Skip to content
June 22, 2015 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ June 22nd

GerberaDaisyMailboxWelcome 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.


 
Yesterday was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the astronomical start of summer in the northern hemisphere. This is always my favorite time of the year. The pleasant weather and long days bring so many options for my free time, and so many things to do, that I haven’t had much time for reading or blogging in the past few weeks.

I haven’t been requesting or accepting a lot of new books, but there are always a few I just can’t resist. Here’s what arrived last week . . .

New Arrivals

BooksJune22_155207

Summer Secrets by Jane Green from Tandem Literary.
Jane Green delivers her second blockbuster novel of 2015, a story of one woman struggling to right the wrongs of her past, with even more complications in the present.

Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology by Johnjoe McFadden, Jim Al-Khalili from LibraryThing.
Drawing on recent ground-breaking experiments around the world, each chapter in Life on the Edge engages by illustrating one of life’s puzzles: How do migrating birds know where to go? How do we really smell the scent of a rose? How do our genes copy themselves with such precision? Life on the Edge accessibly reveals how quantum mechanics can answer these probing questions of the universe.

A Bookish Win

BooksJun21_155323
A journal with an absolutely perfect cover design — birds in an apple tree — and Freudian post-it notes from Stacy’s Books. Thanks Stacy!

Giveaways posted last week . . .

SummerSecretsBeachBagJane Green’s Summer Secrets Beach Bag Giveaway
Win a beach tote filled with awesome goodies:
A signed book, a cold carry cup, face and body bronzing duo from Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, hair cleansing cream from Purely Perfect Products, Factor 35 continuous mist sunscreen from Hampton Sun, an orange glass clover pendant from KZK Jewelry, a chocolate coconut almond snack bar from Nothin’ But Heatlhy, and a tube of moisturizing no-bump shave gel from Completely Bare Products.

Win a Year of Free AudiobooksJuneIsAudioMonth
To celebrate Audiobook Month, Recorded Books is offering a chance to win a download code for 25 audiobooks from Highbridge or Tantor audio.

——————————–
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

June 20, 2015 / Leslie

June is Audiobook Month — Celebrate and Win!

JuneIsAudioMonth

Anyone who has visited here before knows I love audiobooks.

However, I wasn’t always the world’s greatest audio fan. Listening rather than reading was a gradual process for me. I first tried audio many years ago—and failed miserably with the format and avoided audiobooks for many years. Yes, me!

What happened?

Well, my first attempt at listening to a book was a Sue Grafton mystery, one of the alphabet murders, on cassette tape while driving to a business seminar from Chicago to Indianapolis. I was concentrating so hard on listening that I missed an exit ramp and ended up on the wrong expressway. I had to figure out where I was and how to turn around, all in the days before GPS. I thought, ugh, no more books in the car, this is dangerous. And that was that.

What changed?

I got an iPod, and I would listen to music while gardening. If I could do that, then why not a book? I could read a few more books a year that way. It was a start, but a little more complicated than that!

Audiobooks are an acquired skill.

The solution for me was to start with a few non-fiction books and some short stories. With a full length book my mind would wander and I’d lose the plot. Non-fiction is much easier to listen to at first. Memoirs are also great to listen to when new to the format. If I can “learn to listen,” anyone can!

And now…

Years later, not only do I listen to books on CD in the car (yeah, I’m OK with that now), I also download and stream audio from my smartphone using bluetooth headphones . . . and listen to about 60 books a year.

Win a Year of Free Audiobooks

TantorAudioRecorded books is sponsoring a fantastic audiobook giveaway.

There will be two lucky winners. Each winner will each receive an audio download code good for 25 books. Titles can be downloaded all at once, or spread out over the year. There will be one winner for Highbridge Audiobooks and one for Tantor Audiobooks.

The winners will have a huge assortment of books to choose from. There is something for everyone, from seasoned listener to newbie and everyone in between.

HighbridgeAudio

For a chance to win . . .

Fill out the form below on or before midnight, Tuesday, June 30th. I will draw two random winners and they will be notified by email. That’s it. Easy!

For a bonus entry . . .

In the comments, share which Tantor or Highbridge audiobook you are looking forward to listening to.

