- Hope Gibbs
November News and Book Recs
I can’t believe October has come and gone. Where did the time go?
I spent most of the month finishing off my content edits on WHERE THE GRASS GROWS BLUE. I was beyond thrilled to turn them into my publisher, Red Adept. Yay! Next, my book will go into line edits and I will start working on my cover. Double yay!
Also, in the next few weeks, I will be sharing some exciting news on the horizon, both professionally and for my debut novel. Updates to follow!
Though October was a crazy time for me, I was still able to read seven books in my downtime. If you are looking for a great novel for the month of November, look no further. (click the tabs!)
THE WITCHES OF MOONSHYNE MANOR by Bianca Marais
"Why were we taught to fear witches, and not the men who burned them?”
I’ll admit it, this is the first book I've read about witches, but what a delightful way to start. And don’t let the cover fool you—this one has some spice.
Ursula, the clairvoyant; Jezebel, the seductress; Ivy, the botanist; Tabitha, the agoraphobe; and Queenie, the inventor, are octogenarian witches living in Critchley Hackle. Their decades-long sisterhood has been tested over the years, but nothing compares to the prospect that they may lose their beloved home, Moonshyne Manor, after falling behind on the payments.
With the bank, the mayor, and the townspeople coming after them, these feisty women must come together and fight for their very existence. Along the way, they get help in the most unexpected places—a young tiktoker who happens to be the mayor’s daughter and their missing sister, Ruby, who has been gone for three decades. Can a magical heist from long ago save them, or will it plunge them deeper into trouble?
This witty book has several twists and turns, some I didn’t see coming, while tackling complex issues. Bianca Marais has woven together a captivating tale that will leave you wanting more. And, bonus, she includes recipes throughout! Everything from potions to cocktails—some that had me laughing out loud.
THE WITCHES OF MOONSHYNE MANOR is the perfect book for the Halloween season.
SUMMER DARLINGS by Brooke Lea Foster
Heddy Winsome moves to Martha's Vineyard in the summer of 1962 to start her new job as the nanny for the island's power couple, Ted and Jean-Rose Williams. She’s hoping to earn enough money to go back to Wellesley in the fall. Her scholarship was revoked, which she has to keep secret from her struggling single mother.
At first, Heddy is enamored with her new surroundings. The rich and famous use Martha's Vineyard as a retreat. She mingles with people like Sullivan Rhodes, a waiter and part-time jazz musician whose family has connections; Ash Porter, an enigmatic man who is building a land project in Florida; and Gigi McCabe, one of Hollywood's biggest stars. She’s also in awe of Jean-Rose, her employer, who appears to have it all. A fantastic marriage, two lovely children, money, and the correct social ties. But Heddy quickly discovers that neither the Williams family nor Martha's Vineyard are what they seem.
I read ON GIN LANE in September and absolutely fell in love. SUMMER DARLINGS is another incredible read. Brooke Lea Foster is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME by Laura Dave
Hannah Hall is a successful woodturner and a newly married woman living in Sausalito, California. Her husband, Owen, is part of a tech company that helps people control the content on the internet regarding their personal lives. Outside of some friction with her teenage stepdaughter, Bailey, Hannah’s living the perfect life. That is, until her husband suddenly disappears after the company he works for turns out to be a fraud. The afternoon he leaves, he sends her a note that says, "protect her,” meaning his daughter. But from what, Hannah doesn’t know.
Now, Hannah and Bailey must begin piecing together a complicated puzzle to figure out who Owen Michaels is. Why did he run in the first place, and more importantly, has he been lying to them all along?
THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME is a page-turner. This domestic mystery will keep you guessing until the last chapter. It’s an easy, addictive read. I gobbled it up in one day.
CARRIE SOTO IS BACK by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book combines my two great passions—tennis and reading! What could be better for a bookworm who spends hours on the court playing matches each week?
Carrie Soto is a retired tennis player who’s a legend in her sport. She’s won more grand slams than any player in history. That is, until Nicki Chan ties her record at the 1994 U.S. Open. With Carrie and her father, Javier, who is also her former coach, in the stands, they decide it’s time to get back into the game so that Carrie can take back her record, once and for all.
But being a thirty-seven year old woman with a bad knee who hasn’t played a match in years proves to be a challenge. But Carrie, known as the Battle Axe, will not be deterred. She will stop at nothing to get back to her former glory, even if she has to be ruthless in the process.
This is my first novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid. She’s written a compelling story. This isn’t just about tennis. She explores the relationships of father and daughter, coach and student, the competitive world of professional tennis, and there’s a second chance at love in the mix.
Game. Set. Match. CARRIE SOTO is a winner in my book. #carriesotoisback
BOOP AND EVE’S ROAD TRIP by Mary Helen Sheriff
Eve Prince is a college undergrad whose life is spiraling. Not only is she flunking out of school, but her best friend and cousin, Ally, has gone silent on her. If that wasn’t enough, Eve has to deal with her overbearing mother, Justine, who keeps pushing her into a life she has no interest in—becoming a doctor. Eve secretly wants to be a fashion designer.
As the disastrous semester comes to an end, Eve receives a cryptic message from Ally, saying that she’s in trouble and needs to disappear. Eve suspects her cousin is hiding at the family’s beach house. Desperate to help, Eve asks to borrow her spunky, southern grandmother’s car so she can search for Ally. Sensing her beloved granddaughter is sinking into a deep depression, something she is all too familiar with, Boop agrees under one condition—she has to tag along.
This is a multi-generational story that deals with secrets, complex family dynamics, loss, and redemption. I adored this book, and Boop was by far my favorite character. She is something else.
BOOP AND EVE’S ROAD TRIP will tug at your heart strings. If you love a good, southern tale like me, this one’s for you.
VERITY by Colleen Hoover
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling author who’s been offered a deal that’s too good to be true. She is being tasked with continuing the bestselling book series by Verity Crawford after she’s sustained an injury that’s left her unable to do it herself. In turn, Lowen will be rewarded handsomely. It’s just what she needs to get out of debt.
To understand Verity’s writing and to get into her mind, Lowen travels to Vermont and begins going through the famous author’s home office, searching for outlines and clues into how to finish these books. That’s when Lowen stumbles across something she wasn’t expecting: a manuscript that details Verity’s life.
Lowen has to begin piecing together what’s real and what’s not real in Verity’s life, while also staying in the same house as the writer’s husband, Jeremy, and four-year-old son.
VERITY is a compelling read, and I flew through it in less than a day, but there are some serious trigger warnings here, and it’s a very spicy book.
WHEN ROBINS APPEAR by Densie Webb
Deborah Earle is a freelance writer, wife, and mother. She's in a loving marriage and has a wonderful relationship with her only child, Amanda. Though her life seems ideal, Deb is restless, knowing she will soon be facing an empty nest. Would a new baby be the solution?
Amanda is an excellent student, looking to attend NYU after graduation, but she falls in love with a young man named Graham. Before long, he consumes her life, which doesn’t please her mother. She fears her daughter is heading towards heartbreak, reminding Deb of her own past. Can this mother save her child from making the same mistakes that have haunted her for years?
WHEN ROBINS APPEAR is a compelling, often heartbreaking book told in dual POVs. One from Deb’s and the other from Amanda’s perspective. You see both sides of their complicated mother-daughter relationship and journey.
Densie Webb has crafted a beautiful story full of regrets, secrets, and impossible choices that stays with you long after you’re finished. I’m still thinking about it. I highly recommend a tissue or two for this one.
Until next time…