Sunday, November 27, 2022


It’s almost Christmas, the first without their mother. Henry, Kate and Martin have gathered at Henry’s house in upstate NY. They have brought their spouses and children to Henry’s trying their best to emulate holiday cheer when in their own private ways they deeply grieve the loss of their mother. Kate, who outwardly appears most affected, strives to mimic the small details of ornaments, photos and traditional holiday dishes. Kate announces that she and her broke trust fund baby husband have decided they would like to live in their mother’s Florida home to raise their family and propose to slowly buy out the other siblings. The conflict begins. Siblings often behave as their younger selves when their respective tribes gather. Spouses rarely understand the true underlying source but are quick to take sides, the oblivious children easily entertain themselves with food and mischief. Feeling orphaned, the core of grief emerges from their loss leaving these siblings to face how differently their memories have formed their adult selves. Even though there is no doubt they love each other, grudges and jealousies of the past make it nearly impossible to find a peaceful solution. Although the story line is palpable, there were so very many characters and backstories I found it exhausting. The writing is good and I had no trouble finishing but I’m on the fence recommending. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Color of Ice

It is cold, really cold, when freelance photographer Cathryn McAllister arrives in Reykjavik, Iceland. Known as the smallest big city in the world, this is a tremendous adventure for Cathryn who has spent the last 15 years grieving the loss of her husband or more accurately - the family they were meant to be. Here to photograph the blue icebergs and illustrious glaciers Cathryn has been hired to interview and create a spread for a prominent glassblower named Mack. She has extended this opportunity into a much deserved solo vacation. With her two children grown and her well established client list, at 48 years old Cathryn is desperate for passion and purpose in both her life and work. Upon meeting the handsome burly Mack who is quite reserved, their shoot is completed smoothly and quickly. But something about Mack intrigues Cathryn who has not been infatuated in too many years. The two strike up a friendship and contrary to Cathryn’s meticulous nature she rearranges her itinerary to spend time learning about glassblowing. Cathryn is intrigued and attracted to this enigmatic man. Deep down, for as much as she fears change - she is ready. The Color of Ice is filled with the descriptive allure of Iceland matched perfectly with the intricacies of glassblowing. All senses in overdrive, the reader can see and feel the sharp beauty. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Home for Christmas

Piper McCauley inherits her family’s lodge in Wander, Alaska. She has spent her entire life at Great Expectations, initially with her parents who were tragically lost in a plane crash then as a bush pilot helping her beloved grandmother run the lodge. They cater to trophy hunters offering them exclusive treks into this remote and often desolate wilderness. One day Piper is caught up in a blizzard searching for her guests who may have meandered too far in this uncertain weather. She is rescued and awakens to a group of men who offer to take her in until the weather subsides. They bring her to Great Expectations where she meets her grandmother Marina as a young woman. It is 1945. As confusing as it seems, Piper cannot reveal that she is from the future. She does not know how she got there but these sweet hospitable people would think she was absolutely crazy! Not to mention the priceless opportunity to spend time with her Gran and great grandparents. They call her Pippy and she blames the absurd circumstances on amnesia. Borrowing Marina’s clothing and curling each other’s hair, a remarkable friendship blooms helping Piper understand much more about her family and painful recent loss. When an unexpected romance blossoms with a local war hero Piper questions whether she was meant to stay in this alternate reality forever. Whether she lands in the past, present or future Piper is determined to celebrate Christmas with a full heart. Don’t miss this fast paced holiday fun with a time travel twist! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The People's Princess

Lady Diana Spencer was only eighteen years old when she started dating Charles, the Prince of Wales. At the time she was rather lost, having dropped out of formal schooling, occupied by a few menial jobs as a nanny and helping her sister. She longed to make a meaningful contribution to the world. When things with Prince Charles became more serious Diana had but one goal - to become Princess of Wales. She was young, convinced she was in love and sure that over time Charles would reciprocate these feelings. As their engagement and wedding plans in 1981 speed ahead, Diana’s sense of loneliness intensifies. Hidden away for propriety’s sake in Buckingham Castle Diana swallowed her sadness creating a frightening eating disorder. With no-one to talk to she becomes obsessed with a diary from the 1800’s written by Princess Charlotte of Wales, the only heir of George IV. Charlotte was a young woman in an equally lonely castle, awaiting an arranged marriage by her egocentric father, the King. Dreaming of marrying for true love Charlotte creates unending chaos and will do anything to interfere with the King’s plans to create her own destiny. As Diana plans the wedding of the century to be viewed by millions of adoring admirers she learns the fate of Charlotte, the Queen that never was. Narrated between the royal worlds of two very different times in history these women have one thing in common - a desire for love and acceptance. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