——————————–
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

June 19, 2015 / Leslie

Jane Green’s Summer Secrets Beach Bag Giveaway

Jane Green is getting ready to launch her new novel, Summer Secrets, on June 23rd. To celebrate she has offered me an amazing beach tote brimming over with awesome goodies and a signed book to give away to one lucky reader.

Here’s a look at what’s inside the tote . . .

SummerSecretsBeachBag

I have one of these fantastic bags to offer . . .

Wow!! This is quite a haul. For a chance to win, fill out the form below on or before midnight, Tuesday, June 30th, US only, no PO Boxes. I will choose one random winner and they will be notified by email.

For a bonus entry leave a comment telling me … What’s the best thing about summer for you?
 

 

——————————–
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Source: Giveaway sponsored by Tandem Literary.

——————————–
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

June 17, 2015 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Angry Birds

AngryRedWingBlackbird_IMG_4346

Almost wordless: Mrs. Red-winged Blackbird was not pleased that the path I walk to my monitor point in the prairie is close to her nest.

——————————–
More Wordless Wednesday. © 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

June 15, 2015 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ June 15th

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…

Print Books

BooksJun15_185405

The Beer Wench’s Guide to Beer by Ashley V. Routson from Amazon Vine.
Pull up a stool and learn about beer with the Wench! Craft beer is officially everywhere: there are now more breweries in the United States since any time before prohibition.

Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans from Harper.
Paper Moon meets the Blitz in this original black comedy set in World War II England, chronicling an unlikely alliance between a small time con artist and a young orphan evacuee.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee from Harper.
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred.

Audio Downloads

From Simon & Schuster Audio

WrightBrosTheWell

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.

The Well by Catherine Chanter
A brilliantly haunting and suspenseful debut set in modern-day Britain where water is running out everywhere except at The Well—the farm of one seemingly ordinary family whose mysterious good fortune leads to suspicion, chaos, and ultimately a shocking act of violence.

———

Giveaways posted last week . . .

BeachTownBeach Town by Mary Kay Andrews
Win a copy of the book.. US only.

As a movie location scout, picture-perfect is the name of the game. But her last project literally went up in flames, and her career is on the verge of flaming out. Greer has been given one more chance, if she can find the perfect undiscovered beach hideaway for a big-budget movie

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

BonesOfYouBonesOfYouGiftBasket

Two giveaways. A copy of the book (US only) and a copy of the book in a gift basket (everywhere).

The Bones of You revolves around a young girl’s murder and one woman’s obsession with uncovering the secrets in an idyllic English village.

——————————–
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

June 13, 2015 / Leslie

The Bones of You – A Suspenseful Psychological Thriller

Review, Giveaway, and Author Q&A

The Bones of You revolves around a young girl’s murder and one woman’s obsession with uncovering the secrets in an idyllic English village.”

About the Book

BonesOfYouThe Bones of You

by Debbie Howells
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Format: Hardcover | 320 pages

When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic—girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble—Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.

Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons—graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine—the more she is convinced that not everything is as it seems.

My Thoughts

The Bones of You is a suspenseful mystery told from alternating perspectives: Kate, who has a daughter the same age as Rosie and feels compelled to find out what happened, and Rosie, who tells her story from beyond the grave.

As Kate spends more time with Rosie’s family, she realizes that things aren’t as they seem on the surface. Why is Kate so interested in solving this mystery? She is only casual friends with Rosie’s mom, and while Rosie would stop by the stables to visit Kate’s horses, she was not good friends with Kate’s daughter, Grace.

Perhaps this quote from Kate gives us a clue…

I have a gardener’s inherent belief in the natural order of things. Soft‑petalled flowers that go to seed. The resolute passage of the seasons. Swallows that fly thousands of miles to follow the eternal summer. Children who don’t die before their parents.

Rosie’s point of view is in contrast to Kate’s. She is, in a way, a ghost and sees what other characters cannot. In flashbacks she reveals bits and pieces of her life and secrets about her family. While they appear to be happy to the outside world, theirs is a dysfunctional home that goes back several generations.

Answers are revealed slowly and as secrets are brought to light, the pieces fall into place. This is not a fast-paced thriller; the story has a slow, subtle, suspenseful build, but once I became engaged in the story, it was difficult to put this book down.

