Triple Love Score Review

As a book lover, I also happen to be a grammar nerd and word fiend.  Seems to go hand in hand, right?  So the premise of this new novel, about a poetry professor who creates a brand wirh Scrabble tiles, seemed to be a winner.

Here’s the synopsis:

What happens when you stop playing games?

Miranda Shane lives a quiet life among books and letters as a professor in a small upstate town. When the playing-by-the-rules poet throws out convention and begins to use a Scrabble board instead of paper to write, she sets off a chain of events that rattles her carefully planned world.

Her awakening propels her to take risks and seize chances she previously let slip by, including a game-changing offer from the man she let slip away. But when the revelation of an affair with a graduate student threatens the new life Miranda created, she is forced to decide between love or poetry.

This was a for sure 4 star read.  I found Miranda to be a risk-taker once that Scrabble board came out.  She spoke her mind, not caring what (or who) ended up in her wake.  It’s almost as if the game woke that part of her personality up.  What I loved was that it was her love of words that did it, not a man, even though romance readers will find plenty to love in this story.

With a storyline that takes the reader on a wild adventure, including a trip across the ocean, Brandi has fully developed characters with several surprises along the way.  You’ll be cheering for Miranda to get the career and love life she’s always dreamed of.

imageAbout the author:

Brandi Megan Granett is an author, online English professor, and private writing mentor. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University, Wales, an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College, a Masters in Adult Education with an emphasis on Distance Education from Penn State University, and her BA from the University of Florida.

Granett is the author of My Intended (William Morrow, 2000). Her short fiction has appeared in Pebble Lake Review, Folio, Pleiades and other literary magazines, and is collected in the volume Cars and Other Things That Get Around. She also writes an author interview series for the Huffington Post.

When she is not writing or teaching or mothering, she is honing her archery skills. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter.

She can be reached on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and her website.

Thank you to Brandi for the copy in exchange for an honest review.


Home Field Review

When I saw this book being called a mashup of My So-Called Life and Friday Night Lights, my teenage self got all giddy.  I had to get my hands on it, and the wonderful publicity department at William Morrow came through.

I was not disappointed.  Do you ever read a book that transports you to another time and place, where you’re so involved in the telling of the story that time disappears while reading?  This was that book for me.

I found myself at home in rural Maryland along with head football coach Dean, his stepdaughter Stephanie, and his two sons Robbie and Bryan.  They’re reeling after the suicide of their mother Nicole.  Stephanie is about to start college away from home.  Robbie has discovered a love of the arts.  And Dean is in constant fear he isn’t doing right by his family while focusing on his football team.

This book focuses a lot on the characters, alternating propelling the story forward between Dean and Stephanie narrating.  But the plot does not slow down.  We follow this family try to cope with Nicole’s death in their confused states, grieving in their own, unique way.

Hannah Gersen is an extremely talented writer, and it’s hard to believe this was her debut novel.  Each character was someone so well developed that at times it was almost like reading a memoir.  I had a tough time parting ways with this one, and I was tied to each character, hoping they each found peace in the year ahead.  I’ll be looking forward to whatever Gersen writes next.

Thank you to William Morrow for a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About the author:

Hannah Gersen is a staff writer for The Millions, and her writing has been published in the New York Times, Granta online, and The Southern Review, among others.  Home Field is her first novel.  She lives in Brooklyn with her family.


The Things We Wish Were True Review & Giveaway

I am a sucker for books that promise secrets.  Whether from other characters or to the reader, count me in.  This domestic drama had lots of them.  Each main character had a secret, which made getting to the end even more fun to find the truth.

This story covers a close group of neighbors over the course of one summer.  After a tragedy at the local pool, the neighbors band together as relationships form and break, and secrets are revealed.

Our cast of characters include:

Jencey…moved away after high school suddenly and is back after her personal life takes a nosedive

Bryte…Jencey’s best friend from high school and now married to Jencey’s high school sweetheart

Zell…the neighborhood matriarch with empty nest syndrome

Lance…Zell’s next-door neighbor who is overworked and a newly single dad of two

Cailey…an 11-year-old struggling to fit in and needing a sense of security

I sure loved some of these incredibly unique names.  The whole time I was reading I was wondering how the author chose them since I hadn’t heard most before.

Slowly unraveling from start to finish, this was certainly a fun story that had me turning pages in order to find out how everything would play out.  I grew to bond with these characters quickly and I sure wouldn’t mind finding out what they all are up to in the future.  Wink, wink.

imageAbout the author:

Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of The Things We Wish Were True and five previous novels. She speaks to women’s groups around the US. She is the co-founder of the popular women’s fiction site, She Reads Marybeth and her husband Curt have been married for 25 years and are the parents of six children, ranging from young adult to elementary age. The family lives in North Carolina. Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She is always at work on her next novel. You can find her at

imageThanks to TLC Book Tours, I have one copy of Marybeth’s book for a lucky reader.  U.S. and Canada only, please.  Head to the Rafflecopter to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saving Phoebe Murrow Review

Everybody who is a parent knows that being a parent is hard.  There is no manual when you leave the hospital with your baby on how to care for them or discipline them.  In this day and age, there is no book on how to protect them from social media and cyberbullying.  And that is the exact premise of Herta Feely’s novel, Saving Phoebe Murrow.

The focus of this story is Phoebe, a teenager who just wants to fit in.  She doesn’t want her friends to turn on her or be the butt of their jokes.  She wants to be noticed and wanted by the boy that she likes.  Her mom, an attorney, sends her to private school in an attempt to make these things happen for her.  They are well-to-do and socialize with families of a similar stature.

Starting out with the main bullying incident, Feely works backwards in time to explain how everything came to be as told from many characters’ points of view.  If you think bullying is bad, the idea of cyberbullying is even worse.  No way to connect it to a certain person and it can go on for such a long time without anyone else knowing.  As a parent, that is my biggest fear.  And I sense that Feely wrote this story to make more parents aware of the signs and how to be more involved in what’s going on in their children’s lives.

It for sure opened my eyes to see how easily (and quickly!) it can happen and escalate.  I know I will never be able to completely shelter my children from computers and the Internet, but this book was eye-opening to the motivations behind teenagers’ actions and words and even adults’.  Fans of domestic dramas will enjoy it for sure.  And those hoping for a manual on raising teenagers.


image About the author:

Herta B. Feely is a writer and full-time editor. Her short stories and memoir have been published in anthologies and literary journals, including The Sun, Lullwater Review, The Griffin, Provincetown Arts, and Big Muddy. In the wake of the James Frey scandal, Feely edited and published the anthology, Confessions: Fact or Fiction? She was awarded the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and an Artist in Literature Fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for The Trials of Serra Blue. She has also received an award from American Independent Writers for best published personal essay for a piece on immigration. In Saving Phoebe Murrow, Feely continues her commitment to activism on behalf of children. A graduate of UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University, Feely is the co-founder of Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization dedicated to saving children from unintentional injuries, the leading killer of children in the United States. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and cats.

Connect with Herta on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and her website.

Thank you to Smith Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.