Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Catching Fireflies by Sherryl Woods (CLOSED)

Catching Fireflies by Sherryl Woods
Mira Books
August 2012
Format: Paperback, 400 pages

First line: It was a little more than six weeks into the new school year, and already Serenity High School English teacher Laura Reed was seeing signs of a potential problem with one of her juniors.

From the back cover: New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Sherryl Woods captures a community's heartfelt fight to preserve the innocence of childhood. 

When bullying threatens to destroy a teen's life, painful memories resurface for dedicated high school teacher Laura Reed and pediatrician J. C. Fullerton. With the support of the Sweet Magnolias, they bring the town together to ensure that a promising student's future isn't ruined. And to establish once and for all that bullying has no place in Serenity, South Carolina.

Both J.C.'s and Laura's passion for the cause is deeply personal, and their growing feelings for each other are just as strong. But with so many secret hurts to overcome, can these two vulnerable lovers find the strength to believe in happily ever after?

My thoughts: This is the 9th book in Sherryl Woods' Sweet Magnolia series and it just might be my favorite book. The reason is because Sherryl tackles a problem that is rampant in this country - bullying - and writes a heart-wrenching, yet inspiring tale about it.

In Catching Fireflies,  high school student Misty Dawson has been skipping some of her classes and it has not gone unnoticed. English teacher Laura Reed is concerned and starts looking into things. At around the same time, Misty heads over to her pediatrician's office, begging Dr. J.C. Fullerton to write her a note so she can stay home from school for a while. Misty is not sick and is reluctant to give a good reason, but he knows something is up. His concession to her is if she will not tell him what's really going on, she must tell another adult within 24 hours and then that adult needs to call him. And so Laura and J.C. are thrown together to help Misty out. As they start meeting to discuss the situation, they both realize that they enjoy each other's company. The problem is that they each have their own baggage to deal with, baggage not unlike what Misty is going through. Will they be able to overcome their past and make things work between them?

Of course, it wouldn't be a complete visit to Serenity without a gathering of the Sweet Magnolias and while Laura is not a member just yet, as the other women find out what's going on in their town, they all come together to help out. In fact, the whole community comes together at one point, to show that bullying is absolutely not acceptable behavior and that parents really need to be aware of what their children are doing online. One of the speakers the group gets is Frances, a former elementary school teacher in Serenity and boy, does she give those parents a good talking-to!

While this book is filled with the usual romance and friendship that we come to expect from Sherryl Woods' Sweet Magnolia series, the main message it tackles is one that can't be told enough times.  How do you feel when fiction authors tackle messages such as bullying? Have you read any that stand out?

I received a complimentary copy of Catching Fireflies by Sherryl Woods from Eric at Media Connect.

Books in this series:
  1. Stealing Home                           6.  Sweet Tea at Sunrise
  2. A Slice of Heaven                     7.  Honeysuckle Summer
  3. Feels Like Family                     8.  Midnight Promises
  4. Welcome to Serenity              9.  Catching Fireflies
  5. Home in Carolina                   10.  Where Azaleas Bloom - due out Sept 2012

Giveaway Information (GIVEAWAY CLOSED):

Thanks to Eric at Media Connect I have one copy of Catching Fireflies to give away to my readers.  Giveaway is open to US/Canada only.

To enter please leave a comment below and include your email address (only comments with email addresses will be entered in the giveaway).

- +3 additional entries become a follower of Always With a Book. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries (just leave the name you follow under). 

- +1 additional entry each, please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting or posting this giveaway on Facebook.  

- +1 additional entry -  leave a comment on Sherryl Wood's guest post about bullying
All entries (except the last one) can be in one comment- but don't forget your email address or it won't count!

Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!




  1. Thank you for hosting this giveaway! I will post it in my blog's sidebar.


  2. Please count me in! Thanks, Liene @ LLucane at yahoo dot com

  3. I would love to win a copy!
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  4. +3 I follow via gfc - mamabunny13
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  5. Sounds like an interesting story about an important topic. Thanks for the giveaway.
    -GFC follower
    -email follower
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  6. I would love to enter. thanks!!

    Lisa.2713 at gmail dot com


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