London Belongs to Me

London Belongs to Me: A Novel by Jacquelyn Middleton. Kirkwall Books, 2016. 392 pages. ****

Reeling from an ugly breakup, Alex Sinclair, an aspiring playwright moves from sunny Florida to London. Believing that she belongs in the country of her birth, even though she has never lived there, Alex wants to start over and pursue her dreams. When the airline loses her luggage and her room turns out to be a closet in the apartment of a friend, Alex questions whether she should just go home and admit defeat. Meeting her favorite playwright, Alex once again is betrayed and experiences a panic attack much to her embarrassment. Will Alex find success and someone who loves and accepts her or will she be forced to return home when she runs out of money?

Enjoyable, easy to read novel of betrayal, love, and friendship. Middleton has introduced a lineup of likable characters and a believable plot. I love books that are full of drama, but give me hope that everything is going to turn out in the end. This is one of those books that you share with your girlfriends and suggest that they read it too.

I received a copy for a review.

Jacquelyn Middleton is an award-winning freelance writer. She previously worked in television broadcasting, and lives in Toronto. When she's not writing, you can find her hanging out in London, waiting in a comic con line with her husband, or chasing after her very bossy Schipperke. London Belongs to Me is her first novel. Visit her webpage at www.JacquelynMiddleton.com

#FRC2016 @BookSparks @JaxMiddleton #romance


Note to Self: a Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth

Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth by Laurie Buchanan, PhD. Bekeley: She Writes Press, 2016. 270 pages. ***** Bibliography

Not just another self-help book, Buchanan's message "whatever you are not changing, you are choosing" will resonate with all readers. She introduces us to each of our seven selves and helps us to offload the baggage associated with each of those selves. In this easy to read, easy to understand guide, it is chock full of examples, quotes (from some of my favorite people), activities, and real life examples. This is a book that you will refer to again and again. I am a self-proclaimed, self-help book junkie, and I learned so much from her introduction of the corresponding chakra to the self and the color associated with a healthy self. The affirmations at the beginning of each "self" section are an apt reminder to change negative self-talk.

The book concludes with 365 introspective and thought-provoking "Internal Inventory Questions" for a year's worth of journaling prompts. This list is invaluable for those who want to leave their baggage behind and discover a joy-filled life.

I highly recommend this book and suggest it and a journal as a holiday gift for everyone on your list.

A great companion book to The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.

I received a copy to review.

Board Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Laurie Buchanan is a holistic health practitioner and transformational life coach. Her areas of interest include energy medicine, inner alchemy, spiritual awareness, writing, and laughter, Definitely laughter!
A minimalist by intent, she lives a beautiful life with fewer things---simple yet full. Visit Laurie's blog, Tuesdays with Laurie, at www.tuesdayswithlaurie.com

@BookSparks #selfhelp #journaling #chakras

Unexpected Love

Unexpected Love by Kristy Kryszczak. Girl Friday Productions, 2016. 209 pages. ****

On the surface, Inez Champlain is living her dream life with no romantic entanglements to get in the way. Then she meets and falls for Jason and life really begins to get messy. Jason seems almost too good to be true and Inez is conflicted when she meets and is attracted to his handsome brother and partner in the family business. Inez tries to resist Jimmy, Jason's brother, but the connection and growing feelings are hard to deny. Will she breakup with Jason and follow her heart or are her feelings for Jimmy an infatuation and fleeting?

Better developed than others with a similar plot and enough twists and turns to keep me interested. The fact that Inez is enjoying her life without looking for her one true love is refreshing and the story enjoyable. Fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid will relish Kryszczak's writing.

I received a copy for review.

A former actor and beauty publicist in New York City, Kristy relocated to Naples Florida, to enjoy all that the Gulf Coast has to offer. When she isn't creating captivating fictional love triangles, Kristy is busy working as a director of special events and communications. She also blogs about her adventures living on Florida's Paradise Coast, the writing life, marathon training, ansaspiring to live with gumption.

