Tuesday, November 10, 2009


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!

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