BookSparks’ Fall Reading Challenge 2017 continues to introduce readers to transformative new authors and novels. Introducing debut author, Jamie Raintree and her novel, PERFECTLY UNDONE, which has been published by GraydonHouse.

“Sometimes you have to lose your way to find yourself.”

Dr. Dylan Michels has worked hard for her perfect life, and has been hoping for the perfect moment her longtime boyfriend, Cooper will get down on his knee and pop the question. But when he does, Dylan says no. Huh?

For years she has been living with guilt – the part she played in her sister’s death. But her entire facade of being the perfect daughter, perfect partner and perfect doctor hasn’t silenced that haunting thought.

Ironically, it’s Cooper who makes a life changing confession, before Dylan has the chance to tell her secret. Is their so-called perfect life about to come undone? Sometimes you find yourself in the most surprising places.

Writing about forgiveness and family secrets is difficult, but Jamie is able to create a sensitive narrative without cliché. Her prose is sharp, focused and the characters become pretty good friends by the end.

Jamie recently was interviewed by Tall Poppies online book club, BLOOM. She offers advise for aspiring authors. “If your goal is to build a career as a writer, treat your writing like a career from the get-go. In order for people to take you seriously as a writer—your family, your friends, an agent, a publisher, and most importantly, yourself—you have to take your writing seriously.”

Here’s the full interview.


Jamie Raintree is a voracious student of life, which is why she became a writer, where she could put all that acquired information to good use. She is a mother of two, a wife, a businesswoman, a nature-lover, and a wannabe yogi. She also teaches writers about business and productivity. Since the setting is always an important part of her books, she is happy to call the Rocky Mountains of Northern Colorado her home and inspiration.







Thanks to BookSparks, we’re lucky to have one copy of PERFECTLY UNDONE to giveaway. Just tell us about a secret you had, shared and felt much better afterwards. We’ll announce a winner next week. Good luck.




oct 7











CINDY A. wins Thomas Mullen’s, LIGHTNING MEN


JANET W. wins Linda Stasi’s, BOOK OF JUDAS


CHRISTIE S. wins Sorayya Khann’s, CITY of SPIES


DONAMAE K. wins Jane Robins’, WHITE BODIES


SHARON H. wins  AF Brady’s, THE BLIND


and COLLEEN F. wins Amulya Malladi’s, THE COPENHAGEN AFFAIR



Keep coming back to our blog, THOUGHTS ON THIS ‘N THAT for more chances to win!



violet flowers

We are so excited to announce a 2-part tour for the release of best-selling author Sherryl Woods’ latest, LILAC LANE (Mira)!

No one writes about friends, family and home better than Sherryl Woods. Told with warmth and humor, Lilac Lane is a brand-new story in her beloved Chesapeake Shores series, one readers all over the world have waited two years to read!

Here’s an exerpt from LILAC LANE:

At the heart of Lilac Lane is Keira Malone, who raised her three children alone after her first marriage broke apart, and after years of guarding her heart, finally finds love again. But that love is short-lived when her fiancé suffers a fatal heart attack. Grieving and unsure of what’s next, Keira agrees to move from Dublin to Chesapeake Shores, Maryland, to spend time with her daughter, Moira, and her new granddaughter, Kate, as well as to help her son-in-law, Luke, with his Irish pub, O’Briens.

Not wanting to live underfoot, she rents a charming cottage on Lilac Lane, replete with views of the ocean and her neighbor’s thriving garden—not to mention views of the neighbor himself. The neighbor is none other than Bryan Laramie, the brusque and moody chef at the pub, with whom Keira is constantly butting heads. But things get real when Bryan’s long-lost daughter, whom he hasn’t seen since she was a baby, shows up out of the blue. As Bryan and Keira each delve into their pasts, reopening wounds, the rest of the town is gearing up for the Fall Festival Irish Stew cook-off, and making no bones about whose side they’re on. Is this a recipe for disaster…or a new chance for finding love?

Here’s a chapter for you to read!

