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March Highlights 2023

April 6, 2023

Happy Thursday, Sweet Friends!

April Showers Bring May Flowers…but first, let’s talk about my March reading life. Four debut novels, tons of audiobooks, a favorite author, and some backlist beauties paired with a cozy cup of tea filled all my bookworm needs. Here are some of the books I read and where I landed with each of them.

Whether you read one or 21 books this March, I hope you feel delighted with all the words you consumed!



George’s debut novel, Maame, absolutely stole my heart, and the audio version was fantastic. Maddie is a character that I want to hug through the pages of the book. This delayed coming-of-age story lived up to the hype and gave me all the feels.


“It’s fair to say that Maddie’s life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still somehow manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced-stage Parkinson’s. At work, her boss is a nightmare, and Maddie is tired of always being the only Black person in every meeting. When her mum returns from her latest trip to Ghana, Maddie leaps at the chance to get out of the family home and finally start living. A self-acknowledged late bloomer, she’s ready to experience some important “firsts” She finds a flatshare, says yes to after-work drinks, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. But it’s not long before tragedy strikes, forcing Maddie to face the true nature of her unconventional family and the perils–and rewards–of putting her heart on the line.”

Here is the deal, Appiah’s debut novel will land differently with each reader—heavy themes relating to motherhood, marriage, and expectations in life are deeply explored. She did an exemplary job exposing the darker side of parenting by not sugarcoating Efe or Sam’s emotional journey. Be prepared to have profound conversations about this story.


“On a Spring afternoon in London, Sam hops the stairs of his flat two at a time. There’s £1,300 missing from his and his wife, Efe’s, shared bank account, and his calls are going straight to voicemail. When he finally reaches someone, he learns Efe is nearly 5,000 miles away as their toddler looks around and asks, “Where’s Mummy?” When Efe and Sam met as teens headed for university, it seemed everyone knew they were meant to be. Efe, newly arrived in the UK from Ghana and sinking under the weight of her parent’s expectations, found comfort in the focused and idealistic Sam. He was stable, working toward a law career, and had an unwavering vision for their future. A vision Efe, now a decade later, finds slightly insufferable. From the outside, they’re the picture-perfect couple everyone imagined, but there are cracks in the frame. When Efe and Sam are faced with an unplanned pregnancy, they find themselves on opposing sides. Fatherhood is everything he has dreamed of, but Efe feels stuck in a nightmare. And when a new revelation emerges, they are forced to confront just how radically different they want their lives to be. Already swallowed by the demands of motherhood and feeling the dreams she had slipping away once again, Efe disappears.”

Hello, filthy rich people. Bea is on a mission to marry for MONEY and have it all. Being a con artist is in her blood, so lying and scheming is as simple as an obnoxious air kiss with people you despise. I LOVED this debut. It was juicy and entertaining and the perfect distraction from the busyness of life.


“Like any enterprising woman, Bea knows what she’s worth and is determined to get all she deserves–it just so happens that what she deserves is to marry rich. Filthy rich. After years of forced instruction by her mother in the art of swindling men, a now-solo Bea wants nothing more than to close and lock the door on their sordid partnership so she can disappear safely into old-money domesticity, sealing the final phase of her escape. When Bea chooses her ultimate target in the fully loaded, thoroughly dull, and blue-blooded Collin Case, she’s ready to deploy all of her tricks one last time. The challenge isn’t getting the ring but rather the approval of Collin’s family and everyone else in their 1 percent tax bracket, particularly his childhood best friend, Gale Wallace-Leicester. Going toe-to-toe with Gale isn’t a threat to an expert like Bea, but what begins as an amusing cat-and-mouse game quickly develops into a dangerous pursuit of the grisly truth. Finding herself at a literal life-and-death crossroads with everything on the line, Bea must finally decide who she really wants to be. Like mother, like daughter?”

Another debut filled with grandiose living and the ins and out of being rich. Pineapple Street was delightful to listen to on audio. If you are in the mood to bop around inside someone’s head a meander around their life in gorgeous Brooklyn—this one is for you.


