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August 14, 2016 / Leslie

Giveaway Winner: Fairham Island Novels

Thank you to everyone that stopped by to enter the giveaway. The winner was selected using random.org and has been notified by email.

Brenda Novak

The Secret Sister and The Secrets She Kept

FairhamIsland

Winner: Gail

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August 10, 2016 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Sunflower

Sunflower_20160708_163538

Almost wordless: One of my backyard sunflowers.

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August 8, 2016 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ August 8th

hummingbird mailboxWelcome 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.


 
Happy Monday! Did you know today is National Zucchini Day? I have a refrigerator full of them! I suppose now would be a good time to dig out some of those recipes I’ve been collecting and try a few new dishes.

Summer is sliding by way too fast for me. Some of the flowers in my garden have already gone to seed and vegetable crops are waning, letting me know the season is coming to an end even if I don’t like it. I do enjoy autumn and its lovely crisp clear days. My only complain is the endless cold and snow that comes after it! I am going to take some time to enjoy the yard this week while I listen to some audiobooks.

New Arrivals

BooksAug8_20160807_182411

I Am No One by Patrick Flanery from LibraryThing.
A mesmerizing novel about memory, privacy, fear, and what happens when our past catches up with us.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett from Harper.
One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.

Mercury by Margot Livesey from Harper.
Donald believes he knows all there is to know about seeing. An optometrist in suburban Boston, he is sure that he and his wife, Viv, who runs the local stables, are both devoted to their two children and to each other. Then Mercury—a gorgeous young thoroughbred with a murky past—arrives at Windy Hill and everything changes.

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FairhamIslandBrenda Novak Giveaway

Win both books in the Fairham Island Series.

US addresses only. Enter on or before midnight, Saturday, 8/13.

Click HERE to learn more.

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August 5, 2016 / Leslie

Friday Feature and Giveaway

Today I’m pleased to feature Brenda Novak’s Fairham Island Series.

About the Books

SecretSistrerThe Secret Sister

by Brenda Novak
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: July 2015

Did she once have a sister? Has her mother lied all these years? Why?

After a painful divorce, Maisey Lazarow returns to Fairham, the small island off the North Carolina coast where she grew up. She goes there to heal—and to help her brother, Keith, a deeply troubled man who’s asked her to come home. But she refuses to stay in the family house. The last person she wants to see is the wealthy, controlling mother she escaped years ago.

Instead, she finds herself living next door to someone else she’d prefer to avoid—Rafe Romero, the wild, reckless boy to whom she lost her virginity at sixteen. He’s back on the island, and to her surprise, he’s raising a young daughter alone. Maisey’s still attracted to him, but her heart’s too broken to risk…

Then something even more disturbing happens. She discovers a box of photographs that evoke distant memories of a little girl, a child Keith remembers, too. Maisey believes the girl must’ve been their sister, but their mother claims there was no sister.

Maisey’s convinced that child existed. So where is she now?

AND

SecretsSheKeptThe Secrets She Kept

by Brenda Novak
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: July 2016

The things that happen in families are always surprising and sometimes shocking!

The rich and powerful Josephine Lazarow, matriarch of Fairham Island, is dead. The police say it’s suicide, but Keith, her estranged son, doesn’t believe it.

Keith bears scars—both physical and emotional—from his childhood, but he’s worked hard to overcome the past. After walking away from his mother and her controlling ways five years ago, he’s built a new life in LA. He’s also accumulated a fortune of his own. But as soon as he learns of his mother’s death, he returns to Fairham. He feels he owes it to his grandfather to put the family empire together again—and he’s determined to find his mother’s killer.

Problem is…coming home to Fairham puts him back in contact with Nancy Dellinger, the woman he hurt so badly when he left before. And digging that deep into his mother’s final days and hours entails a very real risk.

Because the person who killed her could be someone he loves…

About the Author

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author has written more than fifty books, with more than four million copies in print. This four-time RITA® Award nominee has won many awards, including the National Readers’ Choice, the Booksellers’ Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion. She also runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at http://www.brendanovak.com (her youngest son has this disease). To date she’s raised $2.7 million.

Twitter | Goodreads | MKA’s Website | Facebook

FairhamIslandWin both books – US Only

Courtesy of the publicist, I have one copy of each title to give away to a reader with a US mailing address. To enter, fill out the form below on or before midnight, Saturday, August 13th.

Tweet for an extra entry.

One random winner will be chosen and notified by email.
 
 
 

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© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Source: Giveaway provided by Tandem Literary.

