Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Can you believe it? April has decided to leave the building and leave May in its wake. Here's hoping the month brings the "flowers" it's known for and not simply the hot, stormy weather that's predicted by our local weatherman. *fingers crossed* Although, that DOES make for great reading weather and BOY OH BOY do I have a title that needs to be on your radar.
Today, we're playing host to a stop on the TLC Book Tours promotion for a brand spanking new author that is really leaving her mark...or at least she is on THIS reader as well as a few others that I've heard from about this very title (her first one!). It's a work of Fiction that really speaks to the soul and before I get too carried away, let me get the introductions made. Ladies and gents, grab a glass of something cold, find a cozy spot outside to breath in the fresh air, and get ready to meet today's blog tour guest and book of choice...
Laura K. Denton
About the book...
When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did in life.
After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.
Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid Sheetrock dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.
Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed Mags’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.
When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.
It didn't take long for me to fall in love with this book...
...and I think that will be the case for many readers.
From start to finish, I was entranced with not only following Sara's story in the here-and-now, but following her journey down the path of her grandmother's life and times. It was touching, breathtaking, the stuff the really goes into making a life worth living and memorable for all the right reasons. What started as a step towards independence not sought, turned into something that would equally haunt and soothe her through the years...and that's speaking of BOTH of our leading ladies.
The author, new or not, has a way of drawing you into each scene and never letting go, though with the gentlest of grace. Passages, like this one regarding love, kept stealing my breath away, making me long to feel that connection with another and wish it for all of you....
Though the cast of characters and influences grows considerably during the novel, it never seems off putting, like it's too much, or going to overshadow the main premise of the story. In fact, the colorful additions blend seamlessly into the overall whole, enriching the picture created and making the memory of the read THAT much more vivid. I loved Sara for her unspoken strength, her desire to see her grandmother's wishes through, and eventually her acceptance of all that comes her way, even if she may kick and scream along the way. Grandmother Mags was a joy to know, and despite the fact we make that acquaintance through remembrances of the past, she is just as vivid, just as much of a force, and just as astounding of a woman as I believe she would have been in Sara's here and now. The folks that came and eventually stayed at the Hideaway are definitely "characters" in their own right, as is the Sweet Bay-ian that is unknowingly stealing Sara's heart, but I'll let you discover their quirks, and eccentricities on your own.
In the end, it's a tale that reminds us to not put off till tomorrow, what we can do today...especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Make a place in your summer reading to travel to Sweet Bay and see just how wonderful having a Hideaway like this one truly can be.
About the author...
Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren K. Denton now lives with her husband and two daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she’d rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. The Hideaway is her first novel.
Special thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours and the folks at Thomas Nelson for the ARC for review as well as the chance to bring this tour to you. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, THIS TOUR, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title just celebrated its book birthday last month via Thomas Nelson, an imprint of HarperCollins, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time, remember....if it looks good, READ IT!