Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Excerpt & ARC Giveaway - - The Best Life Book Club



By Sheila Roberts

MIRA Books May 7, 2024 trade paperback, eBook, hardcover and audiobook


"[With] a set of characters so vivid we want to be their best friends, and a story that keeps us turning the pages, The Best Life Book Club is your book club book of the year. . . . A novel of pure delight! —Patti Callahan Henry, NYT Bestselling author of The Secret Book of Flora Lea

It started as a book club. It became a way to build a better life together.

Karissa Newcomb is ready for a new start in a new neighborhood, as far away as she can get from Seattle, where her husband cheated on her with the neighbor who was supposed to be her best friend. She and her nine-year-old daughter are moving on to the city of Gig Harbor on the bay in Puget Sound. She even has a new job as an assistant at a small publishing company right in Gig Harbor. Her new boss seems like a bit of a curmudgeon, but a job is a job, she loves to read, and the idea of possibly meeting writers sounds fabulous.

Soon she finds she’s not the only one in need of a refresh. Her new neighbors, Alice and Margot, are dealing with their own crises. Alice is still grieving her late husband and hasn’t been able to get behind the wheel of a car since a close call after his death. Margot is floundering after getting divorced and laid off in quick succession. They could all use a distraction, and a book club seems like just the ticket. Together, the three women, along with Alice’s grumpy older sister, Josie, embark on a literary journey that just might be the kick-start they need to begin building their best lives yet.

"With a dash of humor and a charmingly relatable cast of characters, Roberts smartly leans into her storytelling strengths with another heart-warming and hopeful tale."—John Charles, Booklist

An Excerpt from


By Sheila Roberts


“Envy is a waste unless you turn it into fuel to get out there and do something with your life.”

—from Where There’s a Will There’s a Way by Annie Wills


Gig Harbor, Washington 

Lilith’s other grandma lived in a housing development outside of town. The house was modest with a well-kept front lawn and a fence separating the backyard from the front. The roof of the promised bounce house peeked up over it, and Karissa could hear childish squeals as she followed her excited daughter up the front walk. 

Macy was clutching a wrapped box like it was treasure. If you were an eight-year-old girl and into fairies, it was. The box contained the newest book in the series the girls were reading and a feather fairy crown as well as a wishing stone—choose the one with your favorite fairy on it (great merchandising). 

Lilith’s grandma, Sylvia Peretti, opened the door and introduced herself. She smiled at Macy and said, “The girls are in the bounce house. I’ll put your present with the others, and you can go join them.” She motioned to a sliding glass door. 

“Thank you,” Macy said, and hurried to the door. 

“Thank you for inviting Macy,” Karissa said. “When should I come back for her?” 

It was the polite thing to say since the invitation hadn’t been for Macy and Mom. There were adults present though. She saw her boss, Edward, standing by that sliding door, looking out at the rockin’ bounce house and talking with an older man, Mr. Peretti most likely. A woman somewhere around Karissa’s age sat on the couch, while another woman, also similar in age, lounged in an easy chair, her feet on a footstool. Family members, perhaps? From Lilith’s mother’s family? Both of them eyed Karissa like cats, the aloof Egyptian goddess kind. 

Edward turned and waved at Karissa and smiled. It seemed that he smiled more lately, and this one reached his eyes. 

The two women kept their hands around their drink glasses, and neither one called, “Come, join us.” 

“We’ll be done by four,” said Sylvia. 

Karissa nodded, promised to return, and went back to her car, disappointed. There would be no nosy chats, no helping serve cake. And no discovering who the unwelcoming committee was. For all she knew, one of the women could have been there as Edward’s guest. Although if that was the case, wouldn’t he have been sitting with her? 

Karissa drove to Invitation Bookstore to console herself. A good book was always a woman’s truest friend. 

At the bookstore she stocked up on novels by some of her favorite writers—the two Susans (Susan Wiggs and Susan Mallery), Marie Bostwick, and Rachel Linden. One of the Friends & Fiction ladies had a book on the shelves. She loved their podcasts! Oooh, and here was a new one by Brenda Novak. And…she needed to stop before she blew up her credit card. She rationalized her book binge by reminding herself that she was supporting authors, helping them pay their bills. Look what a good thing it had turned out to be that she hadn’t been invited to the party. Look at all the imagination exercise tools she’d have missed out on. 

