I am so sorry it’s been so long since my last blog post, but I have been busy launching WHERE THE GRASS GROWS BLUE. Before I go any further, I want to say a big THANK YOU to each and every one of you for supporting me through this crazy journey of bringing a book into the world. You have been with me for a year and a half, reading my blogs, checking out my book reviews, letting me drone on about flowers, and of course, my little dog Harley, who I’m convinced is secretly plotting my demise, all while I was promising you a book was on the horizon. Well, now I can say it’s almost here! WHERE THE GRASS GROWS BLUE will be available in paperback, ebook, and audio on May 16, 2023. But you don’t have to wait; it’s available for pre-order! You can find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Play, and Rakuten Kobo.
WHERE THE GRASS GROWS BLUE is one woman’s journey to either accept her turbulent past by embracing the power of forgiveness or risk losing a second chance at love in a small Kentucky town. It’s a quintessential southern experience full of complex family dynamics, lifelong friendships, and a complicated love affair that spans twenty years. Want to know more? Watch the trailer!
Speaking of WHERE THE GRASS GROWS BLUE, it’s attracting some “buzz” in the book world, and it now has a Kirkus Review. Who is Kirkus? They have been an "industry-trusted source for honest and accessible reviews since 1933."
And their verdict for WHERE THE GRASS GROWS BLUE? "Get It."
Here are some excerpts.
"The author crafts a complex will-they, won’t-they romantic dynamic that delves into the importance of confronting personal demons and the irony of finding yourself in the place you tried to leave behind."
"Although primarily a romance narrative, the multifaceted plot is refreshing in that the hero, a mother entering middle age, is allowed the room to find and understand herself in addition to becoming embroiled in a romance plot."
"A sweet tale of finding love and redemption that fans of strong female leads will particularly enjoy."
To read the entire review, click here.
But they are not the only reviews coming in, check out these from my fellow authors (who I adore)!
"In Where the Grass Grows Blue, Hope Gibbs examines Penny Crenshaw’s journey to pick up the pieces and begin again after divorce. But this mother of three sons soon learns that if she wants to move forward, she’ll have to first go back to the start. Readers will enjoy this fast-paced southern story about second-chances, lifelong friendships, and the healing power of forgiveness."
-Julie Cantrell New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Perennials
"Where The Grass Grows Blue hit me in all the right places. Young lovers separated by a misunderstanding reunite twenty years later, only to discover that although their love never faded, their choices are insurmountable. Or are they? Gibbs skillfully weaves the dark side of life with the beauty of a love that has only grown stronger over time. Keep an eye on this author – she is one to watch!”
-Barbara Conrey USA Today Bestselling Author of Nowhere Near Goodbye
There’s more to come…
But my life isn’t all about launching WHERE THE GRASS GROWS BLUE. In the last few weeks, I’ve been busy with Bookish Road Trip (check out my interview with Julie Carrick Dalton on Bookish Road Trip’s Facebook page), and I read four fantastic books! An adorable young adult story, a complicated family saga, a look into a dystopian future, and a stunning debut. Click on the tabs to find out more!
THE LAST BEEKEEPER by Julie Carrick Dalton
Ten years ago, the entire honeybee population died, leaving the world without its essential pollinators. Soon, society tailspins. Food is rationed by the secretive, authoritarian government; the power grid collapses; and families are displaced. And there are two people the world blames—the Last Beekeeper and his young daughter.
Since the Great Collapse, Sasha Severn has desperately tried to hide from the infamy associated with the catastrophe and her role in the disappearance of the bees. Once she ages out of the facility she was sent to after her father’s imprisonment, she sets out to find out what really happened by returning to her family’s home, where the last bees lived. But when she arrives, she is greeted by a group of squatters who have taken over the land as their own. At first, she’s angered by their presence, but soon, she longs to become part of their tight-knit family, something she’s been denied for over a decade. Can Sasha let down her guard for once and begin trusting this group with her secret, or will the shame of the past keep her frozen in fear?
I absolutely adored this book. It not only educated me on just how fragile our eco-system is, but it made me fall in love with honeybees. They are magical creatures. I don’t think I will ever look at one in the same way again.
THE LAST BEEKEEPER will have you hooked from the first chapter. Dalton has written not only a beautiful book but a thought-provoking take on a dystopian future if we keep carelessly taking this planet for granted.
