Welcome to The Reading Cove's Home on the Web!

The Reading Cove houses the love of reading and provides a fun opportunity to share the passion with others!

Our Current Cove Pick:

by Hannah Kent!

July 2016—Pick #188

Chosen by Winning Cove Member—Millenia!

* * Congratulations!! * *

REMEMBER MY BEAUTIES by Lynne Hugo ★ Book Review ★

by Lynne Hugo
Publication Date: April 18, 2016
Publisher: Switchgrass Books
Paperback: 194 pages


Imagine a hawk’s view of the magnificent bluegrass pastures of Kentucky horse country. Circle around the remnants of a breeding farm, four beautiful horses grazing just beyond the paddock. Inside the ramshackle house, a family is falling apart.

Hack, the patriarch breeder and trainer, is aged and blind, and his wife, Louetta, is confined by rheumatoid arthritis. Their daughter, Jewel, struggles to care for them and the horses while dealing with her own home and job—not to mention her lackluster second husband, Eddie, and Carley, her drug-addicted daughter. Many days, Jewel is only sure she loves the horses. But she holds it all together. Until her brother, Cal, shows up again. Jewel already has reason to hate Cal, and when he meets up with Carley, he throws the family into crisis—and gives Jewel reason to pick up a gun.

Every family has heartbreaks, failures, a black sheep or two. And some families end in tatters. But some stumble on the secret of survival: if the leader breaks down, others step up and step in. In this lyrical novel, when the inept, the addict, and the ex-con join to weave the family story back together, either the barn will burn to the ground or something bigger than any of them will emerge, shining with hope. Remember My Beauties grows large and wide as it reveals what may save us.

"Lynne Hugo’s writing is beautiful and evocative, earthy and strong. The characters, the setting, and the way she handles tough issues with honesty, grit, and understanding all make for a wonderful read." —Laura Harrington, author of Alice Bliss

*Cove Member Cheryl Reviews*


I received REMEMBER MY BEAUTIES for review. I was expecting a good sized horse-centered novel with family drama, but what I got was a lot of extremely dysfunctional family drama with a very understated inclusion of horses.

Jewel is the second born child to her parents, Hack and Louetta, who live on a once decent breeding farm in the heart of prime Kentucky horse country. Both of Jewel’s parents are disabled and can no longer take care of themselves let alone the four remaining horses they own.

So, Jewel works full-time while taking care of her own family, which includes her drug-addict daughter, her second husband with a daughter who has issues of her own and is about to get custody of his 12-year-old son as well; and then Jewel also runs to her parents’ farm twice a day to take care of them and their horses.

One day Jewel’s mother tells her that her drug-addict/alcoholic brother, Cal, is coming to live with them. Jewel wants nothing to do with him—for what we learn is very good reason. She also has a younger sister who is also like him and doesn’t help out.

With her brother back in the picture, Jewel decides she can no longer continue helping her parents, particularly once she finds her brother continuing his old ways and compromising the well being of Jewel’s own troubled daughter. The only thing Jewel can concentrate on is getting her daughter into rehab and cleaned up. However, she does truly miss the horses, a love she shares with her father.

The story goes on for a few months with Jewel staying away from her parents’ home while many things go on behind her back, involving her husband, daughter and brother. However, when tragedy strikes, the deeply rooted family dysfunction suddenly gets better, which some may find feels a bit hollow and forced.

While I did sense a love and passion for horses at times (one briefly shares his POV in the story), and enjoyed the lyrical prose, some readers may find the narrative very contrived. The painful, dysfunctional themes of sexual abuse and drug addiction in Jewel’s family can feel shallow, needing to be explored in greater dimension than is likely possible in under 200 pages.

I would recommend this story to readers who enjoy reading about extreme and disturbing family dysfunction. Unfortunately, passionate horse-lovers may well be disappointed.


About the Author

Lynne is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient who has also received grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

Her memoir, Where The Trail Grows Faint, won the Riverteeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize and her novel, A Matter of Mercy, received the 2015 Independent Publishers Silver Medal for Best North-East Fiction. She has published seven novels, one of which became a Lifetime Original Movie of the Month. Through the Ohio Arts Council’s renowned Arts in Education program, Lynne has taught creative writing to hundreds of schoolchildren.

Born and educated in New England, Lynne and her husband live in Ohio with a yellow Lab feared by squirrels in a three state area.

★ Blog Tour ★ ACROSS BORDERS by Lee DuCote — Guest Post + $25 Amazon Giveaway!

Across Borders banner

We're happy to share ACROSS BORDERS by Lee DuCote, a standalone romantic suspense touring with Lola's Blog Tours!

