Sunday, December 27, 2015

Weekly Book Haul.......December 27, 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea, Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsThe Sunday Salon is a new facebook group I've joined and Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia to be Continued.

Well, it's been a crazy few weeks, getting ready for Christmas.  All that shopping, preparation, cooking, and then it's over in one day.

As my kids have grown up, I have found Christmas to be a little melancholy at times.  When your children are little, there's so much excitement.  The emotional build up for weeks, combined with the craziness of Christmas day, complete with exhausted crying fits and hysterical laughter (I always felt like it was good training for working in a mental ward) has always felt like Christmas to me.

So these new quiet Christmases, waiting for everyone to come over for dinner, are a little sad to me.  I guess I need to hope and pray for grandchildren to bring the magic back to Christmas in the next few years.

So I didn't get any e-books over the last few weeks, but I came home to some great physical copies (my personal Christmas all year long).

Lots of different books on this weeks list, from a book about addiction, to a memoir that claims "orgasmic childbirth" (looks like it ends up being mental illness, natch, because there is nothing orgasmic about childbirth), and a sequel to a great book, The Witch's Daughter.  And since i already have an ebook copy of the Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, I see a giveaway coming! 

From Booksparks

How to Grow An Addict by J.A. Wright.....Randall Grange has been tricked
into admitting herself into a treatment center and she doesn’t know why. She’s not a party hound like the others in her therapy group—but then again, she knows she can’t live without pills or booze. Raised by an abusive father, a detached mother, and a loving aunt and uncle, Randall both loves and hates her life. She’s awkward and a misfit. Her parents introduced her to alcohol and tranquilizers at a young age, ensuring that her teenage years would be full of bad choices, and by the time she’s twenty-three years old, she’s a full-blown drug addict, well acquainted with the miraculous power chemicals have to cure just about any problem she could possibly have—and she’s in more trouble than she’s ever known was possible.

Postcards from the Sky by Erin Seidemann.....The aviation world is a man’s
world—it always has been, and it continues to be so today. In fact, women make up a mere 5 to 6 percent of the total pilot population worldwide. But from the first time Erin Seidemann experienced what it was like to see the world from a small plane’s perspective, she was hooked—and she’s spent much of her time since then fighting her way into becoming one of that 5 to 6 percent. 

Postcards from the Sky: Adventures of an Aviatrix tells of the struggles and adventures one encounters as a woman in the male-dominated space of aviation. With humor and equanimity, Seidemann recounts her varied experiences as a female pilot—from the chauvinistic flight instructor she makes the mistake of falling in love with to the many, many customs agents who insist she can’t possibly be her plane’s owner (“Where’s your boyfriend?”)—while at the same time giving insight about just what makes flying so incredible . . . and so very addictive. Frank, funny, and full of adventure, Postcards from the Sky is an entertaining foray into a world few women have dared enter.

All in Her Head by Sunny Mera....As a young girl growing up in the Midwest,
Sunny experiences the shame and stigma of scandal when her father is banned from their church for having an affair with the pastor’s best friend’s wife. As Sunny grows older, she begins to build the life she’s always wanted: she marries, buys a house, enrolls in graduate school, and soon has a baby on the way. But when she experiences the psychological phenomena of orgasmic labor, it triggers a chain of bizarre events, and she gradually descends into a world of delusion and paranoia. As Sunny struggles to separate the real from the unreal, she relies upon friends and family to ground her in truth and love—and keep her from going over the edge into madness.

From the Publisher

The Return of the Witch by Paula Brackston......Paula Brackston's debut
novel, The Witch's Daughter, was the little book that could―with a captivating story, remarkable heroine, and eye-catching package, it has now netted over 200,000 copies in all formats. Now Paula returns with its sequel The Return of the Witch, another bewitching tale of love and magic, featuring her signature blend of gorgeous writing, a fabulous and intriguing historical backdrop, and a headstrong and relatable heroine readers will cheer for.