                                                          LILAC LANE – Chapter 10

You won’t want to miss this epic return to Chesapeake Shores, a place we’re betting you’ll want to stay forever. We hope you enjoyed this short passage from Sherryl’s new novel.

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About Sherryl Woods

With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether in her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. Sherryl is best known for her ability to creating endearing small town communities and families. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 75 romances for Silhouette Desire and Special Edition.

Connect with Sherryl

Website |Facebook | Twitter

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Thanks TLC Book Tours and Mira, you have two chances to win a copy of LILAC LANE. Tell us about the best friendship you’ve ever had and we’ll announce a winner on Tuesday, publication day.

We’ll giveaway another book away in November, after our review posts Friday, November 10th.

Good luck. Remember: You have TWO chances to win. Have a lovely weekend.



A Fairy Tale for DOG LOVERS


 Author Jackie Bouchard’s new novel, STRAY MAGIC is simply “dog-tastic.”

From USA Today best-selling author Jackie Bouchard, comes a tale of love, laughter, and the profound magic of believing in yourself.

Cara Snow is newly divorced, stuck working for a jerky boss at a pet boutique, and dreading her soon-to-be-empty nest with only her beloved corgi for company. Worse still, her ex just got engaged. Doesn’t she deserve some romance, too? Or, at least a date for the Fur Ball. She’s always enjoyed the annual pet rescue gala, but this year her ex will be there with his fiancée. Meanwhile, Cara hasn’t met anyone— other than the irresistible dogs at the boutique’s adoption events.
Cara is shocked when her wish to fall for a man as easily as she does for those mutts summons Vincent. His velour track suit, paunchy belly, and tough-guy accent don’t exactly fit her childhood image of a fairy godfather. Not exactly on top of his game, he admits to being twenty-five years late. (Her daughter Winnie is convinced he must be there for her!) Vincent does his best and casts a spell “guaranteed” to help Cara find the One. But when she actually starts meeting men, none of them are her type. If only they were as perfect for her as the dogs they adopt. Did her screw-up fairy godfather botch the spell? If so, what will it mean not only for Cara but Vincent as well.



Hi! I’m Jackie Bouchard, author and card-carrying crazy dog lady. Let me also introduce Rita, our sweet rescue girl from Baja. Thanks for stopping by Pooch Smooches, where you’ll find wet puppy kisses & dry humor.

Check out for more contact info.  or

STRAY MAGIC is being published today and thanks to Jackie, we’re giving away two copies of STRAY MAGIC –  an e-book and a paperback – to two lucky winners. Just tell us what your pet means to you!

We’ll announce a winner next week!


 cider maill

Just when it seems, as if we’re catching up with our reviews, we look on the shelf and see there are SO MANY books we didn’t get to. But have no fear, we have highlighted of some of the most fabulous books published in September and we want to tell you all about them.

BEST PART? We’re giving them away!


Pub. date, Sept. 5th

Eva Woods’ novel, SOMETHING LIKE HAPPY (GraydonHouse) is all about seizing the day and turning it into something absolutely fabulous.

“It’s simple, really. You’re just meant to do one thing every day that makes you happy. Could be little things. Could be big. In fact, we’re doing one right now…”

Annie Hebden is stuck. Stuck in her boring job, with her irritating roommate, in a life, no thirty-five-year-old would want. But deep down, Annie is still mourning the terrible loss that tore a hole through the perfect existence she’d once taken for granted—and hiding away is safer than remembering what life used to be. Until she meets the eccentric Polly Leonard.

Bright and bubbly Polly is everything Annie doesn’t want in a friend. But Polly is determined to wake Annie up and re-engage her in life. Recent events have taught Polly time is too short to waste a single day.

Polly and Annie embark on a mission. One hundred days. One hundred new ways to be happy. Let’s see how that goes!

Claire McGowan

Eva Woods is the author of uplifting women’s fiction that will make you laugh and cry. She lives in London with her boyfriend, a musician, and she enjoys travelling, reading, and drinking far too much tea. Eva loves getting email from her fans.