One of Nory’s closest school friends is getting married just before Christmas. The wedding will be a week long event at a castle near the private school they attended, a sort of reunion. It is also in the small unassuming village Nory grew up in. Nory was a scholarship student at a very posh school outside London. Always a good student some people, namely her older brother, never got over the rift created when Nory’s friend group included a wealthy bunch of extremely entitled and outspoken classmates. Years later, constantly juggling expectations from two separate worlds, Nory leaves her unfulfilling well paid job. She opens up a bookshop called Serendipitous Seconds, filled with collectibles and rarities, now leading a quiet, bookish life. Arriving at the castle Nory recognizes the gardener Isaac. Both her brother’s longtime friend and her childhood tormentor she steers clear of any potential conflict. As the festivities get underway she accidentally crosses paths with Isaac. Suffice to say Isaac is handsome, charming and no longer a boy. Just as Nory reconsiders her past relationships and rather lonely foreseeable future, she runs into this hottie right under the mistletoe. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Holiday Romance

Chicago is a long way from Dublin for Molly. Studying abroad was her chance to start over independent from her identical twin sister and small suffocating life in Ireland. Its Christmas break and Molly’s flight is packed. Sitting in the seat next to her is none other than Andrew, her roommates soon to be ex-boyfriend. To soften the blow she knows is coming, Molly is extra nice to this adorable seat mate. Their airplane tradition begins. For ten years Andrew and Molly are terrific friends. They drink bad wine, exchange silly gifts and catch up on their latest hookups or lack thereof. Their transatlantic flight becomes a same time next year  start to the holidays. A decade later, it’s their flightaversary and Molly, now a successful lawyer has secretly purchased first class upgrades! One delay after another the weather has become blizzard like conditions. Molly is stressed but Andrew is devastated. Holidays with his large family in Ireland is something he looks forward to all year. Molly cannot bear to disappoint him and vows she will do whatever it takes to get her friend home in time for Christmas. Through laugh out loud travel mishap after mishap (all too real!) the two Irish darlings try to make their way home. This completely delicious holiday friends to lovers romcom is the perfect stocking stuffer. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Queen's Secret

The Queen Mother, Elizabeth was a young woman when she finally accepted Bertie’s proposal. She never imagined she’d be the queen. She never could have predicted King Edward VIII would abdicate the throne to marry Wallis Simpson an American divorcee, thus leaving Bertie, her husband as King of England. Vowing to help make her husband’s reign successful Elizabeth greatly improves his speaking confidence and influences decisions both large and small. In 1939 Elizabeth is horrified that they are in another World War, that London and everyone they know and love is in terrible danger. Elizabeth was a supportive, strong wife and the couple built an uncommonly close relationship with Winston Churchill strategizing together throughout the war. But she had her own secret burden to bear, one that could destroy her reputation and possibly the monarchy. This intimate portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth’s parents details a story filled with much respect, resilience and love. The King and Queen made sure their beloved daughters Princesses Lilibet and Margaret had a childhood filled with warmth and affection and not the cold strictness displayed in the royal families of the past. Well aware that Lilibet would be Queen someday they did everything in their power to raise an independent, confident woman with a big and tender heart. After witnessing her reign that lasted over 70 years it is clear they did a marvelous job. Love historical fiction that puts a very human face on a complex woman and complicated family. FYI, the names can be confusing because when you become king you pick the name you want to rule under not necessarily your given name. In addition, they rarely use last names. Once you get into the story it quickly makes sense. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friday, November 11, 2022

Ayesha At Last

As a modern Muslim, Ayesha walks through her world with confidence, courage and vibrant hijabs. Not everyone in the community approves of her working as a teacher, performing poetry in a bar and unmarried in her late twenties. Ayesha’s younger cousin Hafsa has more proposals than she can count. Dating is rare in their community. Often a young man of marriageable age will be offered to a girl’s family as a match. Ayesha has sworn her marriage will never be arranged, she is in charge of her own destiny. Lately she finds herself lonely and jealous of the fuss surrounding Hafsa. Khalid is a devout conservative man working with Ayesha’s friend at a tech conglomerate, his traditional clothing out of place in their world. When he crosses paths with Ayesha he is mesmerized by her beauty and strength. Suppressing his desires, Khalid faces discrimination at work and struggles with life changing decisions. Can this stubborn duo realize that similarities are more valuable than their differences before its’ too late? ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thursday, November 3, 2022


Cecily Wong has the journalistic opportunity of a lifetime. All she has has to do is summit the eighth highest peak in the world, Mount Manaslu in Nepal and she will have the privilege of an exclusive interview with world renowned mountaineer Charles McVeigh. Cecily may have reached a little too high on this one. Recently dumped by her boyfriend James, a fellow journalist and climber raging with jealousy that she got this scoop. Cecily doesn’t have much climbing experience and has never attempted anything close to this magnitude but Charles conveys a sense of confidence that is contagious. He has carefully picked his small team of trusted sherpa guides and variety of climbers who all have more experience than she does. But Cecily wants this interview that can change the course of her entire career. Excited and nervous upon arrival she befriends another climber whose life is lost to a freak accident before they even leave base camp. As the journalist in Cecily starts asking questions the mild reaction from the others seems suspicious in itself. Yes, climbers are surrounded by accidents and death on a regular basis but when a second climber dies Cecily is determined to get to the bottom (or rather top) of this mysterious mountain where a murderer is on the loose. Her mantra begins - summit, get the interview, get the truth. Filled with literal cliff hangers from the very first chapter. This bone chilling thriller was unputdownable.  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️