After five years in the Summerlands, Gideon has gained his freedom. Elizabeth knows he will go straight for Tegan, and that she must protect the girl she had come to regard as her own daughter. In the time since she the dramatic night in Batchcombe woods, Tegan has travelled the world learning from all manner of witches, and she is no longer the awkward teenager and novice spellcaster she once was. However, her skills are no match for Gideon's dark, vengeful power, and he succeeds in capturing her. Will Elizabeth be able to find her? Will they be able to defeat their nemisis once and for all?
In a breathless journey that takes them through history, witch pursues warlock. Three people steeped in magic weave a new story, but not all will survive until the end.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald......Once
you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen...

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory. All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Seafront Tearoom by

What They Say.....The Seafront Tearoom is an insider secret in small-town Scarborough – a beach-front haven with the best tea and cakes in town – and  journalist Charlie Harrison would love to put it on the map with a feature in her magazine. But single mom Kat Murray doesn’t want to see her favorite sanctuary overrun by tourists, and begs Charlie to seek out other options. She offers her help, as a “tea obsessive,” and so does French au pair Séraphine Moreau, whose upbringing makes her a connoisseur of everything sweet and indulgent.

Together the three women will scour the countryside for quaint hideaways and hidden gems, sharing along the way their secrets, disappointments, and dreams – and discovering that friendship, like tea, takes time to steep. But learning too that once you open your heart, the possibilities are endless. 

What I Say....I had high expectations of this book.  I love chick lit, tea and the books set in England.  So maybe I set myself up for disappointment, but this one was not for me.

I wish I could put my finger on what exactly makes me start to really care about the characters in a book but I'm not sure what makes it click in my (or anyone else's) mind.  

Whatever that "it"factor it is, it wasn't in this book.  I was very aware the entire time that I was reading a book and following a story versus feeling pulled into the story and being lost in a book.

The storyline was predictable, all the way to the end.  The plot twists were non-existent, and while I love a happy ending, no one had to work very hard to get there.

But it looks like a lot of readers don't agree with me......Current Goodreads Rating 3.77

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Weekly Book Haul.....December 13, 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea, Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsThe Sunday Salon is a new facebook group I've joined and Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia to be Continued.

I'm back from a great vacation with a few of my best friends.  We went to St. Maarten for a week and the weather was wonderful.  Nice and hot and the water was warm enough to swim.  I basked in the sun and read my Kindle, taking periodic breaks to cool off in the ocean.  Rough life, right?

Then I ate the world's best creampuff, although the French call them profiteroles.  It was served with  a tiny pot of hot chocolate to pour over them.  Heaven.

But otherwise, I will say that St. Maarten was not my favorite vacation spot in the world.  We rented a house, and kept experiencing rolling brown outs.  So the power would go out at any time for up to two hours, several times a day.  It wasn't so bad during the day, because we were gone a lot, but at night when you are sitting on the deck in a strange country, in an isolated beach house, it's pretty scary to have the power, internet, etc. all just disappear for an unspecified length of time.  

But I got to relax, have a lot of laughs, and read a ton.  Reviews forthcoming. Back to work tomorrow - refreshed and reinvigorated.  

In the meantime, I've received some great new reads to add to my ever growing TBR pile.  Jojo Moyes's, "After You", and Heather Gudenkauf's, "Missing Pieces" are ones that I am really excited about.   And I got a great workplace book, on how to lead Millenials - which is proving to be very different from the Gen X employees.  So I'm interested to gain some insight.


No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn....Faye Martin never expected her
husband to abandon her and her three children . . . or that she'd have to struggle every day to make ends meet. So when her four-year-old daughter is discovered through a YouTube video and offered a starring role on a television series, it seems like her prayers have been answered. But when the reality of their new life settles in, Faye realizes that fame and fortune don't come without a price. And in a world where everyone is an actor and every move is scrutinized by millions, it's impossible to know who to trust, and Faye finds herself utterly alone in her struggle to save her family. 

Emotionally riveting and insightful, NO ORDINARY LIFE is an unforgettable novel about the preciousness of childhood and the difficult choices a mother needs to make in order to protect this fragile time in her children's lives.

Find Her by Lisa Gardner....Flora Dane is a victim. 

Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.

Flora Dane is a survivor.
Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who's never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she's become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who've never made it home.

Flora Dane is reckless. 

. . . or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who's determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.

The Dirt on the Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones....In a small village in New
York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she's more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.
But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her-even from her new and trusted friends-the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn't help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she's lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.

