Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back to School Fiction

Back-to-School Fiction

The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper by Kathleen Y’Barbo, The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love by Beth Pattillo & Rose House by Tina Ann Forkner Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of one or more of these books.

In The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper, Gilded Age romance collides with Wild West danger when an 1880s socialite stumbles into dangerous adventures, just like her favorite dime-novel heroine.

Knitting needles, classic works of romance, and six eclectic southern women intersect when the power of love transforms hearts and lives in The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love.

In Rose House, a secret painting on display in present-day Sonoma Valley, California, captures a widow’s grief and sets her on a quest to unravel the mystery that changes her life.

learn more about or purchase these books at

The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper

The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love

Rose House

Authors: Kathleen Y’Barbo, Beth Pattillo, Tina Ann Forkner

Summary for The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper

The future is clearly mapped out for New York socialite Eugenia “Gennie” Cooper, but she secretly longs to slip into the boots of her favorite dime-novel heroine and experience just one adventure before settling down. When the opportunity arises, Gennie jumps at the chance to experience the Wild West, but her plans go awry when she is drawn into the lives of silver baron Daniel Beck and his daughter and finds herself caring for them more than is prudent–especially as she’s supposed to go back to New York and marry another man.

As Gennie adapts to the rough-and-tumble world of 1880s Colorado , she must decide whether her future lies with the enigmatic Daniel Beck or back home with the life planned for her since birth. The question is whether Daniel’s past–and disgruntled miners bent on revenge–will take that choice away from her.

** Lolly-pops says: The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper is a totally fun read, full of the unexpected, laugh out loud moments, and passion restrained. I loved this fast-paced story, and it kept my interest from page one until the end. I also enjoyed reading portions of the “dime novel” that kept Gennie entertained, though not as much as I enjoyed reading Gennie’s story.

Gennie is a realistic heroine, though she might have been born in the wrong time period for her adventurous spirit. I also enjoyed getting to know some of the other characters in the book, and I especially enjoyed the humor. The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper is a great read, and if you are a fan of Cathy Marie Hake or Deana Gist, you won’t want to miss The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper.

Summary for The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love

Once a month, the six women of the Sweetgum Knit Lit Society gather to discuss books and share their knitting projects. Inspired by her recently-wedded bliss, group leader Eugenie chooses “Great Love Stories in Literature” as the theme for the year’s reading list–a risky selection for a group whose members span the spectrum of age and relationship status.

As the Knit Lit ladies read and discus classic romances like Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and Pride and Prejudice, each member is confronted with her own perception about love. Camille’s unexpected reunion with an old crush forces her to confront conflicting desires. Newly widowed Esther finds her role in Sweetgum changing and is surprised by two unlikely friends. Hannah isn’t sure she’s ready for the trials of first love. Newcomer Maria finds her life turned upside-down by increasing family obligations and a handsome, arrogant lawyer, and Eugenie and Merry are both asked to make sacrifices for their husbands that challenge their principles.
Even in a sleepy, southern town like Sweetgum , Tennessee , love isn’t easy. The Knit Lit ladies learn they can find strength and guidance in the novels they read, the love of their family, their community–and especially in each other.

**Lolly-pops says: Knit for Love is an awesome read about relationships. I couldn't put this book down. There are several delicious romances within the pages of this book, and I want to read more to find out where they go!

I enjoyed reconnecting with the ladies in Knit for Love. This is the second book in The Sweetgum Ladies series. While it easily stands alone, readers might want to read the first book The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society to find out more about these ladies and what happened prior to the beginning of Knit for Love.

Summary for Rose House

A vivid story of a private grief, a secret painting, and one woman’s search for hope.

Still mourning the loss of her family in a tragic accident, Lillian Diamon finds herself drawn back to the Rose House, a quiet cottage where four years earlier she had poured out her anguish among its fragrant blossoms.

She returns to the rolling hills and lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley in search of something she can’t quite name. But then Lillian stumbles onto an unexpected discovery: displayed in the La Rosaleda Gallery is a painting that captures every detail of her most private moment of misery, from the sorrow etched across her face to the sandals on her feet.

What kind of artist would dare to intrude on such a personal scene, and how did he happen to witness Lillian’s pain? As the mystery surrounding the portrait becomes entangled with the accident that claimed the lives of her husband and children, Lillian is forced to rethink her assumptions about what really happened that day.
A captivating novel rich with detail, Rose House explores how the brushstrokes of pain can illuminate the true beauty of life.

**Lolly-pops says: ROSE HOUSE is a rather poignant story of a woman trying to find herself amongst the grief that colors her life after the untimely death of her whole family. With bits of heart-pounding excitement that keep the pages turning, readers also mourn with Lillian.

Characterization, setting, and suspense are all woven together in a story that reads seamlessly. I couldn’t help but cry over the lose of the family, but also feel outrage when someone intrudes upon Lillian’s private life and puts it on display. I hoped that Lillian would find the hope she searched for and healing from the emotional upheaval that happened off the pages of this book.

Author Bios:

Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than thirty novels, novellas, and young adult books, with more than a half-million in print. A graduate of Texas A&M University , she is currently a publicist with Books & Such literary agency.

RITA Award-winning Beth Patillo combines her love of knitting and books in her engaging Sweetgum series. Pattillo served churches in Missouri and Tennessee before founding Faith Leader, a spiritual leadership development program.

Tina Ann Forkner is the author of Ruby Among Us. Originally from Oklahoma , she now lives with her husband and three children in Wyoming , where she serves on the Laramie County Library Foundation’s board of directors.


Goosegirl said...

Ok Laura, they all sound good! I have read and enjoyed Kathleen Y'Barbo books before but am not familiar with the other authors.
I love reading your reviews.

MOM OF 3 BOYS said...

I've not read any of these authors but like trying new ones. Your reviews help me find the right books! Thanks Laura!