“A deliciously funny, sharply observed debut of family, love, and class, this zeitgeisty novel follows three women in one wealthy Brooklyn clan Darley, the eldest daughter in the well-connected old-money Stockton family, followed her heart, trading her job and her inheritance for motherhood but giving up far too much in the process; Sasha, a middle-class New England girl, has married into the Brooklyn Heights family, and finds herself cast as the arriviste outsider; and Georgiana, the baby of the family, has fallen in love with someone she can’t have, and must decide what kind of person she wants to be.”

None Shall Sleep was our #DEARBASICBUDDYREADS March selection. I am calling this Silence of the Lambs “light”—perfect for the YA reader in your life. I enjoyed this one on audio!


“In 1982, two teenagers–serial killer survivor Emma Lewis and US Marshal candidate Travis Bell–are recruited by the FBI to interview convicted juvenile killers and provide insight and advice on cold cases. From the start, Emma and Travis develop a quick friendship, gaining information from juvenile murderers that even the FBI can’t crack. But when the team is called in to give advice on an active case–a serial killer who exclusively hunts teenagers–things begin to unravel. Working against the clock, they must turn to one of the country’s most notorious incarcerated murderers for help: teenage sociopath Simon Gutmunsson. Despite Travis’s objections, Emma becomes the conduit between Simon and the FBI team. But while Simon seems to be giving them the information they need to save lives, he’s an expert manipulator playing a very long game…and he has his sights set on Emma.”

Laura Cathcart Robbins’ memoir, 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘴𝘩: 𝘔𝘺 𝘓𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘏𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨, is her unimaginable story of addiction and journey to sobriety. Page by page, she details what her daily struggles with Ambien and alcohol looked like back in the day. This book BLEW MY MIND! Incredible on audio!


“After years of hiding her addiction from everyone–from stockpiling pills in her Louboutins to elaborately scheduling withdrawals between PTA meetings, baby showers, and tennis matches–Laura Cathcart Robbins settles into a complicated purgatory. She learns the hard way that privilege doesn’t protect you from pain. Facing divorce, the possibility of a grueling custody battle, and internalized racism, Robbins wonders just how much more she can take. Now, with courage and candid openness, she reveals how she managed to begin the long journey towards sobriety and unexpectedly finding new love. Robbins harrowingly illustrates taking down the wall she built around herself brick by brick and what it means to be Black in a startingly white world.”

Alexis and Logan stole my heart. They both truly came into their own as their stories unfolded. Their fake dating, political dilemmas, and personal baggage make them so much more than a hot politician running for governor and a small-town school librarian. EEEEKKKK…LOVED THIS! Out May 9th!


“As a shy school librarian, Alexis Stone is comfortable keeping out of the spotlight. But when she’s dumped for being too meek–in bed!–she decides she needs to change. And what better way to kick-start her new, more adventurous life than with her first one-night stand? Enter Logan, the gorgeous, foul-mouthed stranger she meets at a hotel bar. Audacious and filterless, Logan is Alexis’s opposite–and boy, do opposites attract! Just as she’s about to fulfill her hookup wish, the hotel catches fire in a freak lightning storm. In their rush to escape, Logan is discovered carrying her into the street, where people are waiting with cameras. Cameras Logan promptly–and shockingly–flees. Alexis is bewildered until suddenly, pictures of her and Logan escaping the fire are all over the internet. Turns out Logan is none other than Logan Arthur, the hotshot candidate challenging the Texas governor’s seat. The salacious scandal is poised to sink his career–and jeopardize Alexis’s job–until a solution is proposed: he and Alexis could pretend to be in a relationship until election day…in two months. What could possibly go wrong?”

WOW! Charlotte Perkins Gilman was the original feminist. If the history of mental health pertaining to women fascinates you—this is a must-read. The intense imagery blew me away, and Gilman captured her protagonist spiraling into “madness” with an eerieness that I just can’t shake. Freaking brilliant!


“The Yellow Wallpaper is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the nineteenth century toward women’s physical and mental health. The story also has been classified as Gothic fiction and horror fiction. The story is written as a collection of first-person journal entries written by a woman whose physician husband has confined her to the upstairs bedroom of a house that he has rented for the summer. She is forbidden from working and has to hide her journal entries from him so that she can recuperate from what he calls a “temporary nervous depression-a slight hysterical tendency,” a diagnosis common to women in that period. 