While some seasoned mystery readers will have the murderer figured out before the reveal, there are enough angles in the story to keep most of us guessing. And while I was pretty sure I knew who did it, I didn’t figure out ‘why’ until the end.

Author Q&A- Debbie Howells

When did you start writing?
I began writing in earnest about five years ago, women’s fiction which was what I liked to read. But I also wanted to write books that addressed more serious real-life issues as well. I think with Wildflowers I achieved that. It’s had some wonderful reviews on Amazon, but though 6 agents asked to read the full manuscript, no-one actually took me on.

The Bones of You is a change of genre. How did you come to write it?
I’d put everything I had into Wildflowers and it came so close, but not close enough. I knew then I had to write something different. Everyone says, write about what you know about. I think that’s true, but I think also, you have to appeal to the market. That said, I don’t think it’s possible to write without your heart one hundred per cent in it.

Were you surprised with the reaction you got from agents and publishers?
Completely blown away! It was beyond my wildest dreams. There are phone calls and emails from that time that I will never, ever forget. When you’ve worked so hard for so long, battled rejection but kept going anyway, to reach the point where I’m being published is something I’m so excited about – and enormously grateful for.

What advice do you have for other writers?
There are so many brilliant, unpublished writers out there. Finding an agent and a publisher mean you have to write a good book, but it takes luck, too – in spadefuls – to hit the right person with the right idea when the market’s right… It’s also a massively subjective industry. What one person loves, another wouldn’t give the time of day to. And no-one can predict tomorrow’s bestsellers.
If you can’t find an agent to take you on, consider self-publishing. A number of authors have had huge success this way and in any case, you learn from it. Then keep writing – the next book, the one after. If you don’t, you’ll never know…

Have you written your next book?
I finished it just before Christmas. It’s another psychological thriller about not just what we hide from other people, but from ourselves, too. It’s about a washed-up lawyer and a woman he used to love, who’s suspected of a murder. He’s determined to prove her innocence but an overdose has left her in a coma.
As well as a thriller, it’s also a love story.

 

Win a Gift Basket

“A Gift from Rosie” will run from now through July 1, 2015.

BonesOfYouGiftBasket

Click HERE to enter for the gift basket.

Win a copy of The Bones of You

To enter, fill out the form below on or before midnight, Saturday, June 27th. The winner will be notified by email.


 
——————————–
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Source: eGalley and giveaways provided by Kensington Books.

——————————–
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

June 12, 2015 / Leslie

Friday Feature and Giveaway – A Fun Summer Read

Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews

It hit 100 degrees yesterday in my backyard so it’s officially summer for me. And a perfect way to kickoff the summer reading season is with a copy of Mary Kay Andrews newest release, Beach Town. Courtesy of the publicist, I have one copy to give away to a reader with a US address. Just fill out the form below.

About the Book

BeachTownBeach Town

by Mary Kay Andrews
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: May 2015
Format: Hardcopy | 448 pages

Greer Hennessy needs palm trees.

As a movie location scout, picture-perfect is the name of the game. But her last project literally went up in flames, and her career is on the verge of flaming out. Greer has been given one more chance, if she can find the perfect undiscovered beach hideaway for a big-budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town called Cypress Key. There’s one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino-which will be perfect for the film’s explosive climax.

There’s just one problem. Eben Thibadeaux, the town mayor, completely objects to Greer’s plan. A lifelong resident of Cypress Key, Eben wants the town to be revitalized, not commercialized. After a toxic paper plant closed, the bay has only recently been reborn, and Eb has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. But Greer has a way of making things happen, regardless of obstacles. And Greer and Eb are way too attracted to each other for either of them to see reason.

Mary Kay Andrews’ Beach Town is the perfect summer destination.

About the Author

NEWmarykayandrewsMary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Savannah Blues.

A former reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she wrote ten critically acclaimed mysteries, including the Callahan Garrity mystery series, under her “real” name, which is Kathy Hogan Trocheck. Her mysteries have been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha and Macavity Awards.

Twitter | Goodreads | MKA’s Website | Facebook

Giveaway Information

Courtesy of the publicist, I have one copy of Beach Town to give away to a reader with a mailing address in the continental US. To enter, fill out the form below on or before midnight, Saturday, June 20th. 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: Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

 
——————————–
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Source: Giveaway provided by Tandem Literary.

——————————–
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,588 other followers