She settled in her car, picked up a book and opened it to the first page. She got four chapters read in Susan Mallery’s latest, and then it was time to go pick up Macy. 

This time Sylvia invited her in, and she seemed a little more welcoming. Maybe because she knew Karissa wouldn’t be staying long? 

The girls were finishing up their cake, and Karissa supposed Sylvia could hardly leave her standing on the porch. The two women Karissa had seen earlier were helping with cleanup as Karissa followed Sylvia into the kitchen. 

“These are my daughters, Arletta and Meagan,” she said, and the two women said a quick hello and then went back to stowing away leftover goodies. 

The girls hadn’t lacked for food. In addition to the fairy cakes, which had been given little cake wings, they’d enjoyed ice cream, chips, fruit, and tiny tea sandwiches. They all wore costume butterfly wings on their backs and glitter in their hair, and smiles on their faces. 

“Let’s get a picture before you all go home,” Sylvia said to the girls. “Lilith, put your cousins on either side of you.” 

Which left Macy, the best friend, on the outside of the inner circle. 

Cousins trump best friends, Karissa reminded herself. 

Macy didn’t care, she was beaming with ice cream on her chin, an arm around one of the cousins. 

Edward and the older man came into the room at that moment. “Karissa,” Edward greeted her. “I thought you’d stay.” 

Your mother-in-law didn’t invite me. “I had some errands to run.” 

He nodded. “Of course.” 

“You didn’t miss anything but chaos,” said the older man. “Come on, girls, time to scram. Grandpa’s pooped.” 

The little girls all giggled, and Sylvia shook her head at him. 

“Time to go, Macy,” Karissa said to her daughter. “What do you say to Mrs. Peretti?” 

“Thank you for having me,” Macy said. “And thank you for the fairy wings!” 

Fairy wings for all. Sylvia Peretti wasn’t stingy, that was for sure.

 “You’re more than welcome,” she said to Macy. “Nice to meet you, Karissa. I didn’t realize you were Edward’s secretary.” 

Ah, that explained the change in attitude. 

“Administrative assistant,” he corrected. 

“Administrative assistant. All these changes in terminology,” said Sylvia. “I remember when secretaries were secretaries and garbage men were garbage men.” 

Karissa wasn’t sure what to say to that. 

“Times change,” Edward said. “I’ll walk you and Macy to your car, Karissa.” 

He did, but he didn’t say anything about his in-laws. Instead, he thanked Karissa for coming. “It meant a lot to Lilith to have Macy here.” 

“I can tell she had a wonderful time.” 

“I’m sorry you had errands to run. I thought you might have enjoyed staying.” 

Had he wanted her to? She wished she’d been invited. 

“I’m sorry, too. It looks like it was a great party,” she said. 

“Magical,” he said with a slight head shake. 

Was that glitter she saw in his hair? “Is there…something in your hair?” 

“They made me be fairy king. I’m going to take two Advil when I get home.” 

They had reached the car, and Macy bowed to Edward and said, “Thank you, King Thistlebottom. I was honored to be your loyal subject.” 

Karissa choked back a giggle. “King Thistlebottom?” 

He frowned and shook his head. “Don’t ask.” 

“I guess I shouldn’t address you as such at work on Monday then?” 

“I guess not,” he said firmly, and she laughed. 

“Very well, then. I can call you Your Majesty if you prefer.” 

He was already a handsome man, but that smile took handsome to a whole new level. 

“Edward will be just fine,” he said, opening the car door for Macy. 

“Oh, that’s right. You probably want to keep your magical kingdom and powers a secret,” Karissa teased. 

“I think that would be best. See you Monday.”


Have you read Sheila Roberts yet? Have you watched any of the movies based on her books?

Do you belong to a book club? If so, what book is your club currently reading?

Two people who post a comment before 11:00 PM, April 12 will each receive a print ARC of The Best Life Book Club. 

