Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Blog Tour & Review: Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani (audio)

Title: Kiss Carlo
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Narrator: Edoardo Ballerini
Published: June 20, 2017, HarperAudio / HarperCollins
Length: 16 hours 2 minutes / 544 pages
Source: Audio - Personal copy via Audio / Hardcopy - Publisher via TLC Book Tours
 
From Adriana Trigiani, the beloved New York Times-bestselling author of The Shoemaker’s Wife, comes an exhilarating epic novel of love, loyalty, and creativitythe story of an Italian-American family on the cusp of change.

It’s 1949 and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the post-war boom. The Palazzini Cab Company & Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing: business is good, they’re surrounded by sympathetic wives and daughters-in-law, with grandchildren on the way. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother Mike and their once-close families sets the stage for a re-match.

Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife’s orphaned nephew) who lives and works with his Uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more—more than just a job driving Car #4 and more than his longtime fiancée Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his fiancée that he’s been secretly moonlighting at the local Shakespeare theater company, Nicky finds himself drawn to the stage, its colorful players and to the determined Calla Borelli, who inherited the enterprise from her father, Nicky must choose between the conventional life his family expects of him or chart a new course and risk losing everything he cherishes.

From the dreamy mountaintop village of Roseto Valfortore in Italy, to the vibrant streets of South Philly, to the close-knit enclave of Roseto, Pennsylvania, to New York City during the birth of the golden age of television, Kiss Carlo is a powerful, inter-generational story that celebrates the ties that bind, while staying true to oneself when all hope seems lost.

Told against the backdrop of some of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, this novel brims with romance as long buried secrets are revealed, mistaken identities are unmasked, scores are settled, broken hearts are mended and true love reigns. Trigiani’s consummate storytelling skill and her trademark wit, along with a dazzling cast of characters will enthrall readers. Once again, the author has returned to her own family garden to create an unforgettable feast. Kiss Carlo is a jubilee, resplendent with hope, love, and the abiding power of la famiglia.

My thoughts: Adriana Trigiani is one of my all-time favorite authors!!! I've met her numerous times and most recently just bumped into her at BookExpo - she's the most genuine person I've met in a long time and I love seeing her whenever I get the chance. I've read just about all her books and one of my most favorite books of hers is The Shoemaker's Wife...well, this latest one is right up there with that one. Kiss Carlo is fantastic!!! I loved it - from start to finish - and let me tell you, it's a chunkster of a book at 544 pages, and even a long audio book at just over 16 hours. But it's so worth it, let me tell you! 

So first off...even though I have 2 copies of this book - I received an advanced reader's copy of the book for being part of the book tour and then picked up a finished copy at BookExpo...I still decided to listen to the audio version. Not because I was daunted by the length of the book - oh no. I love reading Adriana's words - I get lost in her stories and find myself losing track of time. But when I saw who was narrating the audio - Edoardo Ballerini, I could not give up the opportunity to listen to him narrate this book. He is like a tall drink of cool water - I love listening to him. And I just knew he would be perfect for this book. More on him and the audio production down below.

So back to the book itself...I loved this story. I found myself totally swept up in this family saga right from the beginning. The book is set right after WWII in Philly and centers around the Palazzini family. I love the big families that Adriana creates - they are so life-like and relatable - possibly because I have such a big family myself! But where Adriana shines is that with all the characters in this book - and believe me, there are a lot! - it is easy to keep them all separate as they all have their own identity and personality. And each one she introduces us to have a purpose - there really aren't any superfluous characters. 

The story is mainly set around Nicky - he has been brought up by his Aunt Jo and Uncle Dom and his three cousins and drives a cab for the family's cab company, not only taking on fares but also delivering telegrams. But what no one knows is that he also moonlights in a local theater - a theater that puts on Shakespeare plays. There Nicky helps the actors with their lines. Oh, and he's been engaged to Peachy for seven years - yes, seven years! 

With so many characters in this book, of course you are going to fall in love with a few. My favorites were Calla Borelli from the Shakespeare theater, Jo Palazzini, who took Nicky in after his mother died, and Hortense Mooney, the telegraph operator. Each of these women had so much spunk and passion - I couldn't get enough of them, especially Hortense. 

And, for all you soap-opera fans out there...Gloria Monty has a cameo in this book. How freaking cool is that!!! I loved the way Adriana used the early soaps in this book, called a "teleplay" back then. There is so much packed into this book - so much, but oh so good!

