THE LEGACY OF US by Kristin Contino & GIVEAWAY

paperback-legacy_large“My dear Lizzie, Wear this in good health and happiness. I trust you’ll know what to do with it! Keep shining brightly, and remember I love you always. xoxo Nan”

Liz Moretti is consumed with grief at the sudden death of her Nan, Ella when she discovers a cameo locket/necklace inside the desk left for her in Nan’s will. Liz thought she knew everything about her grandmother, but inside the locket is an inscription marriage proposal to her grandmother from a man different from her grandfather, and she’s also left a diary. Liz decides to find out the truth behind her family’s secrets.

At this point, author, Kristin Contino introduces us to three generations of women in THE LEGACY OF US (SparkPress)who change by love, loss and a little necklace over the course of the novel. Liz is the anchor character in this complicated novel about the relationships between Liz, her sisters, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She’s able to weave a compelling, complex tale of mother and daughter relationships from 1905 Italy to present-day Philadelphia. As Liz explores her family’s history, she also comes face to face with choosing between the life she thought she wanted and the possibilities of a much richer future.

THE LEGACY OF US is a wonderful story that’ll make you want to curl up with a cuppa yummy tea and delicious biscotti and read from beginning to end. I can tell you now, just plan a full day around this book; it’ll be a treat and then you can give it to your mother and girlfriends as the perfect gift. It’s actually great for Book Club.

Thanks to Spark Press  http://www.gosparkpress.com for including Thoughts on This ‘n THAT on their #FRC Fall Reading Challenge tour.  For all things Kristin, check out her website http://www.kristincontino.com or on twitter @kristinco

We have one copy of THE LEGACY OF US to give away to one lucky winner.  All you have to do is go to the comment section of the Thoughts on This ‘n That Blog  www.writeoncindy.wordpress.com and tell us if you’ve ever had a piece of jewelry that was special to you, perhaps a family heirloom and why. We’ll pick a winner Thursday.

Remember you can check out more reviews at http://www.cindyroesel.com and news about my novel, “Viewer Discretion Advised.”

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TRAIL of BROKEN WINGS by Sejal Badani

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There’s an often heard maxim, “we’re as sick as our secrets.” Sejal Badani’s novel, TRAIL of BROKEN WINGS is all about one family’s attempt to let go of the burden and shame of their secrets.

When the patriarch of an Indian family now living in America falls into a coma, its culturally expected that his three daughters will be there to support their mother. All horrors performed by their dying father and husband are to remain unspoken, but the longer he remains silent in the coma, the louder the burden of each daughter’s story of shame grows.

Sonya is a successful photographer who left many years ago when she was twenty-one, but she can’t turn her back on her mother. Her sister, Trisha has gone full steam creating the perfect suburban life for her CEO husband. And Marin is a Silicon Valley-MBA raising a tiger family, who are ready to rebel.

Each family member has their own pressure and stress that they’re dealing with, in addition to the uncertainty of whether or not Grandpa Brent will live or die. Suddenly the family is brought together, forced to look at their individual buried secrets, the unspoken undercurrents and shame which have been silently simmering for years. Each sister knows the other’s secrets, even mom knows and has stayed silent; finally all the participants are together because of the one person who created their pain.

TRAIL of BROKEN WINGS is a story of survival and a liberating celebration of speaking out and owning one’s truth.

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Sejal Badani_120dpiAbout Sejal Badani

Sejal Badani is a former attorney. She currently lives on the West Coast with her family and their two dogs.

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If you or anyone you know is being abused or in an abusive relationship, there is help. DO NOT LET YOURSELF BELIEVE IT IS OKAY! IT IS NOT! GET OUT NOW! Go on-line and check out   http://www.domesticshelters.org  … You just put in you address and zip code and the nearest safe place will pop up on the screen.  Or you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 … write that down … Help is available!

GIVEAWAY – HER by Harriet Lane

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Two different women from very different worlds. They appear to have little in common. Emma is living a simple life stressed out by motherhood. Nina is a successful painter. In Harriet Lane’s second novel, HER: A Novel (Little, Brown and Co.) an unlikely friendship between two women takes readers on a path of toxic secrets, betrayals and more.

“I feel a need to touch her, to experience the heat of her humiliation, so I put my hands on her elbows, holding her still for a moment, and press my cheek against hers. I inhale. Sweat and powder, apple shampoo, the sweet faraway smell of breast milk. I turn my head to let my hair fall across her face for a moment, and then I step back saying how lovely it is to see Christopher again. Nina”

The novel is written in alternating narratives between Emma and Nina, revealing how they become completely wrapped up in each other’s lives. It’s a story of predator and prey.