*U.S. only
*Must be 18

Sheila Roberts is the author of more than 50 novels, including ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS, which was made into a Lifetime Network movie. Also adapted for the small screen, Sheila’s THE NINE LIVES OF CHRISTMAS is a perennial Hallmark channel favorite, and CHRISTMAS ON CANDY CANE LANE debuted on TV in December 2022. The author has sold more than three million copies of her novels. Before launching her author career, Sheila owned a singing telegram company, wrote music and played in a band. A cancer survivor, she resides in Washington state with her husband, who is also an author. For more information about Sheila, visit


Sheila social media links:

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    Sheila’s Instagram author page:


    Sheila’s TikTok page

    Sheila’s BookBub page:

    Sheila’s Goodreads page:

    Sheila’s YouTube page:



  1. I have been in love with Ms. Roberts for quite awhile. She writes stories I truly fall into and don't want to leave. I seldom watch movies based on books I like. They tend to disappoint. About 100 years ago, I read a book called The Silver Chalice by Thomas B Costain. I thought it was amazing. (looking back, not so sure) Then I went to see the film. It was Paul Newman's first starring role. He hated the movie and refused to discuss it. I believed that the film could not possibly have been about the book I read.
    I'm not in a book club. It has been quite some time since I was in one. But, I read. In fact, I read a great deal because reading puts me in a sunnier, safer and happier place. It has been doing that for me since I was 4 years old. Sorry I digress. One of the reasons I love books is generally I feel as though I am in a better place - even in a mystery. I also read to learn new things. Isn't that why all of us read? Thanks for the review and the excerpt. I know I need to find this book.

    1. Hi Annette! I remember reading The Silver Chalice. It was a great book! And thank you for your kind words. :)

  2. I have read several of Sheila Roberts books which were memorable and captivating. I rarely watch movies that were made from the books since they cannot capture what I felt from reading the book. I read on my own and have always been a quiet and introspective person and reader. It gives me hope, and allows me to travel and escape to other places.

    1. Reading is wonderful for exploring new worlds!

  3. I absolutely love Sheila Roberts! She is an author that I buy without even looking at the book first. I don't watch television (to busy reading!) so I haven't seen any of her movies. I don't belong to a book club because I have a hard time reading books that I'm not interested in,bI prefer to pick my own books.

    1. Thank you for the kind words!

  4. My BookClub is all ladies who have met at Romantic Times book conventions and we are reading all hockey romances this year

    1. I remember those conventions. They were great!

  5. Yes I have read some of her books I. The past. No I am not part of a book club. Thanks for the chance to win

  6. Hi PJ! Yes, I have read a few of her books & watched The Nine Lives of Christmas! As you know, our book club isn't reading anything particular this month, but after that, it's all romance, all the time!

    1. Hey Sharlene, if your book club would like to read The Best Life Book Club in May or June. Let me know. We're sending out party favors. :) Also, if you're looking for a Christmas romance, keep an eye peeled for The Merry Matchmaker.

  7. Patricia Bennett BarberApril 10, 2024 at 8:37 PM

    I love her books!!!! And I guess I'm out of the loop because didn't know she had a movie of of any of her books. I'm going to look into to that.

    1. The movies are definitely different from the books. But 9 Lives was cute.

  8. I read through the excerpt without looking at the author's name. Really enjoyed the excerpt and now I know why. I love Sheila Roberts' books. Her characters are real and relatable as are the situations they find themselves in. I didn't realize any of her books had been made into movies. They are perfect for that.
    I do not currently belong to a book club. There is just too much going on right now. It is on my list of things to do when things calm down. Thanks so much for bring this book to my attention. It is now on my must read list. Patricia Barraclough

    1. Thank you for the kind words! This is Sheila, btw. I see all my posts are showing up as anonymous.

  9. Yes I have read Sheila's books before and enjoyed them very much, I'm not in any bookclubs I haven't seen any or heard of one around here. . I'm reading a murder mystery right now by Lynn Cahoon. Great review thank you.

  10. I have read Sheila Robert's books and really liked them. I have never joined a book club. They do sound like fun, but I live in a small town and there doesn't seem to be any interest. If a movie is based on a book, I will generally read the book before watching the movie. The book is almost always better than the movie.

  11. I love Sheila Roberts' books! I don't think I've seen any of the movies based on them though - a major oversight on my part! I tried a book club once, but the members mostly wanted to only read "Serious Literature" - you know, the books where everyone is miserable. ;-)

    1. Hi it's Sheila. I keep showing up anonymously, but want to thank you for the kind words.