Her husband controls her access to the rest of the house. In the end, she imagines that there are women creeping around behind the patterns of the wallpaper and comes to believe that she is one of them. She locks herself in the room, now the only place where she feels safe, refusing to leave when the summer rental is up.”

This story was wonderful. I loved Jimenez’s leading characters, Alexis and Daniel. They had plenty of chemistry, lots of steam, and developed backstories that added to their “relationship.” Jimenez always manages to write great love stories that have an extra layer of drama and difficult subject matters. This time around, she brought attention to domestic abuse. She did a fantastic job incorporating a heavy topic in a gentle and sensitive manner. The cherry on top was not only a happy ending but a baby goat in PJs! Another winner from this auto-buy author of mine!


“After a wild bet, a gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddling with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come–the complete opposite of sophisticated city girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable. While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And with every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people. Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him, either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?”

I threw in some personal development this month. Dr. Hyman has been around for quite some time now and he is the guru on clean and wholesome eating. Despite it being very repetitive, I took away some new tips and ideas for my own health and wellness.


“The key to losing weight and keeping it off is maintaining low insulin levels. Based on Dr. Hyman’s groundbreaking Blood Sugar Solution program, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet presents strategies for reducing insulin levels and producing fast and sustained weight loss. Dr. Hyman explains how to: activate your natural ability to burn fat — especially belly fat; reduce inflammation; reprogram your metabolism; shut off your fat-storing genes; de-bug your digestive system; create effortless appetite control; and soothe the stress to shed the pounds. With practical tools designed to achieve optimum wellness, including meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists, as well as step-by-step, easy-to-follow advice on green living, supplements, medication, exercise, and more, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet is the fastest way to lose weight, prevent disease, and feel your best.”

*I received some of today’s books as advance reader copies from the author/publishers in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!


Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak (Little, Brown & Company)

April 25, 2022

Hello Beautiful Readers,

The month of May is just around the corner, and Katie @basicbsguide and I have selected 𝘕𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘗𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 by Anna Pitoniak for our next Buddy Read! ⁣

It’s time to dive into something with chills, drama, ambition, and intensity and we anticipate Pitoniak’s 2019 book will deliver.⁣

As always, this is is read at your own pace situation with a killer private chat at the end of May!⁣

DM me over on Instagram to join in the madness!⁣



“𝐀 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐮𝐥𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞, “𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠” 𝐧𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐟𝐚𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐟𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐬 (𝐋𝐞𝐞 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝), 𝐍𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐭𝐥𝐲 𝐩𝐥𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐦𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐥𝐨𝐲𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐲, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞. ⁣
𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐥. 𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐥. 𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐰𝐢𝐧.⁣

Stella and Violet are best friends, and from the moment they met in college, they knew their roles. Beautiful, privileged, and reckless Stella lives in the spotlight. Hardworking, laser-focused Violet stays behind the scenes, always ready to clean up the mess that Stella inevitably leaves in her wake.⁣

After graduation, Violet moves to New York and lands a job in cable news, where she works her way up from intern to assistant to producer, and to a life where she’s finally free from Stella’s shadow. In this fast-paced world, Violet thrives, and her ambitions grow — but everything is jeopardized when Stella, envious of Violet’s new life, uses her connections, beauty, and charisma to get hired at the same network. Stella soon moves in front of the camera, becoming the public face of the stories that Violet has worked tirelessly to produce — and taking all the credit. ⁣

Stella might be the one with the rich family and the right friends, but Violet isn’t giving up so easily. As she and Stella strive for success, each reveals just how far she’ll go to get what she wants — even if it means destroying the other person along the way.”

Click on the book pic to purchase.

Guest Writer

Kylie Sebert Guest Writer Graphic

Kylie Sebert
Bookstagram Bonanza

Kylie Sebert Guest Writer Graphic

October 16, 2020

Dear Book Worms!

TGIF! I am so happy to introduce you to today’s Guest Writer, Kylie Sebert. This fellow Mainer is the creator of the wicked inspirational Bookstagram page, @notsotwentysomething. The beautiful pictures on her account are a testament to her passion for all things books and writing and miles and miles of gorgeous trails to hike. With over 7,000 followers, this book lover is one to follow. In addition to running a highly successful Bookstagram account, Kylie writes a monthly column called Kylie’s Book Nook for a local magazine in Iowa (her hometown ) called Lake Life AND works as an Event Planner/Writer in Portland, Maine.

