Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It's Always the Husband - Pub Week Giveaway

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, despite being as different as three women can be. Kate was beautiful, wild, wealthy, and damaged. Aubrey, on financial aid, came from a broken home, and wanted more than anything to distance herself from her past. And Jenny was a striver―brilliant, ambitious, and determined to succeed. As an unlikely friendship formed, the three of them swore they would always be there for each other.
But twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge, and someone is urging her to jump.
How did it come to this?
Kate married the gorgeous party boy, Aubrey married up, and Jenny married the boy next door. But how can these three women love and hate each other? Can feelings this strong lead to murder? When one of them dies under mysterious circumstances, will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?
A suspenseful, absorbing novel that examines the complexities of friendship, It’s Always the Husband will keep readers guessing right up to its shocking conclusion

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About the author:
Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases.  A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND.  Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels.  She has had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her.

Michele currently lives in New Hampshire.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

After the Fall - Giveaway

When an unfortunate accident forces Honor back into the lives of her widowed daughter-in-law, Jo, and her only granddaughter, Lydia, she cannot wait to be well enough to get back to her own home. However, the longer she stays with Jo and Lydia, the more they start to feel like a real family. But each of the three women is keeping secrets from the others that threaten to destroy the lives they’ve come to know.
Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.
Jo’s secret could destroy the “normal” family life she’s fought so hard to build and maintain.
Lydia’s secret could bring her love―or the loss of everything that matters most to her.
One summer’s day, grandmother, mother and daughter’s secrets will be forced out in the open in a single dramatic moment that leaves them all asking: is there such a thing as second chances?

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About the author:
JULIE COHEN grew up in Maine, USA, and studied English at Brown University, Rhode Island and Cambridge University in England. She moved to the UK permanently to research fairies in Victorian children’s literature at the University of Reading, and then taught English at secondary level. She now writes full time and is a popular speaker and teacher of creative writing. She lives with her husband and their son in Berkshire. She is also the author of Dear Thing and Where Love Lies.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It Happens In The Hamptons - Release Day Giveaway

When Katie Doyle moves across the country to the Hamptons, she is hoping to find summer employment, new friends for her young son, and a chance to explore a new love affair with George, a dazzling investor. What she finds is a strange cocktail of classes, where society’s one-percenters vacation alongside local, hardworking people who’ve lived in the Hamptons for generations. Though she’s looking forward to her move, Katie is wary about mingling in her boyfriend’s East Coast elite circles. She soon discovers Southampton isn’t all that it seems to be on the surface—and neither are the people who live there.

As George takes Katie on a whirlwind tour of country clubs, haute couture, and lavish events, Katie is amazed to witness sudden whims becoming dire needs, extramarital affairs blossoming right and left, and people purchasing friends and loyalties like a pair of shoes. Even the middle-class townspeople maintain determined fa├žades while maneuvering like sharks among the wealthy summer invaders.

The more Katie becomes immersed, the more she learns the stories of both the upstairs and downstairs, the upper crust and middle of the road. The combustion between classes becomes explosive as the summer tears on. Betrayals, a sexual predator, and a missing person lost in murky waves drive the reader on a racing Learjet through impossible twists and turns before landing at the shocking conclusion. When Katie meets Luke, a marine biologist and teacher, he makes her what it is she really wants as she understands the life she’s begun for herself is built on shifting Hamptons’ dunes.

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About the author:
Holly Peterson is the author the May 2017 social satire fiction release, It Happens in the Hamptons. In 2016, she curated an outdoor cooking book, Assouline's Smoke and Fire: Recipes and Menus for Outdoor Entertaining. In 2014, she published The Idea of Him and of the New York Times bestseller The Manny in 2007.  She was a Contributing Editor for Newsweek, an Editor-at-Large for Talk magazine and an Emmy Award-winning Producer for ABC News, where she spent more than a decade covering everthing from trials of the century to global politics. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Town and Country, The Daily Beast, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle Decor, Departures and numerous other publications.

