Several days ago, I received in the mail a package from Random House. The noise I made when I saw it sitting on my front step was something like this: "SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!" I have been entering the Firstreads giveaways on Goodreads for a while now, and it appeared that I had WON! A book! A free one! One that had not been published yet! It was my first ADVANCED READER'S COPY! It was one of the best surprises I have ever gotten.
I ripped right into the package to see what I had received and found waiting for me the second book by an author whose first book I LOVED. It was The Secret of Everything by Barbara O'Neal. She is also the author of The Lost Recipe for Happiness, which I read for the Spring Book Challenge on The Nest Book Club and really enjoyed.
Reading her books, I can't help but think that Barbara and I could be friends. She has so many amazing elements in her stories that really speak to me. In both books, there has been a foodie element that I have loved. Dogs figure prominently in both stories (and we all know how much I love dogs). There is a little bit of mystery and a little bit of love and a good dose of triumphing over adversity...all good elements to a story, if you ask me.
In The Secret of Everything, I got to follow the story of a woman I felt connected to immediately, as she tried to come back from a hard experience and regain her footing on solid ground. Along the way, she explored a new area of the country (a spot in New Mexico the description of which had me wanting to book a plane ticket tomorrow to go explore as well), met some new people, had some new experiences, and made her own happy ending. From the first page, I was drawn in to the stories of all the characters, and I spent seven hours yesterday devouring the words and racing through the pages, unable to wait to see what the ending held. I have to say I was not disappointed. Instead, I was left a little sad that it was over but happy to have spent my day in the pages of this book. And now I can't wait to see what comes next from this author!
And here's hoping I get to do more reading via Firstreads because that really made my week!