Kylie lives in Yarmouth, Maine with her boyfriend and newly adopted kitties. I have had the pleasure of meeting Kylie several times and can personally vouch for her fabulousness.

I hope you enjoy her letter to Mr. H. I know I did!



P.S. Kylie has a Master’s Degree of Fine Arts in Writing, with an emphasis in Fiction. She is hoping to start her first novel one of these days. I will be first in line to read it 🥰🥰🥰!


Dear Mr. Hemingway,

It was very difficult to decide which book to recommend to you, especially after reading so many great books this year. Do I recommend a book from my favorite genre, some crazy thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat? Do I recommend a war-time historical fiction novel full of hardship and emotional scenes? No, I think the current state of the world calls for a different type of recommendation. I’m recommending a book from an author I turn to for the ultimate feel-good read. A little contemporary romance for you, Mr. H. Can you get into it? If anyone can get you there, it’s Elin Hilderbrand. 

I started reading Elin when I was 19 years old, working in my hometown at a bar on Lake Okoboji in the summertime. My mom gave me The Blue Bistro to read and I fell in love. I’m from a touristy town, and while it’s certainly no Nantucket, I could always relate so much to her characters living for the summers and taking full advantage of every bit of sunshine. While I could recommend every one of her books to you, Mr. H., I will start with 28 Summers. 28 Summers is the story of Mallory and Jake and their “Same Time Next Year” affair based on the classic film. They spend one weekend each year together and escape their real lives/worries. The story flashes back to the summers leading up to the present day, in such an original way of telling this love story that spans so many decades.⠀Each chapter actually starts with “What are we talking about in…” and then preps us on the big events of that particular year. Not only does she mention those events, but then weaves them into the story, adding in a unique historical fiction element to the piece. From 1993 to today, from 9/11 to the Me Too movement, she explores so much history, making this rise above your typical beach read.⠀⠀

I love Elin’s books for so many reasons but her characters are the reason I keep coming back. She dives in deep, especially in this one as you see such a large span of time with them. I loved Mallory’s character, a teacher who inherited her aunt’s house on Nantucket and totally falls in love with the island. She’s so independent and strong, men are her only vice which so many readers can relate to. There are so many other side characters you will love also. This one is full of strong female characters.⠀⠀

Elin writes Island life like no one else. Her books areunique in that once you enter her Nantucket world in her first book, you keep coming back in all subsequent books, meeting new characters, and adding to the charming community. You will see old characters pop up in new novels and it feels like old friends coming for a visit. I’m telling you Mr. H., you need to dive into this Hilderbrand summertime paradise for a little escape! I hope you love them as much as I do. 



P.S. Click on the book pic below to purchase!

Guest Writer~Whitney Scharer

Author Edition


February 12, 2020

Dear Book Friends,

Happy Wednesday! I am thrilled to have Guest Writer Whitney Scharer on the blog today sharing one of her favorite books. Whitney’s debut historical fiction novel, The Age of Light (Little, Brown & Company), follows real-life Lee Miller, Vogue model turned renowned photographer/war correspondent. Click here to read what I had to say about this book. Whitney’s book was a 2019 Book of the Month Club pick and an IndieNext and Boston Globe bestseller. Parade, Glamour Magazine, and Real Simple Magazine all named The Age of Light, one of the best books of 2019. Pretty impressive, right?

I was so excited last year when I found out that Whitney was coming to Maine to talk about her book. The day before her event, I quickly discovered that my kids’ schedules trumped mine (always the way), and I was unable to make her reading. I decided to message Whitney explaining my dilemma and asked her to meet me over coffee to chat about her book (mind you, I am a complete stranger with a new blog and like two followers). I was pleasantly surprised when Whitney agreed to meet. Instead of coffee, we ended up having a spectacular brunch at The Press Hotel’s restaurant, Union in Portland, Maine. Whitney and I had a lovely meal and chatted all about her book, her writing process and the historical fiction genre. She is an absolute doll and wonderful to spend time with. I actually felt “cool 😎😎”” that day (hanging with an important author). It was such a pleasure and one I will always cherish.

I hope you enjoy her letter today to Mr. H.