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Monday, May 8, 2017

The Book of Summer - Pub Week & Giveaway

The ocean, the wild roses on the dunes and the stunning Cliff House, perched atop a bluff in Sconset, Nantucket. Inside the faded pages of the Cliff House guest book live the spellbinding stories of its female inhabitants: from Ruby, a bright-eyed newlywed on the eve of World War II to her granddaughter Bess, who returns to the beautiful summer estate.
For the first time in four years, physician Bess Codman visits the compound her great-grandparents built almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Bess must now put aside her complicated memories in order to pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave. It’s not just memories of her family home Bess must face though, but also an old love that might hold new possibilities.
In the midst of packing Bess rediscovers the forgotten family guest book. Bess’s grandmother and primary keeper of the book, Ruby, always said Cliff House was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother’s words in ways she never imagined.

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About the author:
New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment and I'll See You in Paris, MICHELLE GABLE graduated from The College of William & Mary. After a twenty-year career in finance, she now writes full time. Michelle lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, with her husband, two daughters, and one lazy cat.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Distance Home - Pub Week Review

Review by Darcie Czajkowski
There’s more to everyone than meets the eye. That’s the lesson that Emma Metz learns when she returns to her Maryland hometown following the sudden death of her father. As an only child, Emma is tasked with sorting through her father’s house and affairs. In the course of preparing his apartment for sale, Emma finds letters between him and someone she was close to during her childhood. She is shocked to find real emotion in the correspondence, something that was sorely lacking between her and her father throughout her life. And she starts to wonder: Is everything she thought she knew about her father a lie?

While Emma tries to make sense of her relationship with her father, she also revisits Jumping Frog Farm, the place where she fell in love with horses. The farm was her safe haven during her childhood. Until the accident. Until she was sent away. Emma is now forced to confront fractured relationships, the horses she left behind, and her current fast-paced life in Chicago.

And she must decide: Is the life she has the one she wants, or did she make a wrong turn somewhere along the road?

In “The Distance Home,” Orly Konig brings to life issues to which many of us can relate: the revelation of a long-held family secret, confronting a broken friendship, the death of a parent or loved one, and internal conflict about one’s path in life. Though I found the ending to be foreseeable, it also felt right given Emma’s journey. This story is filled with laughter and tears, real emotion, and genuine characters. The author does a wonderful job of creating vivid imagery, placing the reader at the place and time of the characters. You don’t have to love horses like Emma to appreciate the lessons taught in “The Distance Home.”

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About the author:
After years in the corporate world (most of it in the space industry), ORLY KONIG took a leap into the creative world of fiction. She is the founding president of the Womens Fiction Writers Association and an active member of the Writers in the Storm blog. She lives in Maryland with her family. The Distance Home is her first novel.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Beach House Cookbook - Pub Day Giveaway

You don’t have to own a beach house to enjoy Mary Kay Andrews’ recipes. All you need is an appetite for delicious, casual dishes, cooked with the best fresh, local ingredients and presented with the breezy flair that make Mary Kay Andrews’ novels a summertime favorite at the beach.
From an early spring dinner of cherry balsamic-glazed lamb chops and bacon-kissed green beans, to Fourth of July buttermilk-brined fried chicken, yuppie potato salad, and Coca-Cola cake, to her New Year’s Day Open House menu of charcoal-grilled oysters, home-cured gravlax, grits n’ greens casserole, and Meyer lemon bar trifle, this cookbook will supply ideas for menus and recipes designed to put you in a permanently carefree coastal state of mind all year long.

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12 Things About Mary Kay Andrews

1.      My first successful dish was cinnamon toast—made by me when I was home sick from school in second grade. Still love me some cinnamon toast. The brownies made from Hershey’s syrup and flour were not quite as big a success.

2.     I have no sense of direction and literally get lost looking for my hotel room. Every. Time. Thank Gawd for my phone’s GPS.

3.     I’m the only person I know who didn’t get her driver’s license the minute she turned sixteen. Taking driver’s ed made me terrified to drive! So I didn’t get my license until my parents forced me to, the summer I turned twenty.

4.     I married my high school sweetheart, Tom. Forty years later, we’re still bickering over who gets the remote control.

5.     The secret reason I have two beach houses? Hoarding tendencies. With the exception of new appliances and new mattresses, I was able to completely furnish both houses with estate sale, Craigslist, and junk store finds.

6.     Both our Tybee Island beach houses, Breeze Inn and Ebbtide, are named after the fictional beach houses in my novels. The Breeze Inn was the name of a rundown motel in SAVANNAH BREEZE, and Ebbtide was the name of an oceanfront Nags Head house in SUMMER RENTAL. P.S. Both houses are vacation rentals, so you can stay there too.

