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May 18, 2015 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ May 18th

SpringBirdsFenceMailbox-smlWelcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


Here’s what arrived last week…

New Arrivals

May18Books_173651

Trial Run by Thomas Locke from Revell.
In this high-concept thriller, three competing interests race to master a dangerous and mind-bending technology even as time itself twists in unexpected directions. As perception and reality become entangled, no one escapes unscathed.

Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch, a win from Goodreads.
When a medical mistake goes horribly wrong and Ralph Meier, a famous actor, winds up dead, Dr. Marc Schlosser is forced to conceal the error from his patients and family. After all, reputation is everything in this business.

Audio Downloads

From Penguin Audio

TheRocksEenyMeeny

The Rocks by Peter Nichols
A romantic page-turner propelled by the sixty-year secret that has shaped two families, four lovers, and one seaside resort community.

Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge
Two people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.

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Still time to enter the giveaways for…

Save The Date & Summer Rental—Book & Goody Bag Giveaway

A copy of The Daddy Diaries by Joshua Braff

Enter by Saturday May 23rd, continental US addresses only.

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© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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May 17, 2015 / Leslie

Books for Young Readers

PipBartlettPip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures

by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press | April 2015
Age: 8 – 12 years | 192 pages

Because of a Unicorn Incident at her school (it was an accident!), Pip is spending the summer with her Aunt Emma at the Cloverton Clinic for Magical Creatures. At first, it’s all fun, games, and chatting with Hobgrackles, but when Fuzzles appear and start bursting into flame at the worst possible places, Pip and her new friend Tomas must take action. Because if the mystery of the Fuzzles isn’t solved soon, both magical and unmagical creatures are going to be in a lot of trouble.

Pip Bartlett lives in a world filled with magical, mystical, mythical creatures. Pip can talk to the animals but no one believes her, so she pretends not to hear them when adults are around. Aside from that unusual ability, Pip is a normal eleven-year-old. Plus she’s smart, likable, compassionate, and loves animals.

The story is fun, entertaining, and filled with illustrations of mythical creatures. Each drawing has descriptions and notes added by Pip as she makes new discoveries about each animal. No one knows much about Fuzzles and unfortunately for them, they are considered a pest. But Pip doesn’t think they are bad, just scared, and along with her friend Tomas, sets out to discover why.

This book will delight young readers who are just discovering fantasy and those that love animals. I enjoyed it even though I’m not the target audience.

Rating: 5 stars

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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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May 15, 2015 / Leslie

Save The Date & Summer Rental—Book & Goody Bag Giveaway

Save The Date and Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews are now available in paperback.

To celebrate the paperback release of Save The Date and Summer Rental, I have a fantastic prize package, courtesy of the publisher and Tandem Literary, to giveaway to one lucky reader with a continental US address.

SaveTheDateSummerRentalGoodieBagHere’s what will be in that fabulous goody bag:

  • Copy of SAVE THE DATE in trade paperback
  • Copy of SUMMER RENTAL in mass market paperback
  • Two different Mary Kay Andrews bookmarks
  • Set of three SAVE THE DATE recipe cards
  • SAVE THE DATE magnet
  • MKA Summer Rental sticker
  • BEACH TOWN lip balm with SPF 15

 
 

About the Books

Save The DateSave the Date
by Mary Kay Andrews
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Publication Date: May 2015
Format: Paperback | 464 pages

A Savannah florist is about to score the wedding of a lifetime — one that will solidify her career as the go-to-girl for society nuptials. Ironically, Cara Kryzik doesn’t believe in love, even though she creates beautiful flower arrangements to celebrate them. But when the bride goes missing and the wedding is in jeopardy, Cara must find the bride and figure out what she believes in. Maybe love really does exist outside of fairy tales after all.
 

SummerRentalSummer Rental
by Mary Kay Andrews
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Publication Date: May 2015
Format: Paperback | 512 pages

Ellis, Julia, and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade school, they now find themselves in their mid-thirties, at the crossroads of life and love. Ellis, recently fired from her job, begins to question the choices she’s made over the past decade. Julia has a man who loves her and is offering her the world, but she can no longer hide her deepest insecurities. And Dorie has just been shockingly betrayed by the man she loved and trusted the most. Can a one-month getaway to North Carolina’s Outer Banks help make things right?

More Information…

Twitter | Goodreads | MKA’s Website | Facebook

On Tuesday, May 19th, Mary Kay Andrews newest release, Beach Town, hits the stores.

To enter the giveaway

Fill out the form below on or before midnight, May 23rd. One entry per person or address, continental US only. I will draw a random winner who will be notified by email.

Giveaway has ended

Winner: Natalie

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© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Giveaway provided by St. Martin’s Press and Tandem Literary.
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May 13, 2015 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Almost wordless: The Bluebirds are hard at work constructing a nest. The male brings the nest material to the female who does the actual building and arranges it to her liking inside the box.

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More Wordless Wednesday. © 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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May 12, 2015 / Leslie

Feature and Giveaway – The Daddy Diaries

The Daddy Diaries by Joshua Braff

Today I have a special feature and the opportunity for one of my readers to win a copy of The Daddy Diaries, an authentic, funny and honest tale about modern family life.