Pub. date, Sept. 5th

I first discovered Nathan Englander ten years when I read his novel, THE MINISTRY OF SPECIAL CASES. I was impressed such a young man could write with such conviction and capture the horrors of the human condition without casting judgement.

His new novel, THE CENTER of THE EARTH (Knopf) unfolds in the highly charged territory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and pivots on the relationship between a secret prisoner and his guard. An American waitress in Paris. A young Palestinian man in Berlin who strikes up an odd friendship with a wealthy Canadian businessman. And The General, Israel’s most controversial leader, who lies dying in a hospital, the only man who knows of the prisoner’s existence.
DINNER AT THE CENTER of THE EARTH weaves a powerful, intensely suspenseful portrait of a nation riven by insoluble conflict, even as the lives of its citizens become fatefully and inextricably entwined–a political thriller of the highest order that interrogates the anguished, violent division between Israelis and Palestinians, and dramatizes the immense moral ambiguities haunting both sides. Who is right, who is wrong–who is the guard, who is truly the prisoner?


Nathan Englander’s is also the author of the collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank (advance praise here), as well as the internationally bestselling story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, and the novel The Ministry of Special Cases (all published by Knopf/Vintage). He is Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at New York University, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter.



Pub. date, Sept. 5th

Christina Dodd’s new thriller, THE WOMAN WHO COULDN’T SCREAM (St.Martin’sPress) once again grabs readers by the throats for an emotional, suspenseful and tension building ride at breakneck speed.

Merida is married to a wealthy older man who takes her around the world as his trophy. Merida is everything a man could want. But a traumatic accident years before left her without the ability to speak. When her husband dies, she knows its her chance to exact revenge on those responsible for her accident-and that vengeance begins in Virtue Falls. Reinventing herself, she slips into village life, biding her time. But someone knows exactly who she is and will use this chance to finish what was started years ago. And this time an accident for Merida will mean silencing her forever.


It took ten years, two children and three completed manuscripts before her first novel, CANDLE IN THE WINDOW, was published. In the twenty-six years since, her novels have been translated into 25 languages, won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart and RITA Awards and been called the year’s best by Library Journal and Booklist. Christina Dodd herself has been a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle (11/18/05, # 13 Down: Romance Novelist named Christina.) With more than 15 million of her books in print, Booklist praises her, “brilliantly etched characters, polished writing, and unexpected flashes of sharp humor that are pure Dodd.”



Pub. date, Sept. 5th

Jesmyn Ward’s novel, SING, UNBURIED, SING (Scribner) has been longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction.

In her first novel since her National Book Award–winning SALVAGE THE BONES, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, SING, UNBURIED, SING journeys through Mississippi’s past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power—and limitations—of family bonds


Jesmyn Ward is an associate professor of English at Tulane University. She won the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction and a 2012 Alex Award with her second novel, SAVAGE THE BONES, a story about familial love and community covering the 10 days preceding Hurricane Katrina. Ward joined the faculty at Tulane in the fall of 2014. In 2013 she released her memoir, MEN WE REAPED.




Pub. date, Sept. 12th

THE NEW YORK TIMES writes of Thomas Mullens’ new novel, LIGHTNING MEN (37INK/Atria), “a combustible procedural that will knock the wind out of you.”

Officer Denny Rakestraw, “Negro Officers” Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith, and Sergeant McInnis have their hands full in an overcrowded and rapidly changing Atlanta. It’s 1950 and color lines are shifting and racial tensions are simmering. Black families—including Smith’s sister and brother-in-law—are moving into Rake’s formerly all-white neighborhood, leading some residents to raise money to buy them out, while others advocate a more violent solution. Rake’s brother-in-law, Dale, a proud Klansman, launches a scheme to rally his fellow Kluxers to save their neighborhood. When those efforts spiral out of control and leave a man dead, Rake is forced to choose loyalty to family or the law.

