Beach Reads

A little bird like this has built a nest in one of my large potted plants on the front porch. When I’m in my office, supposed to be working, I can see her out and go in search of sustenance. I haven’t dared disturb her when I’m out, so I don’t know if there are babies yet.

I can’t get close enough to the bird to get a picture, and I also couldn’t find a photo to use from the Internet that WordPress would allow on this site. Spent way too long on Wednesday fussing with this to try to get something to work. Finally found this pencil sketch. It’s probably of a sparrow, but the two birds are close in size and color. In fact, many people mistaken one for the other.

Pin on i want to draw this

Finches have smaller, more delicate bills that are more sharply pointed. Sparrows generally have longer tails that they are more apt to actively flash, wag, or wave. Finches have shorter tails that are generally narrower, and they do not flash their tails as frequently.

I didn’t plan to spend a big chunk of my time dealing with photos and wrestling with WordPress. I thought a blog update would be quick and easy. Ha!

Before I totally lose the day and the time I have for working, I do want to share some suggestions for summer reading. It’s that time of the year again, and I always look forward to enjoying a few new books.

Always at the top of my summer-reading list is a book, or two, by Kristy Woodson Harvey. I’ve read and reviewed most of her books here on the blog and can wholeheartedly endorse them for your reading pleasure. The stories are about women in different circumstances of life, some with romance, and all a compelling read. I recommend starting with the Peachtree Bluff series that can take you through the summer.

The series, set in North Carolina where beaches and sailing and other summer fun play a role, starts with Slightly South of Simple. I certainly enjoyed my vicarious vacation there a few years ago when the book first came out and I was able to REVIEW IT I’ve since read the rest of the series, plus her latest books.

BOOK BLURB: Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she’d spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.

Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley’s life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.

That Summer: A Novel by [Jennifer Weiner]

I’ve yet to read That Summer by Jennifer Weiner but is came recommended by Kristy, so I’m adding it to my summer reading list.

BOOK BLURB: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Summer comes another deliciously twisty novel of intrigue, secrets, and the transformative power of female friendship.

Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?

While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?

From the manicured Main Line of Philadelphia to the wild landscape of the Outer Cape, written with Jennifer Weiner’s signature wit and sharp observations, That Summer is a story about surviving our pasts, confronting our futures, and the sustaining bonds of friendship.

I’d planned to add a few more books by other authors before mentioning any of mine, but time has sped away and I need to stop working in my office for the day. So, I’ll just offer links to a couple of my books. Play It Again, Sam is the first women’s novel I wrote that wasn’t connected to a mystery, and it’s had a steady loyal readership ever since. It also has a great cover that my daughter, Dany, designed in her first design class when she returned to college after serving in the military.

BOOK BLURB: When her husband comes home from work one day to announce he’s moving out, Samantha Rutgers thinks it’s a joke. She hopes it’s a joke. It’s not. He packs his suitcase and moves out. For twenty-five years, Sam was a corporate wife, a stay-at-home mom. Now she’s divorced, adrift, and alienated from her daughter who blames her for the divorce. Ill equipped to be a single woman in a whole new dating culture, she would have foundered without help from an old friend who challenges her to finish up the art degree she put on hold when she married. Her classes open the door to a job at an advertising agency, where Sam makes several new friends and one enemy. There she meets Frank Reynolds, who invites her to take that first step into new love.

Finally, the last suggestion. Evelyn Evolving: A Story of Real Life. This story inspired by my mother’s life has been a reader favorite since it debuted as a best-seller in 2019. I’m always so thrilled when another reader enjoys her story.

BOOK BLURB: Four-year-old Evelyn Gundrum’s secure and happy world is turned upside down when she and her sister are abandoned by their mother and sent to an orphanage run by the terrifying Sister Honora.

An orphanage is not an ideal place for a child to live, even in the best of times, and Evelyn is there in the worst of times, 1923 to 1933.

She spends the rest of her life on a quest for someone to love and cherish her.

That’s all from me, folks. If you have any favorite books to recommend, please do.

2 thoughts on “Beach Reads”

    1. You’re welcome, Kristy. I hope lots of new readers go to the beach with the ladies at Peachtree Bluff.

      Happy writing,
      Maryann

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