What Millenials Want by Jennifer Deal....Millennials have been burdened
with a reputation as spoiled, lazy, and entitled, but the reality behind the stereotype is far richer and more complex. Who are Millennials and what do they really want? 
Based on fieldwork and survey data from global research on more than 25,000 Millennials and 29,000 older workers in 22 countries, this book paints a comprehensive, scientifically accurate picture of what really motivates Millennials around the world. Learn how to get the most from Millennials by:
• Improving workplace flexibility—because Millennials don’t separate life and work
• Providing adequate support and feedback—because Millennials like to learn and grow
• Coaching, not micromanaging—because Millennials value autonomy
• Designing competitive salary structures—because Millennials know what’s up
• Providing opportunities to contribute to society—because Millennials care about doing good
Millennials want a satisfying job that pays well, coworkers they like and trust, advancement opportunities, and the occasional pat on the back. Who doesn’t want those things? 
This essential book explains who Millennials really are, and offers practical advice to help those who manage, lead, and work with Millennials to improve teamwork, increase productivity, strengthen organizational culture, and build a robust talent pipeline.


Dear Reader,

I wasn't going to write a sequel to Me Before You. But for years, readers kept asking and I kept wondering what Lou did with her life. In the end the idea came, as they sometimes do, at 5:30 in the morning, leaving me sitting bolt upright in my bed and scrambling for my pen.

It has been such a pleasure revisiting Lou and her family, and the Traynors, and confronting them with a whole new set of issues. As ever, they have made me laugh, and cry. I hope readers feel the same way at meeting them—especially Lou—again. And I'm hoping that those who love Will will find plenty to enjoy.

Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf....Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has
 been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded. 

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia's accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack's past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

What They Say.......Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper's kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel's past, something that ruined their friendship forever.

Now adult, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to relive the time that they found the suitcase that once belonged to Silvie Slater, the aunt that Amy claimed had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock's next blonde bombshell leading lady. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds—revealing the story of Sylvie and Rose, two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come.

What I Say.....I love Jennifer McMahon but her last book, Winter People, wasn't my favorite.  It seemed like her first foray into paranormal that wasn't more people based, but more folklore based.  The Night Sister followed on this same path.  Which is to say, this also wasn't my favorite.

It started out strong, and I enjoyed the flashbacks of the Sylvie/Rose story, once the book moved into the paranormal portion, I just became less interested.  I've always found McMahon's storytelling to be the strongest when she is writing about flawed humans, rather than real monsters.

I'll keep watching out for her books, but I have to admit, I'm losing interest in what used to be one of my favorite authors.  Sadness.

Current Goodreads Rating 3.68

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Monday, November 30, 2015

A GIVEAWAY! Win a $350 Visa Gift Card!

Welcome to A Nurse and A Book! If it's your first visit, we hope you like what you see and take some time to sift through our reviews, check out our book news, author and more! And if you're already a fan, THANK YOU! Also, there are lots of new book blogs and authors for you to check out! Just follow the instruction on the giveaway widget and earn entries as you explore and find some new favorites for a chance to win a $350 Visa Gift Card. This giveaway is international so no one is excluded! Black heart (cards)

This Giveaway is made possible by all those who have donated. Please DO NOT follow or like a page unless you truly want to be a follower. All entries are verified. Don't like and follow and then unfollow these pages. These type of entries will be voided and removed. Black heart (cards)

Look to the right bar of my home page in order to enter!

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The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore

What They Say....The Hawthorne family has it all. Great jobs, a beautiful house in one of the most affluent areas of northern California, and three charming kids with perfectly straight teeth. And then comes their eldest daughter's senior year of high school . . .
Firstborn Angela Hawthorne is a straight-A student and star athlete, with extracurricular activities coming out of her ears and a college application that's not going to write itself. She's set her sights on Harvard, her father's alma mater, and like a dog with a chew toy, Angela won't let up until she's basking in crimson-colored glory. Except her class rank as valedictorian is under attack, she's suddenly losing her edge at cross-country, and she can't help but daydream about the cute baseball player in English class. Of course Angela knows the time put into her schoolgirl crush would be better spent coming up with a subject for her term paper—which, along with her college essay and community service hours has a rapidly approaching deadline. 
Angela's mother, Nora, is similarly stretched to the limit, juggling parent-teacher meetings, carpool, and a real-estate career where she caters to the mega rich and super-picky buyers and sellers of the Bay Area. The youngest daughter, Maya, still can't read at the age of eight; the middle-child, Cecily, is no longer the happy-go-lucky kid she once was; and the dad, Gabe, seems oblivious to the mounting pressures at home because a devastating secret of his own might be exposed. A few ill-advised moves put the Hawthorne family on a heedless collision course that's equal parts achingly real and delightfully screwball.
Sharp and topical, The Admissions shows that if you pull at a loose thread, even the sturdiest of lives start to unravel at the seams of high achievement.