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August 3, 2016 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Resurrection Lily

ResurrectionLily_20160730_141820

Almost wordless: The resurrection lilies popped up right on schedule. This plant has an unusual life cycle. Foliage emerges in the spring and and dies off after several weeks. As summer wanes, it sends up tall stalks with flowers, usually blooming by August 1st.

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August 2, 2016 / Leslie

The City on the Edge of Forever by Harlan Ellison

A Rapid Review

CityOnTheEdgePublisher: Skyboat Media | July 2016
Format: Audio Download | 8 hours | Rating: 4 stars
Audio Listening Level: Easy

The original teleplay that became the classic Star Trek episode, with an expanded introductory essay by Harlan Ellison, The City on the Edge of Forever has been surrounded by controversy since the airing of an “eviscerated” version . . . This edition makes available the astonishing teleplay as Ellison intended it to be aired. The author’s introductory essay reveals all of the details of what Ellison describes as a “fatally inept treatment” of his creative work.

This is a real treat for Star Trek fans. Prepare to be enlightened and entertained. For the first time, Harlan Ellison tells his version of the events surrounding his screenplay for one of the most beloved Star Trek episodes, The City on the Edge of Forever, followed by a reading of the original screenplay and several of its edits.

The first part of the book is a long introduction by Ellison where he tells his side of story about the many rewrites, the changes in characters, the different ending, and of his dislike of Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek’s creator. It’s actually a very entertaining rant, and those familiar with the author will know exactly what I am talking about.

I have been a Trek fan since the TV show premiered back in the 60s, but this is the first time I have read the original script or heard Ellison talk about it. In a way, I find it odd that he has said very little about his version of what happened over the past 30 years until now, but being the eccentric curmudgeon that he is, it is understandable.

The original screenplay and the rewritten final version both won awards. So which was better and why was it changed? I love the version that aired; it’s a favorite episode of mine. And now that I’ve read the original screenplay, I like that one too. However, I can see where special effects limitations and budget concerns would have caused some of it to be changed. But there was a lot of drama surrounding those changes on their way to becoming the final version.

Audio production:
The audio was performed by a Full Cast which includes: LeVar Burton, Jean Smart, Scott Brick, John Rubinstein, Stefan Rudnicki, Robert Forster, David Gerrold, D. C. Fontana, Paul Boehmer, Jim Meskimen, Richard Gilliland, Alex Hyde-White, Orson Scott Card, Gabrielle de Cuir, Judy Young, Richard J. Brewer, Ryan C. Britt, Richard McGonagle, Bonnie MacBird, Larry Nemecek, Veronica Scott, and Harlan Ellison.

The full cast performance is perfect for this book, and the introduction read by the author is Harlan at his crankiest. And hearing his words in his own voice gives it all the more impact.

This is an easy listen with an engaging cast and I would recommend it even for those who do not usually listen to audiobooks.

Audio Sample:
Audio sample available HERE.An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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August 1, 2016 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ August 1st

hummingbird mailboxWelcome 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.


 
This has been a busy month for me and it just flew past. I didn’t have a lot of time for reading and only finished five books. We finally sold my father-in-law’s home and closed the sale last week — all those last minute details took up a lot of my free time. Plus I’m still volunteering at the bird shelter and fostering special needs birds. Right now I have several budgies (parakeets) that need to take medication for several weeks. And then there’s my garden, which always needs attention.

New Arrivals

BooksAug1_20160731_135954

The Ominous Eye (The Nocturnals) by Tracey Hecht from Fabled Films Press.
A Flabbergastifying adventure under the stars! The second humorous adventure in The Nocturnals, a deluxe, beautifully illustrated middle grade series.

Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It by Larry Olmsted from Algonquin.
Fake foods are in our supermarkets, our restaurants, and our kitchen cabinets. Award-winning food journalist and travel writer Larry Olmsted exposes this pervasive and dangerous fraud perpetrated on unsuspecting Americans.

Audio Downloads

ArrowoodWatchingEdie

Arrowood by Laura McHugh from Random House Audio.
A dark, gripping novel from the author of The Weight of Blood about a mysterious kidnapping and the ways in which our lives are shaped by the stories we create about our past.

Watching Edie by Camilla Way from Penguin Audio.
Beautiful, creative, a little wild… Edie was the kind of girl who immediately caused a stir when she walked into your life. And she had dreams back then—but it didn’t take long for her to learn that things don’t always turn out the way you want them to.

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© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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