He isn’t the only one with family troubles. Boggs has outraged his preacher father by courting a domestic, and now her ex-boyfriend has been released from prison. As Boggs, Smith, and their all-black precinct contend with violent drug dealers fighting for turf in new territory, their personal dramas draw them closer to the fires that threaten to consume Atlanta once again.thomas

From the acclaimed author of The Last Town on Earth comes the gripping follow-up to DARKTOWN. With echoes of Walter Mosley and Dennis Lehane, Mullen demonstrates in LIGHTNING MEN why he’s celebrated for writing crime fiction “with a nimble sense of history…quick on its feet and vividly drawn.




Pub. date, Sept. 19th

“Will the discovery of the missing pages of an ancient book mean the end of the world?”

New York Daily News columnist, LINDA STASI is out with another thriller, but this time it transcends genres. BOOK of JUDAS (FORGE) is a religious thriller, that will have you ripping through the pages to the very end.

When her infant son is placed in mortal danger, New York City reporter Alessandra Russo is forced to save him by tracking down the missing pages of the Gospel of Judas, a heretical manuscript that was unearthed in Al-Minya, Egypt, in the 1970s. The manuscript declares that Judas was the beloved, not the betrayer, of Jesus.

Do the lost pages contain a secret that will challenge Christianity’s core beliefs about the creation of life, or that might hold the power to unleash Armageddon? What if such explosive documents fell into the hands of modern-day terrorists, dictators, or religious fanatics?


LINDA STASI is a celebrated columnist for the New York Daily News and an on-camera host on NY1 Spectrum TV 24/7 news channel. Named one of 50 Most Powerful Women In New York, Linda has appeared on such programs as The O’Reilly Factor, The Today Show, The View, Chris Matthews, CBS Morning Show, and Good Day New York. An award-winning columnist, she is also the author of five nonfiction books. BOOK of JUDAS is a sequel to her first novel, THE SIXTH SENSE.




Pub. date, Sept. 19th

“A deliciously creepy psychological thriller.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Jane Robins, chilling psychological suspense novel, WHITE BODIES (Touchstone) explores the dark side of love and the unbreakable ties that bind twin sisters together.

Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful, up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless façade, not everything is as it seems.

Callie, Tilda’s unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix’s domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in Saran Wrap and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom trash. She knows about Felix’s uncontrollable rages, and has seen the bruises on the white skin of her sister’s arms.

Worried about the psychological hold that Felix seems to have over Tilda, Callie joins an Internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. However, things spiral out of control and she starts to doubt her own judgment when one of her new acquaintances is killed by an abusive man. And then suddenly Felix dies—or was he murdered?


Jane Robins began her career as a journalist with The EconomistThe Independent, and the BBC. She has made a specialty of writing historical true crime and has a particular interest in the history of forensics. She has published three books of nonfiction in the UK, Rebel Queen (Simon & Schuster, 2006), The Magnificent Spilsbury (John Murray, 2010), and The Curious Habits of Doctor Adams (John Murray, 2013). More recently, she has been a Fellow at the Royal Literary Fund.




Pub. date, Sept. 19th

In Sorayya Khan’s new novel, CITY of SPIES (Littlea), 11-year-old Aliya Shah lives a double life in Islamabad, Pakistan—at home with her Pakistani father and Dutch mother, and at the American School, where she tries to downplay that she is a “half-and-half.” But when a hit-and-run driver kills the son of the family’s servant, Sadiq, who is also Aliya’s dear friend, her world is turned upside down. After she discovers the truth behind the tragedy—a terrible secret that burdens her heart—her conflicted loyalties are tested as never before.

Based on the author’s own experiences growing up in Islamabad, CITY of SPIES offers a poignant and dramatic portrait of a tumultuous time, as seen through the eyes of a brave and compassionate young heroine struggling to find her place in the gray area between loyalty and complicity, family and country


Sorayya Khan is the author of NoorFive Queen’s Road, and City of Spies  which received the Best International Fiction Book Award, Sharjah International Book Fair, 2015. She was awarded a US Fulbright Research Grant to conduct research in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and received a Malahat Review Novella Prize for what became a window into City of Spies.  In 2006, she received a Constance Saltonstall Artist Grant, which took her to Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where she interviewed tsunami survivors. Her work has appeared in publications including GuernicaThe Kenyon Review, North American Review, and Journal of Narrative Politics. She is the daughter of a Pakistani father and a Dutch mother, was born in Europe, grew up in Pakistan, and now lives in New York with her family.