What I Say....My youngest just turned 18, so in some ways I feel like this book illustrates how different raising kids has gotten even from 5-10 years ago.  It's crazy the amount of pressure that we put on kids to achieve, perform, pick one sport, and the how personally some parents take it if their child is having trouble in any area, whether it's academic, sports or friends.

The Hawthorne family is probably that family that we all know via Facebook work or a friend of a friend.  They seem to have it all, high paying jobs, beautiful house, perfect kids.  But the reality of what it takes to get them (and keep them) there isn't hidden too far below.   

Every member of the family (except Maya) seems to be harboring some secret that they can't even share with each other.  Even in their own family, the pressure to be perfect keeps them all awake at night, prowling the house, taking Adderall, or hiking mountains in their office clothes.  

The pressure keeps mounting for all of them.....who will crack......and will it be fatal?

The book was a quick read and would probably be a great book club book, it might force people to take a closer look at what kind of pressure they are placing on their own families to maintain a perfect appearance for outsiders.

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Weekly Book Haul....November 29, 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea, Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsThe Sunday Salon is a new facebook group I've joined and Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia to be Continued.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!  Mine has been fabulous, which means I did a whole lot of what I love to do.  Reading, light shopping, drinking tea in front of the fireplace, watching movies.  It was everything I dreamed.

I'm getting excited for my upcoming vacation.  I'm headed out to St. Maarten with some of my best friends for a much needed week off of work, kids, responsibilities.  We went to Hawaii last year, and it was so amazing that we knew we had to do it again this year.  The four of us all like to do the same things, which is to say swim, reading on the beach and shopping.  So November and December are looking to be pretty great months for me after a long, hard year.

I'm pretty excited about the new Menna van Praag book I received this week. 
I loved her last book, The Dress Shop of Dreams.


The Word Game by Steena Holmes......For overprotective parent Alyson
Ward, any time her daughter, Lyla, is out of sight is reason to panic. So it’s a big step for her when she lets Lyla attend a sleepover at her cousin’s house. Comforted by the knowledge that her sister, Tricia, is the chaperone, Alyson does the one thing she never thought possible: she lets go and trusts that her daughter will be safe.
But Alyson’s sense of peace is short lived. When Lyla comes home the next morning, she reveals something that could tear apart not only their family but also the entire community. Now, Alyson and Tricia must confront their painful shared past as they come together to help a little girl who they fear might be harboring terrible secrets similar to their own. Will the sisters be strong enough to face their demons in order to protect the child, even if it means telling their most private truths?

The Witches of Cambridge by Menna van Praag....Be careful what you wish
for. If you're a witch, you might just get it. 

Amandine Bisset has always had the power to feel the emotions of those around her. It's a secret she can share only with her friends—all professors, all witches—when they gather for the Cambridge University Society of Literature and Witchcraft. Amandine treasures these meetings but lately senses the ties among her colleagues beginning to unravel. If only she had her student Noa's power to hear the innermost thoughts of others, she might know how to patch things up. Unfortunately, Noa regards her gift as a curse. So when a seductive artist claims he can cure her, Noa jumps at the chance, no matter the cost.

Noa's not the only witch in over her head. Mathematics professor Kat has a serious case of unrequited love but refuses to cast spells to win anyone's heart. Her sister, Cosima, is not above using magic to get what she wants, sprinkling pastries in her bakery with equal parts sugar and enchantment. But when Cosima sets her sights on Kat's crush, she conjures up a dangerous love triangle.

