Monday, March 19, 2018

Slightly South of Simple - #TeaserTuesday and First Chapter / First Paragraph / Tuesday Intros

I expected the characters in this book to have more of a Southern "voice" (it takes place in Georgia) but they didn't. That's okay. I still enjoyed the story. My big complaint was that it ended a little too abruptly for me. However, it's the first book in a series, so maybe that's why everything wasn't as neatly tied up as I wanted.

First Paragraph:
    I still have dreams about that yellow-and-white striped bikini, the one I was wearing the night I met Jack, my first bona fide summer love. I was fifteen going on sixteen, the perfect age, when your hair tints that summer blond that hairstylists become super-stars for emulating. You have filled out enough not to be gangly but not so much that you can imagine a one-piece being in your future.

Teaser at 83% on my Kindle (I stretched the excerpt to three sentences instead of just two):
    I knew already from having children and grandchildren that time moved quickly; the days were long, but the years were short. And I knew for certain that no matter how many fights they had or how many times I had to change sheets or clean up dirty dishes or babysit all day for one grandchild after I'd been up all night with another, I would look back on these months of having my children home with me, back where they belonged, with incredible joy and wistfulness. These were the good times, even when they were hard.

Genre: Women's Fiction
No. of Pages:  479 Pages
Amazon Link: Slightly South of Simple
Copyright: 2017

     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.
     Exploring the powerful bonds between sisters and mothers and daughters, this engaging novel is filled with Southern charm, emotional drama, and plenty of heart.

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by The PurpleBooker. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please! List the author and book title too.
Link up HERE

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by I'd Rather Be At The Beach. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.

Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger

Friday, March 16, 2018

Kilauea #Lighthouse, #Kauai, Hawaii - #SaturdaySnapshots

One of the most interesting places we visited on Kauai was also about the windiest place I've ever been. A docent who volunteered on the grounds offered to take our picture, which was nice, but we both felt as if our hair was standing on end and our clothes were about to be ripped from our bodies. Everyone said the strong winds were very unusual. They were definitely unusual for me! The views from the point were dramatic, however, and well worth the windy buffeting. 
[Click on photos to enlarge.]

The lighthouse became operational in 1913. It was decommissioned in 1976 and a three-year restoration was completed in 2013.

The lighthouse is located within the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.

I zoomed in a little to capture waves crashing against the cliffs.
The seas all around us roared and churned. Those white spots on the hillside are birds.
Even the birds were having a hard time with the wind.
Until I saw this picture, I didn't realize how dorky I looked
in my black sneakers and socks. Oh, well. What the heck.
I did a lot of walking that day, and my feet were comfortable.

The lighthouse interior was not accessible.

We were told that whales were probably in the area. It was the right time of year. However, with the white-capped waves, we couldn't distinguish a whale spout from spray from the breakers! Our resort was in Princeville, and the lighthouse was only about seven miles down Highway 56.

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. 
To participate: 
Post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on West Metro Mommy Read's website (link: HERE) Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Before We Were Yours - #BookBeginnings on Friday and The #Friday56

I enjoy books where there are two plots going on at the same time. In Before We Were Yours, one of the stories takes place in the late 1930s. The second one is set in present day. Slowly the relationship between the two plot lines is revealed.

Before We Were Yours is a 5-star book, based on a true story, that I won't soon forget.


Baltimore, Maryland
August 3, 1939

My story begins on a sweltering August night, in a place I will never set eyes upon. The room takes life only in my imaginings. It is large most days when I conjure it. The walls are white and clean, the bed linens crisp as a fallen leaf. The private suite has the very finest of everything. Outside, the breeze is weary, and the cicadas throb in the tall trees, their verdant hiding places just below the window frames. The screens sway inward as the attic fan rattles overhead, pulling at wet air that has no desire to be moved.

56% on my Kindle:
I spin around and bolt for the backyard, but I'm running in sand, the long wrap dress clinging around my legs, my flip-flops slapping. I catch the flash of a blue shirt near my grandmother's palmetto hedge just in time to put on the brakes and act casual coming up the boardwalk.

Genre: Women's Fiction / Family Saga
Pages: 339
Amazon Link:  Before We Were Yours
Copyright 2017


Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancĂ©, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.


Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)

Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger

Friday, March 9, 2018

Beaches - #Kauai, #Hawaii - #SaturdaySnapshots

Recently my husband and I spent six days and five nights in beautiful Kauai, Hawaii. For the next several weeks I'll feature photos from our vacation.

Today's subject is Kauai's beaches. Having spent many childhood vacations at Padre Island and Port Aransas on the Texas Gulf Coast, I'm accustomed to those gentle waves and warm shallow waters.  Kauai's breakers are much more dramatic. They roar, smash into rocks, surge toward the shore, and send clouds of spray skyward. I love that! 

The photos below were taken on the eastern half of the island. We stayed in Princeville on the northern shore of Kauai and explored up and down the coast.
(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Anahola Beach Park

Nice paved walking trail overlooking 
this section of beach.

Spouting Horn Park, near Koloa

View from the grounds of our resort.
I believe that's Kalihiwai Bay.

We had hoped for sunny skies, an escape from the rainy Pacific Northwest. That's not the way things worked out. However, even though rain fell almost every day during our vacation, we ignored the weather and had a great time.

Click on the + or - to enlarge or shrink the map.

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. 
To participate: 
Post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on West Metro Mommy Read's website (link: HERE) Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.