About the Book

Daddy DiariesThe Daddy Diaries

by Joshua Braff
Publisher: Prince Street Press
Publication Date: May 2015
Format: Paperback | 288 pages

Jay and Jackie uproot their family of four from San Francisco after Jackie loses her job but finds a lucrative new one in St. Petersburg, Florida. Jay, a one-time copywriter and aspiring author, now plays househusband, caring for his troubled thirteen-year-old son and precocious daughter as they adjust to their new life. As his children begin to assert their independence, Jay realizes that the challenges of child rearing are only going to grow more difficult in the teen years. Through a series of misadventures and run-ins with his narcissistic older brother, his lunatic childhood friend, and his increasingly estranged but beloved son, Jay learns that he must tap his own vulnerabilities if he is to be the rock of stability his family so desperately needs.

Overflowing with pathos and humor, The Daddy Diaries is a memorable take on contemporary fatherhood and a clear-sighted look at how the upending of traditional marital roles can affect the delicate balance of familial love. In his third and best novel to date, Joshua Braff vividly evokes the unpredictable dance that families do, and captures how they similarly ebb and flow.

About the Author

JoshuaBraffI grew up in South Orange, New Jersey, and went to Columbia High School. I graduated from NYU in ’91 with a BS in Education. In 1995 I entered St. Mary’s College of California. There I received an MFA in creative writing/fiction. I published three short stories during this time in national literary journals before I wrote a first novel called Digging Suburbia. I was never able to sell it but acquired my first literary agent with the book. I wrote The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green after my son turned 6 months old. The book would have three publishing offers right after I finished it two years later. I started writing Peep Show after hearing a story about a man who was an orthodox Jew, living in Long Island, who commuted to Times Square to run peep houses. The book turned out to be a complex ride about familial relationships and the tangles that disenchantment and history and self-absorption can cause.

I live in California with my wife of almost 20 years and my two children, Henry and Ella. I love the game of baseball and played until I turned 40. I also love acrylic/oil painting in the Color Field genre. I’m most inspired by the painters, Barnett Newman, Dan Christensen, Kenneth Noland and Mark Rothko. I also play the guitar and drums.

Connect with Joshua

Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Webpage

Giveaway Information

Courtesy of the publicist, I have one copy of The Daddy Diaries to give away to a reader with a continental US mailing address. To enter, fill out the form below on or before midnight, Saturday, May 23rd. For an extra entry, tweet or blog about the giveaway. The winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond.

Giveaway has ended

Winner: Anita

 
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© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Source: Giveaway provided by Tandem Literary.
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May 11, 2015 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ May 11th

SpringBirdsFenceMailbox-smlWelcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


Here’s what arrived last week…

New Arrivals

BooksMay11_184911

Mother of Eden (Dark Eden #2) by Chris Beckett from Read It Forward
Now, humanity has spread across Eden, and two kingdoms have emerged. Both are sustained by violence and dominated by men – and both claim to be the favored children of Gela, the woman who came to Eden long ago on a boat that could cross the stars, and became the mother of them all.

Audio Downloads

From Audiobook Jukebox

MemoryPainterAquarium

The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack from Blackstone Audio.
Two lovers who have traveled across time. A team of scientists at the cutting edge of memory research. A miracle drug that unlocks an ancient mystery.

Aquarium by David Vann from Blackstone Audio.
In crystalline, chiseled, yet graceful prose, Aquarium takes us into the heart of a brave young girl whose longing for love and capacity for forgiveness transforms the damaged people around her.

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Still time to enter the giveaway for…

StellaRoseStella Rose by Tammy Flanders Hetrick

When Abby’s cherished best friend, Stella Rose, is dying from cancer, she asks Abby to assume custody of her teenage daughter. Although Abby has no experience with children, she says yes. Because that’s what best friends do. They say yes.

Enter on or before May 16th. US and Canada only.

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© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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May 9, 2015 / Leslie

Audiobook: The Last Bookaneer

A Rapid Review

LastBookaneerThe Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl

Publisher: Penguin Audio | April 2015
Format: Audio Download | 13 hours | Rating: 3 stars
Audio Listening Level: Intermediate

book’a-neer’ (bŏŏk’kå-nēr’), n. a literary pirate; an individual capable of doing all that must be done in the universe of books that publishers, authors, and readers must not have a part in.

on the eve of the twentieth century, a new international treaty is signed to protect authors and grind this literary underground to a sharp halt. The bookaneers, of course, would become extinct. In The Last Bookaneer, Matthew Pearl gives us a historical novel set inside the lost world of these doomed outlaws and the incredible heist that brought their era to a close.

Rival manuscript thieves racing to Samoa to steal Robert Louis Stevenson’s final manuscript before the new laws are enacted against the background of a colonial war between British, American, and German interests should have created an engaging, action-packed fictitious history. And while it was a clever and well written story, the pace was often excruciatingly slow. I did find the story interesting, and I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading it, it just didn’t have the excitement I was looking for.

Audio production:
The audio was superbly narrated by Simon Vance and J.D. Jackson. It was a pleasure to listen to and much of what kept me from giving up on what was, for me, a slow-moving story.

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
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Source: Review copy provided by Penguin Audio.
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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