#FRC2016 @BookSparks #romance

We Are Unprepared

We Are Unprepared: a novel by Meg Little Reilly. MIRA, 2016. Reader's Guide: Questions for Discussion. 353 pages. *****

Millenials Ash and Pia move from Brooklyn to a remote town in Vermont and are trying to get pregnant with their first child. Months after moving in they find out that their chances of having a child are slim and a superstorm is forecast in the near future. Uncertainty builds as to the extent of the predicted storm and the appropriate ways to prepare. Ash becomes friends with a neighboring child and wants to save him from his dysfunctional family, Pia is uninterested and not ready to be responsible for another person when the world they know may be ending. Both Ash and Pia react differently to impending disaster and what could have brought them together seems to be tearing them apart.

I really enjoyed this book and it made me soul search as to what my reaction would be if I were faced with the same choices. Ash and Pia are both good people dealing as best they can but find themselves on opposite sides of a very serious issue. Having experienced the Air Raid drills of the 1950s and 1960s, I can see how a town can get caught up in disaster preparedness and become victims of religious zeal when faced with the need to survive. Reilly masterfully tells many sides of the issue without preaching or weighing in on who is right. Very thought provoking plot!

I received a copy for review.

Meg Little Reilly is a former treasury spokesperson under President Obama, deputy communications director for the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), communicator for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and producer for Vermont Public Radio. A native of Vermont, she is a UVM graduate with deep ties around the state. She currently lives in Boston with her husband, Daniel, and two daughters.

#FRC2016 @BookSparks


The Witch House of Persimmon Point

The Witch House at Persimmon Point: a novel by Suzanne Palmieri. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2016. Discussion Questions. 380 pages. ****

This story begins with a note from the author cautioning the reader that she wrote the book to exorcise her demons and it may trigger emotions and "cut right at your soul." The story also includes gardens, magic, ghosts, and secrets.

Family secrets are the heart of the story and they unfold in the most haunting way. Byrd Whalen returns to her family's ancestral home and discovers that her legacy is a dark and violent one. Multi generations of Amore women have left their mark on the "Witch House" and Byrd is determined to unearth their story before a local journalist airs a program exposing whether the house is haunted or if the rumors surrounding it are true. Bryn reads the journals of her Great-Grandmother crazy Anne Amore and discovers unbelievable horrors in Anne's past.

I am a fan of gothic, dark, novels and especially like family stories with strong, resilient women as the main characters. This novel does not disappoint and held my attention from the beginning to the end. Excellent suspense, horror and surprises. I have not read all of Palmieri's other novels, but will do so after this one.

I received a copy for a review.

Suzanne Palmieri is the author of The Witch of Little Italy, The Witch of Belladonna Bay, and The Witch of Bourbon Street. She also writes as Suzanne Hayes and lives in a haunted farmhouse in North Branford, Connecticut, with her family.

#FRC2016 @BookSparks #familysecrets

Miracle at Midlife

Miracle at Midlife: A Transatlantic Romance (A Memoir) by Roni Beth Tower. Berkely:She Writes Press, 2016. 281 pages. ****

It's March 1996 and Roni Beth sells her inherited jewelry to finance a trip to Paris, never dreaming that calling David, a contact recommended by a friend, would change her life forever. David, a divorced American attorney, is living on a converted barge in the center of Paris. Miracle at Midlife chronicles their two-year courtship, the complications and rewards of a middle age couple, and a long distance romance between Connecticut and Paris.

This well-written memoir reinforces the concept that it's never too late to find love and love does conquer all! Against all odds, Roni Beth and David are able to weave their individual families, careers, and locations into one inspiring relationship. An excellent choice for a book club selection; many discussion points and real life conflicts to appeal to a variety of readers.

I received a copy for a review.

Roni Beth Tower grew up in Akron, Ohio, majored in religion at Barnard College, and earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Yale University. She and David, her husband, live in Tarrytown, New York, within easy visiting distance of their six grandchildren. They return to Paris as often as possible. In addition to David, their family, and their friends, Roni Beth loves yoga, dance, quilting, and bringing comfort and joy to people. For more information, visit her and her blog, Love is  Real, at www.miracleatmidlife.com.

@BookSparks #MagicofMemoir #memoir