Happy Reading,


P.S. Literary Whitney plays Scrabble EVERYDAY (wicked smart)! When she was in 5th grade, she won 5th place in the Colorado State Spelling Bee (😮😮). When Whitney isn’t spending time with her husband and daughter, she is snuggling with her 3-month-old pup, Clementine. Let’s face it, she is probably snuggling all the time with this fluff ball. Clementine is also a fellow “Book Lover”…chewing books is love too❤️❤️❤️❤️!!!

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I’ve always loved reading historical fiction based on real people. There’s something so wonderful about falling into the world of a book and then being able to go to the library or online and learn the “story behind the story.” I loved reading Wolf Hall and getting a new, intimate perspective on Thomas Cromwell, or devouring Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank and reacquainting myself with the architecture and genius of Frank Lloyd Wright. But the book that changed my thinking about what historical novels could do and how we make fiction out of fact was Lily King’s Euphoria.

Euphoria is loosely based on the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead. King happened across a biography of Mead in a small used bookstore and was captivated by her entire life and story, yet her novel is based on a slim twelve-page section of the biography that centers around a 1933 research trip to the Sepik River, in New Guinea, where Mead (called Nell in the novel) and her second husband briefly worked with a man who would become Mead’s third husband. The relationship between the three anthropologists is passionate, both physically and intellectually, and King’s meticulous research and incredible scene-setting bring the world and love affair to vivid life. From the very first page of the book, when an angry tribe member tosses a dead baby at Nell’s head, and we learn that her husband may have intentionally broken her glasses, I felt completely immersed in this intense, violent world.

As a reader—and perhaps even more as a writer—the book blew me away. You could…do this? You could take a small slice of a real person’s life, fictionalize her name, infuse the story with your many hours of research, and make something that manages to capture a person’s essence while also feeling wholly, imaginatively invented? This, I realized, this is why I read historical fiction. To see how a modern writer’s brain can reinterpret history and make something that feels truer than fact.

Euphoria is a novel I can’t quit. I’ve read it seven or eight times. I’ve broken it down, outlined the structure, tried to understand the virtuosic way King tells the story. I’ve taught the first few pages in fiction writing workshops. I’ve recommended it at readings and given copies as gifts to more people than I can count. And just the other day, I received a delicious package in the mail: a galley of King’s new novel, Writers and Lovers, which comes out later this year. I can’t wait to read it.

Nice chatting with you, dear Mr. H—


P.S. Click on my book below to purchase from my local book store.

Click on the book picture below to purchase Euphoria (Grove Press)by Lily King.

The Age of Light book cover
Book Cover for Euphoria

Guest Writer~Elin Hilderbrand

Author Edition

February 5, 2020

Dear Readers,

Can you believe this is week five of The Dear Mr. Hemingway Guest Writer~Author Edition Series? Today’s guest writer is someone I have been reading for years. New York Times best selling author, Elin Hilderbrand, has written into Mr. H. about one of her favorite books from the past decade. Elin is the author of 26 books and counting. Known as the Queen of summer reading, the majority of her books take place on the ever so charming island of Nantucket. Most recently though, two of her books (with a third waiting in the wing) take place in the Caribbean on the island of St. John. Family, friendship, love, loss, and so much more fill the pages of her stories. With books that never disappoint, Elin’s work will dazzle you.

Elin has been living on the island of Nantucket for over two decades. She is the mom to three teenagers and is an enthusiastic home cook. Though she lives full time on this tiny island off the coast of Cape Cod, MA, Elin has traveled on six continents. Her work ethic is supreme and her discipline simply can’t be measured (she exercises 3 hours every morning 😮) Since before I had my boys, her books have filled my summers with absolute joy.

For many years when my three boys were younger we would visit Nantucket for a week in the summer. I would save up my Elin Hilderbrand books (I called her “My Nantucket Author”) for that vacation each year. I escaped with her books under the sun sitting on Jetties Beach while my kiddos played in the sand. I would imagine her characters as I walked through town and frolicked around the island. The Blue Bistro is her book that hooked me. From there it just kept getting better and better. You can only imagine how excited I was when Elin said she would write a post for my blog. She is a wonderful author to work with and I can’t thank her enough for being a part of this series. Nantucket will always hold a special place in my heart……so will Elin Hilderbrand.

I hope you enjoy her post today!



P.S. Elin handwrites ALL of her books!!!!!!!!!! WOW……that is a lot of writing! My hand hurts thinking about it!