This book has so much going for it, with so many different themes running through it. It's a story about family, love, loss, the search for meaning and self-worth. It's about finding one's purpose in life and realizing it before it's too late and not settling for something just because that's what is expected of you. 

I adored this story - every part of it, from the setting to the characters to the dialog to the cover - it's a beautiful, enchanting story and one that I am thrilled to have sitting on my shelf. I know I can do no wrong when I pick up an Adriana Trigiani book!


Audio thoughts:
As I mentioned above, I just had to listen to the audio version of this book when I saw that Edoardo Ballerini was narrating it. He is awesome - such a mesmerizing voice - and he did such a fantastic job with this audio book! Between the unique voices for all the characters, males and females, and the little bit of Italian - which was amazing, especially since I speak absolutely no Italian - I was in heaven! I can not recommend this audio more - it was so delightful to listen to - and even though it was long - I found myself so engaged that the time just flew by! His pacing and tone were spot on and I found this a pleasure to listen to.



About the author:  Adriana Trigiani is the bestselling author of 17 books, which have been published in 36 countries around the world. She is a playwright, television writer/producer and filmmaker. She wrote and directed the film version of her novel Big Stone Gap, which was shot entirely on location in her Virginia hometown. She is co-founder of the Origin Project, an in-school writing program that serves more than a thousand students in Appalachia. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.



Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook  Instagram

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble




Be sure to check out all the other stops on the blog tour and follow the tour on Twitter (hashtags:  #TLCBookTours & #KissCarlo). 

 
 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

#SRC2017 Book Review: Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica



Title: Every Last Lie
Author: Mary Kubica
Published: June 2017, Park Row Books
Format: ARC E-copy, 336 pages
Source: Netgalley via publisher


New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL, Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow's pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche. 
 
"The bad man, Daddy. The bad man is after us." 
 
Clara Solberg's world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon. 

Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick's death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit. 

Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara's investigation and Nick's last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

My thoughts: It's no surprise that I am a huge Mary Kubica fan...she is definitely an author on my must-read list. Her psychological thrillers are top-notch and I love nothing more than settling in with one of her books - I know I am in for a good read!

This one is a little different than her previous books - it's more of a slow-burn, and I loved it! There's no fast-pace action going on here, but make no mistake - there is still that suspense building as the book progresses. The way the story is told, with Clara's part in the present and Nick's part in the past leading up to his death just add to the tightly woven tension and overall suspense. And through these two narrators we meet a whole cast of characters that add suspicion at every turn.

One of the things I love about Mary's books is that all the characters she creates are always so well-developed. They are engaging and interesting and you just want to know all you can about them. You can't help but feel for Clara and all that she is going through. The writing is so tight and clear that I often felt her grief - that's how palpable the writing is.  And then there's Nick...I really felt that despite all that he got himself involved in, he really did have good intentions.

This is such a twisted book - but so addicting. Once you start reading it, you will find yourself completely consumed with it...and despite the fact that it's a slower pace than her previous books, it's still really good, with just as many twists and turns.  I was all over the place with where I thought it was heading and was completely surprised with where it ended, but in a good way. I loved the ending and I think that Mary Kubica has proven that she is one master-storyteller, able to craft more than one kind of story! 




Every Last Lie  by Mary Kubica is one of  BookSparks "Summer Reads" reading selection picks. 
  
 Follow the #SRC2017 hashtag on twitter to read reviews on this book as well as reviews on the other summer books! Also, be sure to check out the BookSparks Facebook page for the #SRC2017  and other fun links. You can participate in weekly secret missions for chances to win signed copies of selected books and more! There's a new secret mission each week :)


Sunday, June 25, 2017

FitReaders: Weekly Check-in Jun 23

 
 
 
So, it turns out yoga classes are just not in the cards for me at this point. I have some tendon issues in my palm that I aggravated and it is preventing me from putting any pressure on my hand and that means no yoga for the time being. But, I found some good strength-training workouts that I've been doing that I actually like, so I am substituting that for now - a leg workout and an arm workout. My goal is to do the leg and arm workout on alternating days. I started this past week and so far so good!
 
