Sunday, June 23, 2013


The Middle School I went to was about two miles from my house. Across from it was the town's library, or in other words, my "happy place". I took the bus home most of the time, but with the library right there, I was often drawn to it, so walking didn't seem so bad. I was a latch-key kid, and in those days, we pre-teens didn't expect our parents to drive us around the way the kids of today fact, we were expected to walk or ride our bikes everywhere...and that's probably why we are so willing to car pool our own offspring now.

The accessibility of the library after school hours was great for a reader like me, but it was also a problem for a reader like me. I couldn't finish a book and be without a new one.Whatever would I do when the sun went down and it was time to come in from outside? My family didn't have cable, and TV watching wasn't what it is today. So without a ride to help me sate my hunger for stories, I had to get as many books as I could each time I visited.

One day, in late May, I stayed on that side of town a little later so I could venture over to the library. I took out twenty-one paperbacks. Not a typo. TWENTY-ONE PAPERBACKS. The pocket size ones with two to three hundred pages in each. I stuffed as many as I could into my backpack with my textbooks, but that still left a stack of eighteen in my arms. I almost brought them right back to the check out counter, but when I thought about choosing which ones to leave behind, I couldn't do it. For me, they were like
the puppies you see at the shelter, barking urgently, "Pick me! Take me home!" I couldn't leave any of them behind, so I took a deep breath and lifted. I could barely see over the pile, but I was determined. The good news was that when my glasses would slip down my nose, there was always the binding of a book at eye level that I could use to push them back up...of course if I wasn't sweating from the effort of lugging my heavy backpack and all of these books, maybe my glasses wouldn't have kept slipping....

As excited as I was to walk home and crack open the first one, after a few steps, I realized that I had to make one stop. Friendly's. It was a block away from my school and the library, and I needed a sugar rush to propel me all the way across town with my huge load.

I was right. Hiking that one block almost killed me. It was a hot day and even though those trees I carried were flattened and condensed, I might as well have had an oak strapped to my back and a redwood in my arms. I pulled open the restaurant's door a little bit by using my pinky and my foot and I squeezed through. After falling onto one of the little round stools, my pile of books collapsed on the counter like a deck of cards. A waitress approached and paused as if I might say, "Pick a book, any book". She was clearly a high school student, frowning at my dorkiness and scratching a zit on her cheek that an entire bottle of cover-up would never hide.

I asked for my fave, a Vanilla Fribble, and quickly restacked my books, some on the round stool next to me and some on the counter in front of it. I lay my backpack on the floor and added a hamburger and fries to my order. I wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. She walked away, cracking her bubble gum loudly, and I grabbed the first book off of the pile and opened it up. "DEENIE" by Judy her stuff. She set my perspective straight on so many things, and even taught me a bit about growing up.

The waitress came back with my shake and asked, "You're not gonna read alla those books, are ya?"

My forehead was still sweaty and I nodded while I gulped the sugary goodness, not caring if I got brain freeze.

"What are they for a class or somethin'? Ya know, where you gotta read 'em or you'll fail?"

And that's how I knew that I would never stop devouring books. It was either read or end up like my server, never understanding the joy of escaping from reality, learning new words, and gaining a unique point of view within a few pages of fantastic writing.

I sat at that counter for about an hour, reading and eating while the weather changed and the rain came. I asked for a few plastic bags to protect my treasures, and smiled all the way home wondering what would happen next in the story, hardly noticing that my hair and clothes were getting wet. Soon though, the sun reappeared, drying me up in the late afternoon heat.

The only thing I didn't like about reading was that I really didn't have anyone to get excited about my finds with. I never saw any of my friends or the adults around me pick up a book for enjoyment. As an adult and an author, I now surround myself with literary works and stimulating conversation. I am an avid seeker of hidden gems and love sharing my discoveries.

And that's where you, dear reader come in. I invite you to join my SUMMER READING BOOK book per week...I will review them here on the blog, and encourage you to comment and let me know what you thought of each pick. Did you like it? Did you learn something? Did it touch your heart, make you laugh, or stir up some hidden rage? I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and welcome the chance to be in good company this time around.

 (There are more books listed at the end of this post)

The rules and perks:
1. Book discussion comments are left on this site and on:

2. Comments should only be about the BOOK and in no way be offensive or degrading to any person or persons
3. For this week ONLY... one comment equals one entry to win an autographed print copy of the pick for WEEK 3....a winner will be randomly chosen from the comments left between 6/23 and midnight of 6/29. The winner will be announced on the blog on 6/30.
4. It's ok to jump into the club late. Join us on any day of any week. BUT if, for example, you are starting with SUKI on WEEK 3, DO NOT READ THE DISCUSSION COMMENTS. Stop after you get to the link to purchase the book or you may ruin the story for yourself. I cannot stress this enough.