As romance and longing swirl through every picturesque side street, the witches of Cambridge find their lives unexpectedly upended and changed in ways sometimes extraordinary, sometimes heartbreaking, but always enchanting.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

What They Say.....Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…

Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen. 

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded. 

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore… 

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of? 

Like a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows, you won’t want to put this deliciously heartwarming novel down. 

Spend the perfect Christmas in White Cliff Bay this year. Snowflakes on Silver Cove coming very soon.

What I Say....I've been saving Christmas at Lilac Cottage for the long Thanksgiving weekend and  I have to pat myself on the back, because it was the right choice!

I always love Holly Martin's books.  They are my favorite kind of chick lit.  Perfect, uncomplicated, romantic fun.  The best part is that it would be the dream romance, the perfect guy moves in next door, and within a few days you are completely in love.  No awkward dates, weird online profiles, or wishing you could just be home in your pajamas.  It could be that my favorite type of books are spoiling me for any  real human contact! LOL

I finished this book on the couch in front of a crackling fire with a cup of tea beside me.  And I was thinking this weekend was pretty close to perfect.

So if you are looking for a relaxing, Christmas read, look no further!  I've actually loved all of Holly Martin's books, so she's a go to author for me.

Current Goodreads Rating 4.12

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

My Very Best Friend by Cathy Lamb

What They Say.....From a childhood friendship sustained over years and distance, to a journey of discovery, Cathy Lamb’s poignant novel tells of two women whose paths converge with unforeseen results—and reveals the gift of connection, and the challenges that can change everything for the better…
Charlotte Mackintosh is an internationally known bestselling romance writer who has no romance, and remains a mystery to her fans. In fact, she has little in her life besides her work, her pampered cats, and her secluded home off the coast of Washington. And then there is her very best friend, Bridget, who lives in Scotland, where Charlotte lived until she was fifteen. Bridget, whom Charlotte hasn’t seen in twenty years, but continues to write to—though the replies have stopped. Hurt by the silence, an opportunity arises to find answers—and maybe much more.
Charlotte must finally return to Scotland to sell her late father’s cottage. It was his tragic death when Charlotte was fifteen that began her growing isolation, and the task is fraught with memories. But her plans are slowed when she’s confronted with the beautiful but neglected house, the irresistible garden—and Toran, Bridget’s brother. Capable and kind, Toran has the answers Charlotte seeks. And as she is drawn deeper into the community she thought she’d left behind, Charlotte learns not only more about her dear friend, but about herself—and discovers a new and unexpected path.

What I Say....This book was a first for me.  I didn't make myself finish it.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Cathy Lamb, and I have always enjoyed her books.  But this one was just not for me.  It was the dialogue.  Charlotte is a super uptight science lover who writes romance novels?  And her thought process is super uptight mixed with a lot of weird sex thoughts.  I don't mean weird sex thoughts.   I just mean weird, random sex thoughts that didn't fit the storyline.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!  I'm super thankful for all the great books I've received this year.  I hope everyone has a great turkey day surrounded by family and friends!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Preschooled by Anna Lefler

What They Say.....Behind the toddler-proof gate of Santa Monica’s exclusive Garden of Happiness, it’s the grown-ups who are getting schooled.

When new preschool parent Justine discovers that the man who broke her heart back in grad school is a dad in her daughter’s class, she tells herself she’s immune to the superficial charms of the ex she calls “the crapwizard.” But when his presence opens a time tunnel of potent memories from her life before motherhood, she must find a way to defuse her old attraction to him before it undermines her marriage.

Then there’s Ruben, rookie stay-at-home dad and standup comic who quits his day job to pursue his TV-writing dream on his wife’s condition that he take her place among the “power mommies” on the school committees.

And ruling the sand box with an iron fist is Margaret, whose ongoing divorce from her dentist-turned-New Age-surfer husband forces her to rely on her dubious people skills in order to keep the school that has become the cornerstone of her identity.

When the new school year kicks off with a flight-risk rabbit named Ozone, a school secretary in desperate need of a social filter, and some double-barreled committee recruiting tactics, it’s not all juice and cookies for Justine, Ruben, and Margaret as they struggle to play nice.

What I Say.....This book.  Man, this book.  It was okay, but for some reason I got stuck in it and I couldn't get out.   It wasn't a bad book, but it definitely wasn't setting me on fire.  

