Today’s post by our own Marybeth Whalen | @MarybethWhalen
Spring has sprung and around these parts we’re more apt to fill our baskets with books, not flowers! So we thought we’d share some sweet stories you might want to tuck in a book basket yourself. Look for these books releasing in April and May!
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax
When the concierge of The Alexander, a historic Atlanta apartment building, invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, four very different people find themselves connecting with the addictive drama, and—even more unexpectedly—with each other…
Samantha Davis married young and for the wrong reason: the security of old Atlanta money—for herself and for her orphaned brother and sister. She never expected her marriage to be complicated by love and compromised by a shattering family betrayal.
Claire Walker is now an empty nester and struggling author who left her home in the suburbs for the old world charm of The Alexander, and for a new and productive life. But she soon wonders if clinging to old dreams can be more destructive than having no dreams at all.
And then there’s Brooke MacKenzie, a woman in constant battle with her faithless ex-husband. She’s just starting to realize that it’s time to take a deep breath and come to terms with the fact that her life is not the fairy tale she thought it would be.
For Samantha, Claire, Brooke—and Edward, who arranges the weekly gatherings—it will be a season of surprises as they forge a bond that will sustain them through some of life’s hardest moments—all of it reflected in the unfolding drama, comedy, and convergent lives of Downton Abbey.
Between Heaven and Texas by Marie Bostwick
In this luminous prequel to her beloved Cobbled Court Quilt series, New York Times bestselling author, Marie Bostwick, takes readers into the heart of a small Texas town and the soul of a woman who discovers her destiny there.
Welcome to Too Much — where the women are strong and the men are handsome but shiftless. Ever since Mary Dell and her twin sister Lydia Dale were children, their Aunt Velvet has warned them away from local boys. But it’s well known that the females in Mary Dell’s family share two traits – superior sewing skills and a fatal weakness for men.
While Lydia Dale grows up petite and pretty, Mary Dell just keeps growing. Tall, smart, and sassy, she is determined to one day turn her love of sewing into a business. Meanwhile, she’ll settle for raising babies with her new husband, Donny. But that dream proves illusive too, until finally, Mary Dell gets the son she always wanted — a child as different as he is wonderful. As Mary Dell is forced to reconsider what truly matters, she begins to piece together a life that, like the colorful quilts she creates, will prove vibrant, rich, and absolutely unforgettable.
The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs
Tess Delaney makes a living restoring stolen treasures to their rightful owners. People like Annelise Winther, who refuses to sell her long-gone mother’s beloved necklace—despite Tess’s advice. To Annelise, the jewel’s value is in its memories.
But Tess’s own history is filled with gaps: a father she never met, a mother who spent more time traveling than with her daughter. So Tess is shocked when she discovers the grandfather she never knew is in a coma. And that she has been named in his will to inherit half of Bella Vista, a hundred-acre apple orchard in the magical Sonoma town called Archangel.
The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen. A half sister she’s never heard of.
Against the rich landscape of Bella Vista, Tess begins to discover a world filled with the simple pleasures of food and family, of the warm earth beneath her bare feet. A world where family comes first and the roots of history run deep. A place where falling in love is not only possible, but inevitable.
And in a season filled with new experiences, Tess begins to see the truth in something Annelise once told her: if you don’t believe memories are worth more than money, then perhaps you’ve not made the right kind of memories.
Table For Seven by Whitney Gaskell
On New Year’s Eve, Fran and Will Parrish host a dinner party, serving their friends a gourmet feast. The night is such a success that the group decides to form a monthly dinner party club. But what starts as an excuse to enjoy the company of fellow foodies ends up having lasting repercussions on each member of the Table for Seven Dinner Party Club.
Fran and Will face the possibility that their comfortable marriage may not be as infallible as they once thought. Audrey has to figure out how to move on and start a new life after the untimely death of her young husband. Perfectionist Jaime suspects that her husband, Mark, might be having an affair. Coop, a flirtatious bachelor who never commits to a third date, is blindsided when he falls in love for the first time. Leland, a widower, is a wise counselor and firm believer that bacon makes everything taste better.
Over the course of a year, against a backdrop of mouthwatering meals, relationships are forged, marriages are tested, and the members of the Table for Seven Dinner Party Club find their lives forever changed.
From The Kitchen of Half Truth by Maria Goodin
Meg May doesn’t know what’s true. And she needs to find out.
Imaginative and free-spirited, Meg’s mother created a life out of stories. Outlandish stories, really, the kind you can’t possibly believe—unless your mother won’t tell you anything else about your past. After all, how do you argue with someone who tells you that a spaghetti plant sprouted on your first birthday, that you used to take hot dogs for a walk, or that your father died in a tragic pastry-mixing accident?
But as charming as those stories are, they aren’t enough for Meg anymore. When her mother becomes ill, Meg decides she has to know the truth. As the two spend one last summer together, Meg can’t convince her mother to reveal a thing about who they used to be—or who they are now.
A delicious debut, full of warmth and quirky humor, From the Kitchen of Half Truth explores the stories we tell ourselves and others in order to create the lives we want.
The Lost Husband by Katherine Center
Dear Libby, It occurs to me that you and your two children have been living with your mother for—Dear Lord!—two whole years, and I’m writing to see if you’d like to be rescued.
The letter comes out of the blue, and just in time for Libby Moran, who—after the sudden death of her husband, Danny—went to stay with her hypercritical mother. Now her crazy Aunt Jean has offered Libby an escape: a job and a place to live on her farm in the Texas Hill Country. Before she can talk herself out of it, Libby is packing the minivan, grabbing the kids, and hitting the road.
Life on Aunt Jean’s goat farm is both more wonderful and more mysterious than Libby could have imagined. Beyond the animals and the strenuous work, there is quiet—deep, country quiet. But there is also a shaggy, gruff (though purportedly handsome, under all that hair) farm manager with a tragic home life, a formerly famous feed-store clerk who claims she can contact Danny “on the other side,” and the eccentric aunt Libby never really knew but who turns out to be exactly what she’s been looking for. And despite everything she’s lost, Libby soon realizes how much more she’s found. She hasn’t just traded one kind of crazy for another: She may actually have found the place to bring her little family—and herself—back to life.
Marybeth Whalen is the co-founder of She Reads, mother of six, and life-long reader. She is also the author of two novels with a third out in July: The Mailbox, She Makes It Look Easy, and The Guest Book.