 
June Goals: 

  • 10K steps M-F, at least 7,500 steps on the weekend  - 9/10, 2/4
  • 30 minutes of active walking every day, M-F - 5/5 (thank goodness for having to walk the dogs everyday!)
  • Attend at least 1 yoga class/week - on hold for the time being.
  • Eat mindfully/eat enough - Yes
        
Here's how the last 2 weeks went:    
Jun 10:  12,640 steps
Jun 11:  14,610 steps (2 Charity Miles for Girls on the Run)

Jun 12:  23,321 steps (10K+ - 8 Charity Miles for Girls on the Run)
Jun 13:  8,535 steps
 
Jun 14:  12,854 steps

Jun 15:  15
,255 steps (5K+ - 5 Charity Miles for Girls on the Run)
Jun 16:  11
,440 steps (5K - 3.1 Charity Miles for Girls on the Run)

Total Steps: 98,655 steps

Jun 17:  5,485 steps
Jun 18:  8,462 steps

Jun 19:  18,142 steps (5K - 3.25 Charity Miles for Girls on the Run)   
Jun 20:  18,754 steps
(5K+ - 4.14 Charity Miles for Girls on the Run)
Jun 21:  10,050 steps

Jun 22:  10
,851 steps 
Jun 23:  13
,445 steps (5K - 3.1 Charity Miles for Girls on the Run)

Total Steps: 85,189 steps


 
Audiobooks listened to last week (since I'm not much of a music fan, I listen to books while I walk):

  • Started & finished The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter, narrated by Kate Orsini
  • Started & finished Eden by Jeanne McWilliams Blasbery, narrated by Marnye Young
 

How did your week go? You can find this week's link-up here.
 

 
Virtual 5K /10K Tally:
     January:                               May:                             September:   
           5K  -  4                                  5K  -  5                                5K  - 
         10K  -  7                                10K  -  6                               10K  - 
     February:                             June:                            October:

           5K  -  4                                  5K  -  6                                 5K  - 
         10K  -  9                                10K  -  2                              10K  -   
     March:                                  July:                             November:
           5K  -  3                                  5K  -                                    5K  - 
         10K  -  7                                10K  -                                  10K  - 
     April:                                    August:                        December:
           5K  -  9                                  5K  -                                    5K  - 
         10K  -  1                                 10K  -                                  10K  -



Friday, June 23, 2017

#SRC2017 Book Spotlight: Last Seen by J.L. Doucette




Title: Last Seen
Author: J.L. Doucette
Series: Dr. Pepper Hunt, #1
Published: May 2017, She Writes Press
Format: Paperback, 330 pages
 
Psychologist and police consultant Dr. Pepper Hunt, struggling to deal with the murder of her husband, leaves the private practice they shared and relocates to Wyoming. There, in the stark landscape of the high desert, there is nothing to remind her of everything she lost and left behind. Then her new patient, Kimi Benally, goes missing in a Wyoming blizzard after her last therapy session -- making Pepper the last person to see her.

She knows the secrets Kimi shared in therapy hold clues to her mysterious disappearance, and she joins forces with Detective Beau Antelope to try to discover what's happened to her. But as she follows the trail of Kimi's obsession with the past, Pepper begins to fear the worst for her missing patient--and her own haunted memories surface.

What Readers are saying: 

"The projected first in a series, Last Seen makes the southwest landscape and culture an integral part of the story. This self-sufficient community is one that readers will be intrigued to visit again." ―Booklist

“Readers will grow enamored with these characters and the twisty dark plot – so much so, they may forget about BLL completely.” ―Redbook, “6 Books to Cure Your Big Little Lies Withdrawals”

"A missing person tale with a strong setting and cast of characters…Doucette’s auspicious first novel puts a welcome focus on the players instead of transgressive twists.”  ―Kirkus

"Author J.L. Doucette gives readers a keen sense of Wyoming winters, three-dimensional characters, and taut, descriptive writing. An enthusiastic welcome to Dr. Pepper Hunt!”  ―Linda Barnes, Edgar Award-winning author of the Carlotta Carlyle mystery series

“There’s a detective named Antelope, at least two registered sex offenders, a scoundrel in pricey ski gear, his lying mistress, and tellingly, his missing wife. At the middle of this many-sided mess is Dr. Pepper Hunt, psychologist―clear-eyed, intelligent, beautiful, brave. You’ll fall in love with Pepper and with J. L. Doucette’s subtle, immersive, beguiling tale.” ―Bryan Gruley, Anthony, Barry and Strand Award-winning author of the Starvation Lake Mystery series