For a book about rich parents, half of them didn't seem very rich, and the kids were just scenery in the book.  I didn't get drawn into caring about any of the parents or the kids.

The owner of the preschool, Margaret, seemed to be based on an Oliver Kitteredge type character, but not strongly enough to really seem like an "iron fist".  

The characters all seemed cardboard to me, I didn't find myself believing that they were real people with real stories that I wanted to know about.
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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Weekly Book Haul......November 22, 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea, Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsThe Sunday Salon is a new facebook group I've joined and Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia to be Continued.

So I've spent the last week forcing myself to finish a book.  It wasn't a bad book, but it just wasn't that gripping to me.  And then I started another ARC earlier this week that WAS bad.  I mean, awful.  The dialogue was so stilted and awkward.  I was about 17% through it and taking a deep breath, when I had an epiphany.  I don't have to finish a book that I'm not enjoying.  Even if it is an ARC.  This blog was started as a hobby, for fun, I'm not making one cent on it.  

So my early New Year's Resolution is to not force myself to finish books I'm not enjoying.  I have too many great books waiting for me to read things I'm not enjoying.  This is a big step for me because I'm definitely one who needs to wrap things up.  Leaving things unfinished causes me great stress, but I'm determined to start reading only books that I enjoy.

I didn't request any ARC's over the last few weeks, as I keep trying to catch up, but I got a few physical copies in the mail from Booksparks this week.  I'm always excited to come home to books on the porch - best welcome home ever!


The Black Velvet Coat by Jill G. Hall....Twenty-eight-year-old struggling
SanFrancisco artist Anne McFarland is determined to get a one-woman show, even though no one, including herself, believes she can do it. But when she buys a coat at a thrift shop with a key in its pocket, strange, even magical, occurrences begin to unfold, and she is inspired to create her best work ever. Fifty years before, the coat’s original owner, young heiress Sylvia Van Dam, is headed toward a disastrous marriage with a scoundrel. In a split-second reaction, she does the unimaginable, which propels her destiny out of alignment and forces her on a trip of self-discovery to nature-filled Northern Arizona. 

When Anne and Sylvia’s lives intersect, they are both forced to face their fears―and in the process, they realize their true potential.

Go Clean, Sexy You by Lisa Consiglio Ryan.....Go Clean, Sexy You" not only
serves up a collection of delicious recipes, but offers a holistic approach on how to live a healthier life putting whole foods into your body, detoxing every season to regularly cleanse your system, associating with those who fuel you not bring you down, and managing stress with activities that bring you back to balance. 

A certified health and nutrition coach, author Lisa Consiglio Ryan provides straightforward guidance on how to overcome the obstacles that keep you from losing those last ten pounds, make you feel exhausted every afternoon, and compel you to indulge in unhealthy habits. 

Spending years struggling with a growing arsenal of health-destroying conditions that ranged from fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, candida and rosacea to cystitis and tons of allergies, Lisa decided to turn to nutrition and lifestyle to reclaim her health. Then pursuing her education with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she turned her personal quest into her vocation with the launch of Whole Health Designs. 

As a nationally acclaimed wellness expert, Lisa has worked with thousands in her detox programs. Her approach incorporates easy-to-adopt eating habits, free from counting calories and fat grams. As you navigate through the seasons with Lisa s whole food based detox plans, you ll be tapping into your body s wisdom, forming sustainable habits, and developing loving, respectful relationship with your body. Not only will you feel better, you ll look better too!

The Good Neighbor by A. J. Banner.....Shadow Cove, Washington, is the kind of town everyone dreams about—quaint streets, lush forests, good neighbors. That’s what Sarah thinks as she settles into life with her new husband, Dr. Johnny McDonald. But all too soon she discovers an undercurrent of deception. And one October evening when Johnny is away, sudden tragedy destroys Sarah’s happiness.
Dazed and stricken with grief, she and Johnny begin to rebuild their shattered lives. As she picks up the pieces of her broken home, Sarah discovers a shocking secret that forces her to doubt everything she thought was true—about her neighbors, her friends, and even her marriage. With each stunning revelation, Sarah must ask herself, Can we ever really know the ones we love?

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