7.      Food phobias: Lima beans, liver, canned peas, Easter peeps.

8.     My husband and son are rabid fishermen, but I have a deep-seated aversion to fish. See #9.

9.     If I have a super power, it’s my sense of smell.

10.  Math is my kryptonite. I couldn’t balance a checkbook if my life depended on it.

11.   My husband thinks he’s a better cook than me. He might not be wrong.

12.  Hate to fry. Love to bake.

Author bio:
MARY KAY ANDREWS is The New York Times bestselling author of The WeekendersBeach Town, Save the Date, Ladies’ Night, Christmas Bliss, Spring FeverSummer Rental, The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Savannah Blues. A former journalist for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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MKA’s new cookbook & a paperback copy of The Weekenders


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Monday, May 1, 2017

All the Best People - Pub Week

Vermont, 1972. Carole LaPorte has a satisfying, ordinary life. She cares for her children, balances the books for the family’s auto shop and laughs when her husband slow dances her across the kitchen floor. Her tragic childhood might have happened to someone else. 
 
But now her mind is playing tricks on her. The accounts won’t reconcile and the murmuring she hears isn’t the television. She ought to seek help, but she’s terrified of being locked away in a mental hospital like her mother, Solange. So Carole hides her symptoms, withdraws from her family and unwittingly sets her eleven-year-old daughter Alison on a desperate search for meaning and power: in Tarot cards, in omens from a nearby river and in a mysterious blue glass box belonging to her grandmother. 
 
An exploration of the power of courage and love to overcome a damning legacy, All the Best People celebrates the search for identity and grace in the most ordinary lives.

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About the author:
I grew up in Stowe, Vermont, a wonderful place to be a child. I earned a Ph.D. in Biological Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and published a nonfiction book about animal intelligence, Clever as a Fox (Bloomsbury USA, 2001). I now live with my husband in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. 

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Every Other Wednesday - Pub Week Review & Giveaway

Review by Darcie Czajkowski
Alice Stone, Joan Howard, and Ellie Fagen are women in transition. With their collective children out of the house, these full-time mothers seek to establish their paths in the next phases of their lives.

Alice is a runner. At least she used to be. She and her husband, Dave, opened a running store twenty-eight years ago. But ever since their children were born, Alice devoted her time to raising them. Now that they are grown, Alice wonders if she should return to the store. But does she feel the same about running anymore?

Joan Howard is a mother. That is all that is expected of her from her husband’s family. Women are meant to raise children and, if time permits, support local charities. But Joan feels unfulfilled and at a loss for how to fill her days. She wants more, but will her husband – and her mother-in-law who harbors traditional views of a woman’s role – approve of her desire to become employed, particularly now that her children are no longer in need of daily care and support?

Ellie Fagen runs a part-time bookkeeping business. She knows that she has the time now to further develop her business but struggles with the salesmanship aspect that goes along with winning over new clients. But when she easily lands a new client, the owner of a local pet supply store, her confidence blooms. Will that be the only change for Ellie?

When a local tragedy brings these empty-nesters together, the women develop a bond over their shared dilemma of “what to do next.” Alice, Joan, and Ellie agree to meet every other Wednesday and share tidbits about their personal life struggles. These women don’t hold back. They are vocal about their convictions but are all cognizant of varied opinions on hot-button topics and respect each other’s points of view. Will each woman be able to move forward in a way that suits the needs of her family as well as being true to herself and her own personal needs?

In “Every Other Wednesday,” Susan Kietzman touches on timely political and social topics: gun ownership, sexuality, and a woman’s role in modern society. Kietzman affords attention and respect to both sides of the gun ownership argument, shining light on the diversity that exists in the U.S., and in the world at large, on this topic. The author also addresses sexuality and encourages acceptance of a person’s right to autonomy. Finally, and most notably, the story draws upon every person’s desire to find his or her place in this world. Everyone can relate to the struggle to feel like a useful, productive, and contributing member of whatever society he or she resides. Humans have a biological desire to belong, to feel fulfilled, and this story is a reminder that one should never give up on unearthing what makes one’s life feel worthwhile and complete.