“With clear, crackling prose, at times breathtaking, and characters so real that I felt flesh and bone back on that wild western landscape, mingling with the people and inhabiting their world. Combine Doucette’s voice and prose with a story that haunts and intrigues again and again, and we know we are in the hands of a very talented writer. I loved these characters. I loved the terrain. I never wanted to leave. This is the kind of writing that stays with me long after the novel is finished.” ―Diane Les Becquets, author of Breaking Wild

“Last Seen is a tantalizing psychological thriller in which J. L. Doucette masterfully weaves a chilling plot around a cast of complex, well-drawn characters led by psychologist, Dr. Pepper Hunt, a woman running from her own nightmare past. As the tiny Wyoming town searches its frigid horizons for a missing local woman, Dr. Hunt and Detective Antelope spark some warmth in an investigation all their own. A suspenseful ride that will keep you turning pages to the very end!” ―Michelle Cox, award-winning author of A Girl Like You and A Ring of Truth, from the A Henrietta and Detective Howard series

 

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Last Seen  by J.L. Doucette is one of  BookSparks "Summer Reads" reading selection picks. 
  
 Follow the #SRC2017 hashtag on twitter to read reviews on this book as well as reviews on the other summer books! Also, be sure to check out the BookSparks Facebook page for the #SRC2017  and other fun links. You can participate in weekly secret missions for chances to win signed copies of selected books and more! There's a new secret mission each week :)
 
 

#SRC2017 Book Spotlight: The Half-Life of Remorse by Grant Jarrett



Title: The Half-Life of Remorse
Author: Grant Jarrett
Published: May 2017, SparkPress
Format: Paperback, 256 pages

When two vagrants meet on the streets of Muncie, Indiana, they are both unaware that their paths crossed years before. Chic, crude and uneducated, is convinced that Sam is nothing more than a harmless lunatic, and Sam, emotionally scarred and psychologically traumatized by events long past, regards Chic as just another denizen of the street. But Chic has spent his adult life trying to purge his soul of the brutal crime he committed as a teenager―the same botched burglary that resulted in the deaths of Sam's wife and son. Meanwhile, Sam's daughter Claire is still unable to give up hope that her father might someday reappear. 

When these three lives converge, the puzzle of the past gradually falls together, but redemption commands a high price, and what is revealed will test the limits of love and challenge the human capacity for forgiveness.

What readers are saying: 

"An often engaging and heartwarming novel…”―Kirkus Reviews

"The true wizardry of The Half-Life of Remorse is how the random intersection of two homeless men evolves into a story of irresistible forward motion, stunning revelations, deepest human complexities and highest consequences. Underwriting this feat is Jarrett's ability to inhabit his fated characters absolutely, conjuring their voices, their minds, their wounds, their guilt, their haunted and mingled histories, with such spooky fidelity that you feel you are each one of them, and all of them, all at once. Original, gorgeous, exciting and deeply moving, The Half-Life of Remorse put my heart through all the paces." ―Tim Johnston, author of New York Times bestseller Descent

"Acts of searing violence transform vulnerable lives in Grant Jarrett’s The Half-Life of Remorse. Through the anguished accounts of survivors who nearly died in that night of violence, and the delusions of one of the survivors who imagines himself capable of magic, Jarrett creates echoes of The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale. This resonant novel traces the lingering effects of trauma and exposes the greatest challenge for its primary characters: self-forgiveness."―Lee Upton, author of The Tao of Humiliation

"In The Half-Life of Remorse, Grant Jarrett proves his mastery of narrative voice, unflinching realism, and adroit yet artful storytelling.” ―Mark Wisniewski, author of Watch Me Go


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The Half-Life of Remorse  by Grant Jarrett is one of  BookSparks "Summer Reads" reading selection picks. 
  
 Follow the #SRC2017 hashtag on twitter to read reviews on this book as well as reviews on the other summer books! Also, be sure to check out the BookSparks Facebook page for the #SRC2017  and other fun links. You can participate in weekly secret missions for chances to win signed copies of selected books and more! There's a new secret mission each week :)



Review: The Dry by Jane Harper (audio)

Title: The Dry
Author: Jane Harper
Series: Aaron Falk, #1
Narrator: Stephen Shanahan
Published: January 2017, Macmillan Audio
Length: 9 hours 46 minutes
Source: Library
 
Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well...