So without further ado:

WEEK 1 - SUKI by CF Winn


We are kicking off the summer with a read that is very near and very dear to my heart because I wrote it:


Life offers one guarantee…death.
Savannah’s situation goes from good to perfect when she meets Dwayne, an ex-Marine with a soft heart. They seem to have it all, until one challenge shakes them to their cores.
We all assume we know what love is, but think again. It comes in many shapes and sizes. If you knew ahead of time that you’d never see ”happily ever after“, would you choose to live at all for the sake of love?
CF Winn flexes her story telling muscle and shows us why she is an award winning author. SUKI will grab your heart and make you think about your place…and your purpose in this world.


(The following review, although it may contain opinions and ideas that I share, was not written by me. It is a compilation of  thoughts that my readers were kind enough to post on Amazon and

SUKI is a bittersweet story of the joys of love, the perils of living within it, and the process of healing. It addresses love for your parents, love for your self, love for your partner, and love for your child, as well as tragedy, heartache and hope. CF Winn truly takes you on an emotional journey into the soul of a woman and her connections with being a mother.

It is a love story, but like none you have ever read before. It has been said that writers tell the same stories over and over. SUKI is an original; A poetic journey narrated by the most unexpected of characters. There is no way to talk about the book without giving away the compelling originality of the idea or spoilers.To elaborate about the content I feel would do the reader a disservice. The ending is unexpected and leaves you with passionate tears and an imprint on your soul. I admit and appreciate that I was surprised at the story since I had no predispositions.

Well written, and with a back and forth storyline highlighting the anatomy of a love story, SUKI is a novel that can be read in one sitting. It has twists and turns that you don't expect and there are whole pages of writing in this book that are downright beautiful. I must compliment the author. She really made the reader part of the book in that attention was paid to small details which are vital to understanding the characters and their actions. SUKI makes you laugh and cry. CF Winn is an excellent writer and she guides you through her character's journey by allowing you to feel all her emotions with ease.
An eloquently written novel with such description, such emotion, and such a connection with the reader is rare.

You will reflect on the frailty of the human condition long after you have reached the last page. I sat for an hour, just reflecting on the spirit and message of the novel. SUKI touched my heart and showed that there is no time to waste with doubts. Enjoy life to the fullest every minute you draw breath and cherish each experience. Thank you, CF, for a great tale that makes one cry as well as smile. Once or twice a year, I read a novel that haunts me with the tapestry of emotions it evokes. This is the first time where I wished the entire substance of my review could be a coupon for a free copy of this book. The only way to do it justice is to read it. Twice.Then sit quietly for a while. Then read it again. You will need to plan ahead: put your dog in a kennel, send the kids to DisneyWorld, close all the curtains, turn off your phone and disconnect your Internet. It's unbelievable how you just never know what somebody has been through in life. Can't wait to read more from this talented author!


You can now order SUKI in paperback at BOOK REVUE, one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores, by email at or by calling (631) 271-1442.
Learn more about SUKI at BOOK REVUE

As an e-book:
Print copies can be ordered at:















CF Winn is the author of The COFFEE BREAK SERIES, a hilarious group of short stories meant to be read while on break or in the waiting room of the doctor's office. Her first novella, SUKI, has been grabbing hearts and hugging souls all over the United States.


MaryMargaret Tucker said...

The read is on! Not a big fan of summer, myself, so reading it is, to ease my sweaty distress! A book a day, one a week for the club...however you do it. Come on readers...jump in the book pool.

Robbie Cox said...

Was always a reader myself and even today I carry a book or two wherever I go, even if it's just to the store and back. Great post and a great idea!

Christina Fifield-Winn said...'s my fun challenge...whenever you stop by to look at, or add to the discussion, bring your cocktail of choice. For this book, when you see someone use the word "LOVE" in their comment..*drink* be clear, that is one shot PER use of the word "LOVE". Next week we'll pick another trigger word...what do you think?

MaryMargaret Tucker said...

I love the idea, and what a day to stay hydrated!!! And not a bad day to curl up in the air conditioning and read a book about love... romantic love, and kinds you might not have considered.

Margie said...

This book is one that will speak volumes to the heart of every reader. I absolutely loved the choice for the narrator. Very unique!
It was interesting to see the building and then unraveling of the relationship. I must admit that the ending was the breaking point for me and I literally bawled my eyes out.
It truly packed a punch!

What did everyone else think?

MaryMargaret Tucker said...

*punch* did you say punch MARGIE? yes, it was much the same for me. there were lines that jumped off the page for me, as if chris had read my mind and put my voice in savannah's mouth. Great POV, and bawling...yeah, it was a multiple kleenex finish! anyone else finished???

Erin Leah McCrea said...

You described how great reading is perfectly!
A blogging book club! What a great idea!

CF Winn said...

Glad you could join us Erin! Looks like you have some catching up to do. I can't wait to add some new books to the list this summer!