ALL THAT IS SACRED by Donna Norman-Carbone
Lynn, Helene, Jules, Annie, and Riley have been friends since high school. They were so close growing up that they were known as the Fab Five. They did everything together, even spending time at Lynn’s family’s Rhode Island beach house in the summers. But over the years, their once-inseparable bond falters. Geography, marriages, children, misunderstandings, resentments, and addiction have caused the group to splinter. The distance between them is especially hard on Lynn, who tries but fails to keep the women united. But soon, all that will change.
On a getaway with her husband, in hopes of saving her troubled marriage, Lynn has a terrible car accident. When she awakens, she finds herself in a mysterious place—in some kind of afterlife/ limbo. There, she witnesses both through flashbacks and in real time how her loved ones are struggling to cope with her death. But what’s worse, she can do nothing to help ease their suffering. That is, until she discovers that she can sway them with her spirit. Can Lynn use her powers in the afterlife to help those she loves the most heal from her loss, or will she watch helplessly as they spiral without her?
ALL THAT IS SACRED is full of eighties nostalgia (which I adored), complicated relationships, hot topics, and most importantly, love. Not only did it make me cry—big, ugly tears—but it reminded me just how special, unique, and important friendships truly are. They should never be taken for granted.
Donna Norman-Carbone weaves together a beautiful, captivating story that will not only grab your attention from the first page but will stay with you long after you have finished the last one. This is a stunning debut by a gifted writer. ALL THAT IS SACRED is the perfect book for summer 2023. A must read for the season. Click here for pre-ordering!
SIGNAL FIRES by Dani Shapiro
On a summer night in 1985, three teenagers make a tragic mistake. Alcohol and driving prove to be a lethal combination for one. The two survivors will not escape the implications of their actions. They will carry the burden of that night throughout their lives, which changes them and their parents' destiny forever.
This book is impossible for me to write a standard review for because it’s very hard to put this story into words. I’m still digesting it. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s beautifully written and thought-provoking. It’s not told in chronological order. Rather, it skips around. From 1970, 1985, 1999, 2010, 2014, and finally 2020, from multiple character POVs. My favorite was Waldo. A genius boy whose father’s inability to connect with him will break your heart.
Grief, secrets, complex family dynamics, unlikely friendships, and a chance at redemption—SIGNAL FIRES is a fantastic book.
DAVID IS AN UGLY WORD by Cindy Dorminy
McKenzie Hamilton and David Shaw have been neighbors and friends for years, growing up next to one another on a quiet street in Nashville. Entering their senior year, along with McKenzie’s twin brother, Michael, they have both endured a lot in their short lives. McKenzie’s parents are separated and David is still grieving his mother’s death. But they have each other to lean on when things get tough. That is until one day, out of the blue, she stops talking to her long-time friend, avoiding him like the plague, much to his shock and dismay.
However, it’s tough to ignore David completely. He’s Michael’s best friend and he and his bandmates, Nash Trash, are always practicing at McKenzie’s house, much to her annoyance. Though hurt by his old friend’s behavior towards him, deep down, David still cares deeply for McKenzie, secretly harboring a crush on her. But she has a secret of her own, something that only her twin knows—she has synesthesia. She SEES letters and numbers as colors. Because of this, she has put everything in her life into categories. Food, her high school class schedule, even people. Especially people. If your name has an appealing color combination, she’ll trust you. If not, she fears you will let her down in some way, and she bolts. And guess what? David is an “ugly” word.
When an unexpected class project brings the two together, McKenzie will either have to endure a month with her old friend or risk failing the assignment. Can she put "colors" aside and not judge someone simply by their name?
Told in dual POVs, DAVID IS AN UGLY WORD is an absolutely charming book! You'll instantly fall in love with McKenzie and David's chemistry and banter, rooting for them throughout. This is a perfect read for spring. Highly recommended.
Three Things I'm Obsessed With...
Daisy Jones and the Six Soundtrack—I can't stop singing along. I love everything about it.
Pickle-ball—I played in my first tournament with my daughter! We brought home the gold. And now I have a DUPR (whatever that means).
Tulips—This month they started blooming around Tennessee. Stunning.
Until next time…