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About the author:
Susan Kietzman has been writing fiction for years, fitting it in and around raising her children, working various jobs, and enjoying life. When her boys were young, she wrote early in the morning. And she still does, although she allows more time for fiction now that the boys are mostly elsewhere. She graduated from Connecticut College with a B.A. in English and from Boston University with an M.S. in journalism. She has written for magazines, newspapers, and corporate websites, and taught English composition as an adjunct instructor at two community colleges. When she is not writing at home, she is writing grant proposals for Mystic Seaport Museum. And when she is not writing she enjoys the outdoors, mostly by hiking, biking, and walking, and the indoors by reading in her living room in front of a fire.

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Every Other Wednesday by Susan Kietzman

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Forever Summer - Release Day Review & Giveaway

Review by Deb Czajkowski
Marin Bishop is about to celebrate her thirtieth birthday with her parents.  She has reasons for this to be a happy birthday dinner: She is a lawyer for a prestigious Manhattan law firm and has just been assigned to a high-profile case ─ a big deal for a junior lawyer at the firm; she knows her father ─also an attorney who is highly respected in the legal world─ will be proud of her, and his approval is extremely important to her. There is also one reason that this will be an unhappy birthday dinner: Marin has just broken her engagement to Greg ─Greg, from a prominent Manhattan family, Greg, the successful Wall Street Financier.  That is unhappy! Actually, Marin is fine with her decision to end the engagement; it’s her mother who will be unhappy!

Oh, and there’s also a (birthday?) surprise coming her way!

Rachel Moscowitz was born and raised in Los Angeles.  Well, that’s a tad misleading.  Rachel’s mother ─”Call me Fran, don’t ever call me Mom!”─gave birth to Rachel, but that was her largest role in Rachel’s twenty-three years of life.  And Rachel’s father was, literally, a sperm donor.  Rachel has always wanted a family ─really, to know her family!─ and now, with the help of a friend, Rachel learns the name of her father ─and that she has a half-sister! Rachel can’t wait to make contact with them and to get to know her family.  Will they feel this same way?

Amelia Cabral runs the family B&B, the one that’s been in her family for generations ─at least five!  But her husband and son are deceased, and she’s been estranged from her daughter for over thirty years.  Now, at age seventy-five, for the first time ever, she’s not opening the inn for this summer’s guests ─even the regulars, the ones who book next year’s week at the end of this year’s.  Worse yet, she’s tired, so tired that she’s wondering if this is really closing the inn for good.  Can she really do that?  After so many generations, can she be the last in the long line of her family history to own and operate this special summer home for visitors? Unthinkable. But still….It’s what she’s thinking!

Author Jamie Brenner paints three very different pictures: Three strong women who are independent and perhaps more resilient than they even know.  All three, coming from diverse and separate scenarios, are about to collide, learning lessons about life that none see coming.  The author, in The Forever Summer, clearly delineates the fierce personalities of her leading ladies.  She shows us through their actions that they have flaws and vulnerabilities but also fortitude in facing newly revealed truths, and working through the clouds to find the sunshine once again.

If your family is unconventional, you might see yourself, or your family, in The Forever Summer.  Or maybe your family isn’t like any of those in The Forever Summer, but you can identify with the uniqueness that comprises every family unit. Large or small, extended or just you; it’s still a family ─your family.  If you wouldn’t define your family as unconventional, The Forever Summer will peek into the lives of those who do. 

Life can ─and usually does!─surprise us at one time or another. The Forever Summer has its share!  If you’re in the mood for intriguing surprises, start turning the pages of The Forever Summer.

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About the author:
Jamie Brenner is the author of The Wedding Sisters, coming June 14, 2016 from St. Martin's Press. Her previous novels include the historical The Gin Lovers (St. Martin's Press), named by Fresh Fiction as one of the Top Thirteen Books to read in 2013, and Ruin Me, a coming-of-age story set in the art world. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Slightly South of Simple - Pub Week Review

Review by Deb Czajkowski
“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift of God. That's why it is called the present.”  Quote by Bil Keane

When the second tower was hit on 9/11, claiming the life of financier Carter Murphy as one of its many victims, Ansley Murphy’s world is forever changed.  Ansley’s beloved husband also left behind three daughters: Caroline (17), Sloane, (15), and Emerson (9). Thank goodness there is the million-dollar life insurance policy that will sustain them for a while in their gorgeous, posh Manhattan brownstone. 

Except that Carter had borrowed against it and lost it all ─as well as virtually their entire life’s savings─ in the stock market.  With very little money left, Ansley makes the difficult decision to move her family from their upscale life in cultural Manhattan to picturesque Peachtree Bluff, Georgia (population: 3,000), to the house her grandmother left to her.  Here she can ─will!─ start again. She’ll start her own design business and raise their three girls in the quiet, small town where she’d summered herself as a girl.