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret... A secret Falk thought long-buried... A secret which Luke's death starts to bring to the surface...

My thoughts: I am completely blown away by the fact that this is a debut novel! I had been hearing a lot about this book as soon as it was released, but didn't have time to pick it up until now. And to know that this is going to be a series -- how happy am I!?! You know how I love my series and when I find one that I love from the start...and get into when it starts and not get into late in the game - it's a home run!

There are so many good things going for this book...it's hard to know where to start. First, there's the setting. The small farming town of Kiewarra that is in the middle of a draught and is now dealing with the murder of three of their own...really set the scene - talk about atmospheric! Think of a pressure cooker trying to let off steam...that's what this book is like. It's tightly woven and intricately plotted, getting hold of you and not letting go until you reach the end!

The characters are all richly developed and you just want to find out all there is about them. There are secrets to uncover and that is the driving force behind what is going on. The plot moves between the past and present and you get more and more intrigued trying to figure out how they are connected. 

I really liked Detective Aaron Falk and am excited that this series is based on him. The twists and turns kept me guessing and engaged and while I did figure a few things out, I was still surprised at the end in the way everything played out. I will be eagerly awaiting the next book in this series.


Audio thoughts: This was a great book to listen to...and I thought Stephen Shanahan did a great job narrating it. It's the first time I've listened to him narrate and I really hope he continues to narrate this series as I thought he did a great job with the voices and the pacing. His accent - to me what seemed an authentic Australian accent - was just perfect for this book!



Books in this series: 
  1. The Dry
  2. Force of Nature - due out 2/18  (in the US)
 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Review: The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand

Title: The Identicals
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Published: June 2017, Little Brown & Company
Format: ARC Paperback, 432 pages
Source: Publisher
 
Identical twin sisters who couldn't look more alike...or live more differently.
Harper Frost is laid-back, easygoing. She doesn't care what anyone thinks of her. She likes a beer and a shot and wouldn't be caught dead wearing anything fashionable. She's inherited her father's rundown house on Martha's Vineyard, but she can't hold down a job, and her latest romantic disaster has the entire island talking.

Two beautiful islands only eleven miles apart.
Tabitha Frost is dignified, refined. She prefers a fine wine and has inherited the impeccable taste of her mother, the iconic fashion designer Eleanor Roxie-Frost. She's also inherited her mother's questionable parenting skills--Tabitha's teenage daughter, Ainsley, is in full rebellion mode--and a flailing fashion boutique on Nantucket in desperate need of a cash infusion.

One unforgettable summer that will change their lives forever.

After more than a decade apart, Harper and Tabitha switch islands--and lives--to save what's left of their splintered family. But the twins quickly discover that the secrets, lies, and gossip they thought they'd outrun can travel between islands just as easily as they can. Will Harper and Tabitha be able to bury the hatchet and end their sibling rivalry once and for all? Before the last beach picnic of the season, there will be enough old resentments, new loves, and cases of mistaken identity to make this the most talked-about summer that Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket have experienced in ages.

My thoughts: It's the start of summer and I have my favorite summery read in hand - a new Elin Hilderbrand book!!! I was fortunate to pick up this gem at BookExpo this year and even more exciting - I got to see Elin in person and get the book signed! I just love seeing her - she is such a delight and while it was a very quick hi and thanks for writing these fun, summery reads, I loved it all the same! Plus, she was giving away cocktails at her signing - how could you not love that?

One of my favorite things about Elin's books is that they are always set on Nantucket - my favorite summer reading destination...but this time, she brings in a new setting! She also sets part of the story in Martha's Vineyard - another place I am sad to admit I have never been to...but hope one of these days to visit. I loved the descriptions in the beginning of the book where the two islands are compared...this helped me to put things into perspective a little bit.

So, about this book - it reminded me a little bit of The Parent Trap - oh how I adored that movies - the original of course with Hayley Mills as the twins. Of course, this book has much more substance than The Parent Trap, but with the twin story and Harper and Tabitha switching islands for the summer - how can you not think of that?

This story also made me think of the bond between sisters...how strong that bond really is. Yes, there is always going to be some sibling rivalry, but when push comes to shove, your sister will be there for you no matter what. Of course, these sisters let that rivalry play out a bit long, much like the rivalry that exists between the two islands, but it turned out it worked to their favor in the end. 

