating 100% of the proceeds from the book to breast cancer research!

His latest: All You Could Ask For

The Scoop: Brooke has been happily married to her college sweetheart for fifteen years. Even after the C-section, the dog poop, the stomach viruses and the coffee breath, Scott always winks at her in just the right moments. That is why, for her beloved, romantic, successful husband’s fortieth birthday, she is giving him pictures. Of herself. Naked.

Newlywed Samantha learns of her husband’s cheating heart when she finds the goods on his computer.

High-powered career woman Katherine works with heartbreaker Phillip, the man who hurt her early on in her career.

Brooke, Samantha, and Katherine don’t know each other, but their stories are about to intertwine in ways no one could have imagined.

And all three are about to discover the power of friendship to conquer adversity, the satisfaction of unexpected delights, the incredible difference one human being can have on other lives--and that they have all they could ask for, as long as they have each other.

Our thoughts: One of our very favorite books we've read in 2013--Greenberg's writing is insightful and will grab you from the first chapter. Make sure it's next on your TBR list!

Giveaway: FIVE copies! Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win.  We'll choose the winners on Sunday, April 7th after Noon PST.

Fun Fact: Our husbands have crazy man crushes on Mike--he is a hugely popular co-anchor and radio host at ESPN.

Where you can read more about Mike: Facebook and Twitter.


mikegreenbergL&L: How does an ESPN anchor host end up writing *gulp* WOMEN'S FICTION? How are your colleagues there taking the news?

The book was inspired by the real life battle with cancer that my dear friend Heidi Armitage went through in 2009. One minute she was a healthy, vibrant, sexy, fun soccer mom, the next she was a patient. In seven months she was dead. It was the most horrific and unjust thing I have ever seen a family endure. I knew I needed to do something, and so I wrote this book in her honor and am donating all of the author’s proceeds to fund Breast Cancer research. My wife and I formed a foundation called “Heidi’s Angels” and 100 percent of the author’s proceeds from the book will be donated to The V Foundation For Cancer Research in her memory. So, it’s a departure for me, for sure, but in a way it makes all the sense in the world.

L&L: We loved ALL YOU COULD ASK FOR! The narrative for the three women was very insightful.  What women in your life inspired you?

MG: The best advice I received was from my friend Jane Green who told me: If you know your characters they will write themselves. And so each one is based on someone in my life, though distantly, I’m not sure they themselves will recognize that. But their voices, mannerisms, etc, are alive in my head. Again, the stories are completely fictitious, but the voices are real.

L&L: We host a *few* good men here, but CLIND is usually a big ol' lady party!  Tell us why women will love your novel.

MG: Well, I am hopeful that anyone would like it, because I think the subject matter, which is about the power of relationships to transform lives, is universal. But perhaps women are more inclined to be open about those emotions than men are. I hope that men and women will both like it.

L&L: What's your fave book of 2013 so far?

MG: I just finished Tom Wolfe’s Back To Blood, which I liked very much, though it took me forever to get through it. Last night I opened the new Virgil Flowers novel by John Sandford. I love that series.

L&L: Many aspiring authors swing by the site--what advice would you give them?

MG:Don’t give up. This is the third novel I’ve written, neither of the first two ever got published. That was crushing to me, both times. But here I am now and it feels great.

L&L: What's up next for you? More women's fiction?

MG:I am working on my next novel now. It is narrated by a man this time, but I hope it will appeal to women. It is about a guy who feels his marriage is falling apart and in order to figure himself out he needs to go in search of his past, which he has denied all his life. It sounds more dramatic than it is, the whole thing, I hope, is very human and relatable to both women and men.

L&L: Liz's husband listens to your show each morning and has a serious man crush.  He demanded we ask who you believe will win the NBA championship!

MG: I would bet on Miami, for the next three years!

Thanks, Mike!