Dear Mr. Hemingway,

The best novel I’ve read in the past decade (yes, you read that correctly) and the one I’d love to recommend to you today is WHITE FUR by Jardine Libaire.

Let me start by telling you how many times I resisted reading this book.  The cover is ugly. The title…well, let’s say, the idea of white fur of any kind gives me the shivers.  I get my book recommendations from many of the same places that you do – magazines, Instagram and…my local independent bookseller.  My friend Cristina at Mitchell’s Book Corner on Nantucket raved about this book and insisted I read it — and although Cristina and I always like the same books, I said no thank you (because of aforementioned: cover, title.) Then Cristina got desperate – she GAVE it to me for free when I was in the store buying other books.  What could I do? I took it home.

October 2018…I went on my book tour for WINTER IN PARADISE.  I would be away for nine days and as I am always reading, I packed books.  I packed…THIN books (I travel with just a carry-on), and guess what? WHITE FUR is thin.  It went into my suitcase.

WHITE FUR is a marvel.  Simply put, it’s a wrong-side-of-the-tracks love story.  The prologue has a man lying in a motel bed in Wyoming and a woman pointing a sawed-off shotgun at him.  What is going on? Well, we don’t find out until the end of the book. Chapter one immediately relocates us in New Haven, Connecticut in the mid-eighties.  Elise Perez is living at just-above-poverty level with roommates right next door to Jamey Hyde, a junior at Yale. Elise and Jamey have a bit of a love-hate thing going on at first. He thinks she’s trashy, she thinks he’s a rich jerk (I’m watching my language here.)

But then, they hook up and things get HOT.

At first, both the reader (and the characters) think it’s just about sex.  It surprises them (and us) when the relationship turns into something more.  Once this happened, I was a complete goner. I fell in love with their love story, with Ms. Libaire’s gorgeous language, and with our two main characters.  Although Elise comes from a meager background, she has so much grit, so much spirit and so much personal integrity that we know right away she’s better-off than Jamey.  Jamey is from a phenomenally wealthy family. He’s set to inherit the family bank, we learn the outrageous story of his mother…the poor dude is saddled with sky-high expectations and for a while, it seems like he’s going to meet them.

But then, wow.

I can’t possibly say another word about the plot because I don’t want to ruin a thing.  Please take my advice and get your hands on WHITE FUR. There is a lot of explicit sex (which is the most difficult thing to write about well) and vivid, unforgettable descriptions of New York City in the 1980s.  I read the book because it was thin and fit in my carry-on suitcase and now it’s my number one recommendation. I hope that you love the book as much as I do. Wait until you find out how they end up in the Wyoming hotel room!!!

All my very best,

Elin Hilderbrand

P.S. Be on the lookout…….I have two forthcoming books this year: 28 SUMMERS out June 16th and TROUBLES IN PARADISE out October 6th.

Click here to purchase White Fur by Jardine Libaire.

Click here to pre-order 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

Man on the Moon

Summer of '69 book cover

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

June 25, 2019

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

WHOO-HOO Mr. H., the Queen of summer reading is back with another tale set on her Nantucket Island. Woodstock, man’s first moonwalk, and the Vietnam War were all part of America’s historical summer of 1969. Elin Hilderbrand’s new book, Summer of ‘69 is set during this wild time in our history. Hilderbrand tells the story of the Levin family, whose Nantucket lives are impacted by the highs and lows of this era. Fans of Hilderbrand will fall in love with her new historical fiction novel. Readers will go back in time to a Nantucket that existed in a different century but is still full of that same island charm. So put away your skinny jeans and pull out your bell-bottoms, you are boarding a ferry to Nantucket, circa 1969.

For as long as they can remember, the Levin family spent their summers vacationing on Nantucket at their grandmother’s house.  During the summer of 1969, the four Levin siblings were all navigating the ever changing world around them while living a part.  Blair is married and pregnant in Boston, Kirby is working on Martha’s Vineyard at an Inn, Tiger is a soldier in the Vietnam war and Jessie, the youngest, is stuck on Nantucket with her grandmother and mother. While her siblings are away living their adult lives, Jessie is left to deal with her overly anxious mother and uptight grandmother.  Feeling lonely and neglected, Jessie tries to discover who she really is and what true love is all about. The plot thickens when some of her siblings pop back over to Nantucket unexpectedly. Jessie soon comes across some surprise family secrets that will change their lives forever.