Lane’s prose are well written and I went along with her plot until the last two chapters. It was then, I realized the full story I had committed to as a reader, and to be honest, I was annoyed. I enjoyed HER, but I felt it wasn’t as strong as Lane’s first novel, ALYS, ALWAYS which kept me up awake turning pages throughout the night.

I have one tradeback copy up for one reader of Thoughts on This ‘n That! Just become a follower of this blog and leave a comment and we’ll pick a winner this Friday. HER will be in the mail on its way to your home for your reading pleasure ASAP.

Thanks to Netgalley http://www.netgalley.com and Little, Brown and Company http://www.littlebrown.com for providing a kindle copy for an honest review. Check out http://www.harrietlane.co.uk/ for all things HARRIET. Go to http://www.cindyroesel.com to read more of my reviews and about my novel, “Viewer Discretion Advised.”

HER will be published January 6th, so now is a perfect time to pre-order your copy on-line or at your local book store.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2015!

THE GOOD SISTER

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For there to be a good sister, there must be a bad sister and in the case of Jamie Kain’s, novel THE GOOD SISTER (St.Martin’sGriffin) there are three sisters. Sarah Jade Kinsey is the oldest and she’s not only beautiful, smart and loved by all, she has cancer. Rachel Anne Kinsey, 18 is the middle one lost in the shuffle. Finally, there is Asha Nadine Kinsey, 15 who is the youngest and becomes Sarah’s bone marrow donor not once, but twice. So that leaves us to wonder, who is the good and not so good sister?
The Kinsey’s are a unique family living in Northern California’s Marin County. The parents, Lena and Ravi, former hippies offer no rules to live by, girls raised in a commune, they’re just drifting, holding on to one another for some kind of support. Sarah, the oldest believes she’s the protector but as the disease ravages her body, it slowly destroys the family. They’re shaped by the knowledge that someone within the unit is going to die.
When Sarah passes, it’s called an accident, but was it? She was hiking with her sister Rachel, who never hiked before. That’s when the secrets, mysteries, betrayals and even revenge begin to surface. I could feel grieving in the writing, while each character searched for their own truth. Ultimately, each one had to embrace what they stood for, searching through many questions, frequently coming up with too few answers.
THE GOOD SISTER is the first young adult novel Jamie Kain, has written. The YA genre is very popular right now, but I hope THE GOOD SISTER is marketed to a broader contemporary audience. I was drawn into reading her book because of the characters, the story as well as her writing, so I hope THE GOOD SISTER reaches as many readers as possible. It’s a wonderful novel.
Thanks to http://www.netgalley.com and St. Martin’s Griffin for providing a kindle copy for an honest review. Check out http://www.jamiekain.com for all things JAMIE!

HOUSE WE GREW UP IN – Family dysfunction and drama at its best!

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I’m so excited that I’ve discovered British author, Lisa Jewell. I just finished reading the recently published, THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN (Atria Books) and I absolutely loved it. I can hardly believe she’s written ten previous novels. Perhaps I’m the only one who hasn’t been in Miss Jewell’s loop, because Jojo Moyes’ wrote a fabulous review for this novel. Well, I can tell you, I’m certainly thrilled to be one of her fans now!

To neighbors, The Bird family appears to be living a perfect picturesque life within their Cotswolds village cottage. Inside resides mother, Lorelei, who is a bit of a 60’s free spirit, husband Colin and four children, daughters, Meghan, Bethan and tow-head twin boys Rory and Rhys. In addition to family members boxes of unneeded stuff Lorelei is buying slowly are evicting the Bird family out of their own home.

The Birds love celebrating Easter Sunday, especially Lorelei who turns it into a yearly ritual with chocolate Easter egg hunts, inviting family and neighbors for a big dinner. One Easter, everything changes. The Bird family, whose internal family dynamics have been slowly cracking comes to a breaking point. Each family member has to face their own inner demons and decide if they want to start the long road of healing individually and as a family.

Author Lisa Jewell, courageously navigates difficult situations for several characters with positive results which I frankly didn’t have hope for. As an artist, Jewell handles very fragile circumstances with insightful sensitivity without judging how past events affect the present.

The design team at Atria Books did a brilliant job creating the cover for THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN. Once you read it, and I recommend you do, you will understand how the frailty of the egg is a metaphor for the characters, their mental and physical conditions and overall condition of the house. I found myself referring back as I read the novel.

Thanks to http://www.netgalley.com and Atria Books for a kindle copy of this novel for an honest review. I look forward to reading more from Lisa Jewell.