Pub. date, Sept. 26th

“When the lines of sanity are blurred…”

In this unexpected and addictive psychological debut, THE BLIND (ParkRowBooks), A.F. Brady takes readers into the psyche of a deeply disturbed woman desperately trying to keep her head above water, showing that sometimes what’s most terrifying is what exists in your mind.

Sam James has spent years carefully crafting her reputation as the best psychologist at Typhlos, Manhattan’s most challenging psychiatric institution. She boasts the highest success rates with the most disturbed patients, believing if she can’t save herself, she’ll save someone else. It’s this savior complex that serves her well in helping patients battle their inner demons, though it leads Sam down some dark paths and opens her eyes to her own mental turmoil.

When Richard, a mysterious patient no other therapist wants to treat, is admitted to Typhlos, Sam is determined to unlock his secrets and his psyche. What she can’t figure out is why does Richard appear to be so completely normal in a hospital filled with madness? And what, really, is he doing at the institution? As Sam gets pulled into Richard’s twisted past, she can’t help but analyze her own life, and what she discovers terrifies her. And so the mind games begin. But who is the savior and who is the saved?


A.F. Brady’s words:

I am a born and raised New Yorker. I’m a writer, and I’m also a psychotherapist; a NYS licensed mental health counselor. I’ve been working in mental healthcare for many years.

I have a B.A. in Psychology from Brown University and an M.A. and Ed.M. in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University.

I live in New York with my husband and our sons; one canine and one human.

I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil, but THE BLIND is my first novel. I’m currently working on my next novel; stay tuned!



Pub. date, Sept. 26th

Many of us readers fell in love with the writing of Amulya Malladi with her novel, A HOUSE FOR HAPPY MOTHERS.

She once again sets her new novel, THE COPENHAGEN AFFAIR (Littlea) in the capital of the world’s happiest country, India. It’s a comedy of manners about depression, the pressure of marriage, and the possibility of falling in love again.

Sanya was always the perfect wife, but after a breakdown at her office, it’s her husband Harry’s turn to step up. His proposal? A temporary move to Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital city. He needs to be there to close a business deal and figures the change of scenery will do her good. Soon Sanya goes from hiding under her duvet to hiding in plain sight—a dark-skinned Indian American in a city of blondes.

Within Copenhagen’s glamorous high society, one man stands out—not only because of his intriguing scar but because he sees Sanya in a way Harry hasn’t for years. Anders Ravn owns the company Harry wants to acquire, and soon Sanya begins to fall for him. As allegations of white-collar crime arise, she learns of Harry’s infidelity, and having an affair with Anders seems ever more tempting. Surrounded by old money, smoked fish on dark breads, and way too many bicycles, Sanya slowly moves from breakdown to breakthrough, but where will she end up—and with whom?


Amulya’s words:

I wrote this novel to get over my own depression and laugh a little. This book is also special to me because it’s set in Copenhagen, one of my favorite cities in the world. It’s my love letter to the city I still call home even though I now live in Southern California.

You can check out more about Amulya, at her website


We’re so excited to be giving away these novels to our Thoughts on This ‘n That blog followers. We hope you find them as exciting as we do!

All you have to do is tell us what you’re excited about reading this fall. Perhaps its one of these novels, perhaps not. Anyway, we all love to read – especially well written novels.

Tell all of your friends about this great giveaway. We’ll announce winners in a couple of weeks.


Thank you to the publishers, publicists and authors for providing novel and author summaries.

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oct 7

CONGRATULATIONS to our first group of October  Winners!




KD and KELLEY M both win copies of LIE TO ME by JT Ellison






Congratulations to all of our winner! Keep coming back for more chances to win!

Time to go outside and pick some apples …