This is an enjoyable summer read, filled with the usual gossip and fun characters that is the trademark of an Elin Hilderbrand book, times two if you take the two islands into account! My only complaint is that now I have to wait another whole year before the next summer book comes out...


Friday, June 16, 2017

BookExpo - Day 4 (Friday): The Last Day!


Today is the final day of BookExpo...it was only 2 full days on the floor. But it's another full day and I am all-set to go. I got another good night's sleep, so I am up and at 'em bright and early. And since it's another nice morning, I decided to walk again to the Javits - I really do love walking around NYC! So, after a brief stop at Starbucks, I was on my way.

Today, my schedule involved less galley drops and more signings. That just meant a lot of waiting...waiting in lines to get the book. And the first one was almost as soon as the doors opened. But, as I was in that line, I happened to see Abby from Crime by the Book, who was walking by. I just adore her...and was excited to chat with her for a bit.  

Some of the authors I got to see/meet over the course of the two days include: Kate White, Kate Moore, Claire Messud, Eva Wood, Celeste Ng, J.T. Ellison, Kaira Rouda, A.F. Brady, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Rene Denfeld, Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, Sara Blaedel, and Elin Hilderbrand.  

I didn't necessarily get a book from all these authors but I did say hi to them all. For instance, I had just won a signed copy of J.T. Ellison's upcoming book, so no need for another one, but I've never met her in person (and she was signing at the Harlequin booth along with Kaira Rouda and A.F. Brady so in order to get their books, I had to go right by J.T. - win-win for me!) And she totally understood why I wasn't taking a book - she had sent me the copy of the book herself, not her publicist. 

And I also didn't get a book from Liz and Lisa - I had just gotten the audio version of their book and their signing actually conflicted with Sara Blaedel's signing - so I had to make a choice - Sara's book totally won that context, sorry Liz and Lisa! But, Liz and Lisa happened to be walking around the Harlequin booth during J.T., Kaira and A.F's signing, so I was able to say hi to them then! It was all good...I got to say hi to those whose books I already had and got to meet/see those whose books I wanted! Total win-win for me :)

Kate White (top left), Sara Blaedel (top right), J.T. Ellison (bottom, in white)


Elin's event is always at the end of the day and she always has a cocktail to offer - this year it was Corona's! I just love getting the chance to see her - and this year, she was all done up. Fashion plays a big part in her latest book, The Identicals, so she is giving us a fashion show  during her book tour through Instagram (make sure you are following her there!) and BookExpo was the first stop. She's so awesome!!! 

Me & Elin


The big event of the day was the Book Group Speed Dating Event that I go to every year. This is one of my favorite events - definitely a highlight of the show. What happens is that different publishers go around the room chatting about their upcoming books. So we, the attendees get to stay at our tables and they come to us. We were all assigned a table and every 9 or 10 minutes, the publishers switch tables. I think this year, 8 publishers came to my table. And at each table are stacks of some of the books that were presented that we were free to take.

What I found most interesting about the event this year is that there were quite a few books that were presented that were ones I had already picked up. But it just goes to show you how strong a pitch can be because there was one book that I ended up taking that I had been on the fence about and yet when the publicist pitched it, I was sold! Having that personal pitch, that human contact, really does make a difference.

After dropping our books back at the hotel, the girls and I headed out to dinner. We wanted to find a good pizza place - but a place where we could sit down. After all, we had just spent the last two days on our feet. We walked down to Cara Mia's for dinner and then stopped at Junior's Cheesecake for dessert. We walked through Time Square and then headed back to the hotel. But we weren't quite ready to say goodbye, so we hung out in Alison and Rhiannon's room, and the chatter and laughter continued until it was time to go back to our room to pack...Tamara and I were both leaving bright and early the next morning. Tamara had an early flight home and my husband was coming to pick me up.

Tamara, Me, Rhiannon, Alison - in Times Square


And so ends another fun and successful BookExpo trip...with plans made to attend #BookExpo2018, provided bloggers are invited. 


So here is a final picture of all the books I picked up at BookExpo during the 3 days. I didn't get as many as I have in years past, and the majority are in the mystery/suspense category - can you tell where my reading habits lie these days!?! I was super selective with the books I did pick up and I know that I have some really good reading coming my way...I can't wait to share my thoughts on these with you as soon as I get to them!!!


My 2017 BookExpo book haul.



* And in case you missed it: 



 

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