Across Borders
by Lee DuCote
Genre: Romance/Crime
Age Category: Adult
Release Date: February 21, 2016

In Across Borders, Lawson Caine, a seasoned Border Patrol agent, is stationed in Presidio Texas with legendary lawman Capt. James Garrett. Lawson, who is from a long linage of lawmen, has gained the respect and reverence from his team, Dale Chanson, Terry Bennet, and the crazy member, Alex Sweeny.

Lawson never expected anything to come between his dedication with the Border Patrol and his brotherhood with Sweeny until he meets local pharmacy owner, Lia Gonzales. Against her father’s wishes Lia continues to see Lawson not realizing the inevitable consequences.

In this story of protecting others on the border and the heartache of relationships you will find yourself in the lives of those who have sworn to uphold the law, no matter the cost.


Across Borders Cast
by Lee DuCote

Lawson — Joel Smallbone 
Lia — Moriah Peters 
Sweeney — Scott Caan 
Cap — Sam Elliot 
Terry — Travis Van Winkle 
Dale — Josh Hutchison  
Sandra — Mary Steenburgen 
Erika – Jasmine Villegas 
Carlos – Gael Garcia 
Mr. Gonzales — Benicio Del Toro


About the Author:
Lee DuCote
Well, I am a husband and father. We always have a house full of teens and college students, mostly Young Life kids. I love the outdoors, hiking, kayaking, stand up paddling, fishing, you know "man stuff" but I'm a sucker for chick flicks.

I wrote Fields of Alicia, Waterproof, Across Borders, and the series Micah and have several other novels finished and in the making. And, yes, I am a raccoon lover, check out Tucker on my social media.

THE GOOD GIRL by Mary Kubica ✆ Cove Podcast: Episode 67


This month's episode features Cove members Millenia and Roberta discussing the June 2016 Cove pick, THE GOOD GIRL by Mary Kubica—pick #187! 

✘✘✘ Have you read THE GOOD GIRL? Do you agree or disagree with our thoughts? Comment below and let us know what you think!

*Spoilers abound. Podcast is for those who've read the book.

For Download:

★ Blog Tour ★ A MATCH MADE IN HERITAGE VIEW by Annie Stiles — Author Interview + Excerpt + Amazon Giveaway!

*Enter to Win* 
a $10.00 Amazon eGift Card...
TWO (2) Winners!!

(Heritage View #1)
by Annie Stiles

Release Date: May 4, 2016
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing


A socialite by chance not by choice, Gen runs away to a charming small town to reinvent herself as the girl-next-door and falls in love under false pretenses.

Despite having been raised by a man-eating, social-climbing mother, Genevieve Garnier is a hopeless romantic. She has successfully parlayed her sentimental nature into a prestigious Manhattan wedding planning business, but cannot make it down the aisle herself.

As another hectic wedding season winds down, Gen finds herself burned out and at a crossroads in life. She retreats to the charming Hudson Valley town of Heritage View to reinvent herself as girl-next-door “Jane,” complete with a charming cottage and apple pies baking in the oven. Gen is determined to simplify her life in Heritage View and keep her wedding business humming, without letting the two worlds collide. Michael Carlisle waltzes in and turns her plans upside down.

Michael is smart and successful, with enough guarded-heart intensity and magnetism to curl any woman’s toes. He stays out of the social fray in Manhattan, so he doesn’t recognize Jane as socialite wedding planner Genevieve. It’s a good thing, because he hates pampered socialites and avoids them nearly as much as he avoids girl-next-door types. That leaves our heroine 0-for-2. To make matters worse, it turns out that Michael is dear friends with the Hunter family, “Jane’s” new best friends. He has relationship baggage of his own to battle, but Michael can’t seem to stay away from Jane.

Will they repeat the mistakes of the past?


Annie Stiles!

Annie, congrats on your sweet, contemporary romance debut, A MATCH MADE IN HERITAGE VIEW! You’ve said that Heritage View is a fictitious town, loosely based on the area where you grew up. Can you tell us a little bit about how it came to be?

A: I grew up in the picturesque Hudson Valley of New York State. It’s an area that is near and dear to my heart. The region is rich with history and boasts lots of interesting, quirky towns that have great heritage and character. The tone can be quite varied, I think due to the influence of New York City blending with the flavors of New England and Upstate New York. They all come together in a really special way. That eclectic quality made it perfect for the creation of a fictitious town that I’ve begun to populate with wonderful characters. The setting has become one of the characters and I’m looking forward to sharing and exploring more of Heritage View as the series progresses.

Did you always want to write romance?