Hilderbrand took a turbulent time in our history and weaved it into the stories of her main characters. Though she used the events that occurred during the summer of 1969 as her backdrop, she still managed to stay true to her roots, using themes of love, family and self discovery in her book.  As always, there is family drama, secrets and a whole lot of summer magic to read about. The characters are spirited and lovable with storylines that live up to the time. I loved how Hilderbrand went back in history and wrote about the Civil Rights Movement, the impact of the Vietnam War and the Women’s Movement.  For good measure, she even included Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick car accident and the historical Apollo 11 lunar landing that forever changed space exploration.

What Hilderbrand proves over and over again in her new book, is just how timeless Nantucket really is.  No matter the century, this small island always shines as a safe haven and a place that brings family back together.  The Summer of ‘69 was another Hilderbrand slam dunk for me.  Put this beauty in your beach bag and get reading!!!!!

Your Biggest Fan,


P.S.  David Bowie’s song, Space Oddity debuted five days before the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.  Though it was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s movie, A Space Odyssey, it’s overall vibe was perfect for a landing on the moon!!!!!

Click here to purchase Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

The Light of Our Time

Book cover for the Age of Light

The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer

May 8, 2019

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I love reading historical fiction. History infused with a splash of fiction is my cup of tea. Instead of reading a boring straight-up history book, why not read about the past with some added color and a little bit of oomph. Well Mr. H., I just got my fix reading Whitney Scharer’s debut novel, The Age of Light. Her story follows real-life Lee Miller, Vogue model turned renowned photographer/war correspondent. This story sheds light on Miller’s steamy, yet thorny relationship with Surrealist artist and photographer, Man Ray. Taking place primarily during the late 1920s and early 1930s in Paris, this book is filled to the brim with starving artists, lovers, cafes, and cocktails galore. With writing that stuns and a book cover to match, Scharer delivers a decadent treat.

I have to be honest with you.  I did not know who Lee Miller was before reading this.  I may have heard Man Ray’s name in passing, but truly did not know who these people were.  Scharer’s story is told from Miller’s perspective through multiple timelines. Though the story primarily takes place during Miller’s time in Paris, Scharer intertwines her story from the 1940’s as well.  Miller graced the cover of Vogue magazine in 1927 and became the most sought after model in NYC at that time. As much as modeling was a huge part of her, Miller wanted to shift her focus to creating art as opposed to being art.  She moved to Paris in the late 1920’s and became the student of the famous Man Ray. What started off as a working relationship, quickly became an affair to remember. Ray and Miller’s relationship was overflowing with passion and art.  Miller’s journey to make a name for herself in the art world with her photography no doubt involved Ray. As much as she tried to break away on her own, her relationship with Ray was always present and ultimately had a huge impact on her career.

Scharer’s writing is totally captivating. The Age of Light sucked me in from the start.   With Vogue magazine, Salvador Dali, Picasso and even mentions of Hemingway in the background, Scharer paints a lush and glamorous atmosphere that makes you feel like you are in a scene from a movie sipping a fabulous cocktail among Paris’s most artistic crowd.  Scharer’s story shows off the intensity of Miller and Ray’s relationship. Though they adored one another, their feelings were overpowered by passion, egos and the need to get ahead in their own careers. The Age of Light portrayed Miller as a woman seeking independence and respect in a male dominated world.  Her transformation from muse to photographer and what she had to do in order to walk out of Man Ray’s shadow was potent.  Miller’s trek from the imaginative streets of Paris to the war-ravaged towns in Europe during the second World War, highlighted her resolution to be a distinguished photographer in her own right.   The Age of Light is a moving story from start to finish.  Not only did the ending of this story leave me craving for more information about this influential artist from the past, it also had me reaching for a tissue to blot my tearful eyes.

Go get your passports readers……….you are heading to Paris (with a few stops in between).  Bon Voyage!!!!!!

Talk soon Mr. H.!!!

Your Biggest Fan,


P.S.  Click here to check out a photograph of Hemingway taken by Man Ray.  There is a scene in the book that mentions this encounter!

Click here to purchase The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer

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