Seventeen-year-old Caroline declares two things: 1) that living six months in Peachtree Bluff, Georgia, ─really, any time, anywhere away from Manhattan, where she (duh!) belongs─ is six months too many; and 2) once she leaves Peachtree in the summer for NYU, she’ll never return there again. 

Fast forward seventeen years.

Ansley:  Still living in Peachtree Bluff, enjoying her successful design business as well as the simple, quiet life of her quaint, small town. Did I say quiet life?

Caroline: Twelve years of marriage to James Beaumont (of the prestigious Manhattan Beaumont family), an eleven-year-old daughter, and six months pregnant with their second child, Caroline hears James tell her ‘I’m not in love with you anymore.’  What!? Oh, and he’s leaving her for a famous supermodel who’s doing a reality show─which will now include James! Whoa, right? 

Caroline and her daughter, Vivi, now can’t get out of Manhattan ─away from James, away from the gossip and embarrassment─ fast enough, and, yep, straight to Peachtree Bluff.  But Caroline isn’t the only daughter heading home to mama.  Emerson, who’s an up-and-coming L.A. actress, has a plum role in a new film that’s being shot not far from Peachtree.  And Sloane ─who doesn’t like to be left out, thank you very much─ decides that, with her military husband currently deployed, spending quality time with her family is just what she and her two young sons need.  And then there’s Jack….

Look out quiet, chaos has arrived at Ansley’s house, Peachtree Bluff, Georgia.  Hang on tight!

Talk about contrasts!  Author Kristy Woodson Harvey’s novel, slightly south of simple, is chock full of them; as different as Peachtree Bluff is from Manhattan, as different as each sister’s life ─and lifestyle─ is from one another, as different as this morning’s emotions are from this afternoon’s.

Right from the beginning, Harvey masterfully and delightfully welcomes us to the Murphy party. No, more than that, she gives us a bedroom at Ansley’s house and makes us feel a part of the fun, the drama, the challenges, the joys, the heartaches.  Ansley and Caroline take turns─literally switching back and forth, chapter by chapter─ filling us in on the all the down-and-dirty details of their lives.

We live in the present with the entire Murphy household, hearing perspectives on everyone, every action, from both Ansley’s and Caroline’s points of view. We also learn of their pasts ─yesterday’s history─ where secrets are revealed and struggles are confessed. And the mystery of tomorrow?  How does it all end for Ansley and her grown ─but never too grown to need Mom from time to time─ daughters? Oh, and who’s Jack? Hmmm…Well, can you keep a secret?

I can, too!  J  Give yourself a gift: make reading slightly south of simple part of your present one day soon.  

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About the author:
Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of Dear Carolina, Lies and Other Acts of Love and the Peachtree Bluff Series, beginning with Slightly South of Simple. 

She blogs with her mom daily on Design Chic, the inaugural member of Traditional Home’s design blogger hall of fame, about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life and loves connecting with readers at kristywoodsonharvey.com.

Harvey is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism and holds a master’s in English from East Carolina University, with a concentration in multicultural and transnational literature. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and five-year-old son where she is working on her next novel.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Any Day Now - Pub Week Giveaway

The highly anticipated sequel to #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr's What We Find transports readers back to Sullivan's Crossing. The rustic campground at the crossroads of the Colorado and Continental Divide trails welcomes everyone—whether you're looking for a relaxing weekend getaway or a whole new lease on life. It's a wonderful place where good people face their challenges with humor, strength and love. 
For Sierra Jones, Sullivan's Crossing is meant to be a brief stopover. She's put her troubled past behind her but the path forward isn't yet clear. A visit with her big brother Cal and his new bride, Maggie, seems to be the best option to help her get back on her feet. 
Not wanting to burden or depend on anyone, Sierra is surprised to find the Crossing offers so much more than a place to rest her head. Cal and Maggie welcome her into their busy lives and she quickly finds herself bonding with Sully, the quirky campground owner who is the father figure she's always wanted. But when her past catches up with her, it's a special man and an adorable puppy who give her the strength to face the truth and fight for a brighter future. In Sullivan's Crossing Sierra learns to cherish the family you are given and the family you choose.

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About the author:
Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than forty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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