A: Yes and no. I’d say it was more of a daydream because I had a whimsical, fantasy idea of what that meant. I somehow saw it as separate from real life and college, jobs, getting married, and buying a house. It was a charming wish or a secret that I carried around in a little pocket in my heart labeled “maybe someday.” I joined RWA several years ago, not really understanding what it was all about. I started a book that was a version of what this one would later become. I got about ten minutes into it and then we started our family and that was that...or so I thought. I can’t explain it, but I wasn’t ready. After our youngest child started school, something changed and I suddenly felt ready. I sat down and wrote the book fairly quickly from scratch. It felt like a switch had been flipped and my heart was ready. I took the dream out of my pocket, dusted it off, and I’m on my way. It’s been a pleasure, and I’m very fortunate that my first novel has been published.

When you are not writing, and you have a free moment to read, what do you like to pick up?

A: Hmm. I am pretty devoted to the romance genre, though I also enjoy more book-club type fiction and historical fiction, as long as it isn’t too angsty. I don’t do scary movies or scary books. At this stage of life with young kids and hectic days, I tend to read right before bed. I’m usually half-asleep and I want to relax and be entertained. I love historical romance. Right now, Eloisa James and Lisa Kleypas are auto-buys for me. They are deliciously escapist and entertaining reads, but the writing is really sharp, intelligent and crisp. I have a huge TBR pile, but don’t we all? I’m the only person I know who hasn’t read any J.D. Robb books and I’m looking forward to starting them soon. For comforting, atmospheric books, Rosamund Pilcher and Marcia Willett are fantastic. I go through phases and I’m prone to glomming. I’m trying to organize my “read/to-read” list on Goodreads now. So much better than little scraps of paper all over the house.

What type of audience is best for A MATCH MADE IN HERITAGE VIEW?

A: Can I say mushy people? No? How about sentimental people? The optimistic dreamers, looking for a bit of a cozy, relaxing way to spend an afternoon. It isn’t real life per se, it’s life the way you might wish it could be. The houses are a bit quainter, the characters are a bit more charming, the problems are a bit easier to solve than in real life. It is your favorite squishy chair, or a chat with that old friend who knows you so well. It is an ideal story for the beach or lazing by the pool this summer.

What are you working on next?

A: I’ve finished Book 2 in the series and I’m polishing it now to submit to my editor. I’ll start Book 3 this summer.

Thank you for sitting down with us!

“The way you’re wielding that wooden spoon, I can see that I’ve startled you.” He held his hands up in mock surrender, the twinkle in his eyes making way for a smile that completely spoiled his attempt at appearing contrite. “I mean no harm. You have no cause to spoon me to death.” He was teasing her openly now, and Jane stifled the unwelcome romantic image that he’d just unwittingly conjured. 
“Oh, I’m so sorry.” With a nervous chuckle, she lowered the spoon she was still unconsciously grasping. “Force of habit, I’m afraid. I’m from the city.” Why had she told him that? Wasn’t incognito her goal? Clearly, the FBI wouldn’t be soliciting her for undercover work anytime soon. She smoothed her disheveled apron moaning internally at the cheesy move in light of his obvious sophistication. Buck up, camper, you are acting like a freshman in high school. 
“Ah, yes. I should have recognized the paranoia and aggression. Comes with the territory, huh? Whereabouts?” 
At her blank expression, he prompted, “Where are you from?” 
“Where? Err, New York.” So much for witty repartee. Good grief. Really, Gen? 
His smile was openly curious and more than a hint amused, the effect so potent as to be more than a bit butterfly inducing. Her brain sounded an alarm of recognition. Her heart began to sink. Not particularly original, but clichéd or not, butterflies in her stomach were her own early-warning system. Butterflies in the stomach were not technologically advanced and rather akin to plucking petals from a daisy in sophistication but nevertheless, flawlessly accurate at predicting trouble of the masculine variety. Did women still swoon nowadays? Swooning was like fainting, right? She’d have to remember to look it up. Gen had read about swooning women a million times, but this was the first time in her life she had understood the impulse. 
“Yeah, the city.” He winked at her. “I think we’ve established that.” 
“Let’s start over.” He moved forward a step and held out his hand to her. “Hi, Jane. I’m Michael.”


Annie Stiles was practically born with a book in her hand, but the writing came later.

A daydreamer by nature, Annie always secretly wanted to be a romance novelist. It wasn’t until her youngest child started kindergarten that she buckled down and turned that dream into reality. She is fascinated by characters on the page and in real life, and talks with her hands so much that people have been known to duck.

When not on her laptop, she likes to putter in her garden. Annie lives in the beautiful Capital-Saratoga region of New York State with her college sweetheart husband and their two children. They are all owned by two cats.

Annie writes satisfying, character-driven contemporary romance. Rose-colored glasses are standard issue.

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