Saturday, February 28, 2015

An Unusually Cloudy Day in My Life.......

Happy, happy Saturday!  

It's a cool, cloudy day here in Anthem, Arizona, which makes me happy.  We have an average of 296 days of sunshine per year.  It's awesome for a person like me who used to have awful winter blues when I lived in Illinois, but then you find yourself getting very excited when you finally have a cloudy day.  And none of us can stop talking about it when it actually rains!!

I feel like my life is in such a rut.  Last night, after a long week of work, I actually found myself smiling because I knew that I got to sleep in this morning. 

That's what excites me on a Friday night, the thought that I get to sleep in the next morning.

Pathetic.

I need something to get excited about.  But right now life feels like it's about work, and elderly dog who has less control over her bladder than my mother, and chores.  But I downloaded an app called Happify this morning, and it is pretty cool.  It definitely lifted my spirits a bit.  I played a game where I had to pop balloons that had positive words on them and avoid the negative words.  It sounds cheesy, but it was kind of cool (nerd alert).

I think the book you are reading can have such an impact on your mood, so I should be reading something fun and light today.  In fact, I wanted to start Book of Life today, but I'm caught up in The Daughter by Jane Shemilt.  It's got me hooked!

In the tradition of Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Ruth Rendell, this
compelling and clever psychological thriller spins the harrowing tale of a mother’s obsessive search for her missing daughter.
Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.
But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, Jenny’s seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide search with no success. Naomi has vanished, and her family is broken.
As the months pass, the worst-case scenarios—kidnapping, murder—seem less plausible. The trail has gone cold. Yet for a desperate Jenny, the search has barely begun. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, she’s still digging for answers—and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she’s trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Piecing together the traces her daughter left behind, Jenny discovers a very different Naomi from the girl she thought she’d raised. 

It's a page turner so far.  I don't know why I read these books.  As a mother of three girls, I worry anyway.  But I can't resist them!

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Anticipating the Weekend!


Thursday night is one of my favorite times of the week.  Because you know the next morning is Friday, and the end of the work week.

My least favorite night of the week is Sunday.  Because I know the next morning kicks off the rat race again.  I try to stave off the Sunday blues by getting a manicure (no gel, just straight OPI polish), and spending some time lost in a book, but Monday is always looming over my shoulder, breathing in my ear.

For me life is all about anticipation.  What's next?  What's tomorrow?  What's coming?

Sometimes it's even that way with the books I read.  Do you know that I waited and waited and still haven't read the final book in Deborah Harkness's trilogy, "
The Book of Life"?  I've been hoarding it, waiting for the right time.

The right time may be this weekend.  Our weather is predicted to be a cold, rainy one.  Doesn't happen often in Arizona, so I'm going to grab some blankets, my Kindle and enjoy a weekend on the couch.

I may start Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.  It has gotten great reviews, but i normally don't lean towards fantasy.  I actually don't know why I keep saying that, I've read a lot of fantasy, and I usually almost always enjoy it, but it's been more aimed at witches, vampires, etc.  Not dragons.  Added bonus, it's $1.99 at Kindle!



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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hush, Hush by Laura Lippman, and yes, children do change everything



What They Say.....Children change everything. 

Now the mother of a toddler, Tess Monagahan is short on time, patience, and 

energy. But with orthodontia and college tuition looming, she takes on a case 

outside of her comfort zone with her new partner, retired Baltimore P.D. 

homicide detective Sandy Sanchez. They’ve been hired to assess the security 

needs of a very rich, very beautiful, and very imperious woman named 

Melisandre, who has returned to Baltimore to reunite with her estranged 

daughters—and wants to capture the reunion on film for posterity.


It’s a gutsy and controversial move by a woman who relinquished her custody 

rights a decade ago. Especially when her youngest daughter died in her care—in 

what was determined to be an episode of post-partum psychosis. Or was it? 

Tess tries to ignore the discomfort she feels around Melisandre. But it’s difficult, 

especially after Melisandre becomes a prime suspect in a murder—and Tess 

realizes she has her own, very judgmental stalker. 



What I Say....I've always loved the Tess Monagahan books, but I think
must have missed one, because the last I remember Tess was on bedrest and now her daughter, Carla Scout is 3 years old.

But the best parts of the book weren't about Tess this time.

Melisandre was a mom who left her infant daughter in a hot car to die while in the throes of postpartum depression - or was it?

She has been living abroad for the last 10 years, and now has returned to participate in a documentary on the verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

I won't go into all the details of the book -but I did find the story to be really 
intriguing, trying to figure out exactly what had happened with the baby, who 
was leaving the anonymous notes, what happened to the ex-husband.

The ending left me a little disappointed, the author of the notes to Tess didn't
make a lot of sense.  I never really felt like I had a real answer to whether 
Melisandre had postpartum depression or not, so I walked away a little 
disappointed.


Current Goodreads Rating 3.97


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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books




This weeks Top Ten Tuesday list (weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is the My Top Ten Favorite Heroines.

As I made my list, it occurred to me that a lot of my favorite characters ended up being made into movies or TV series.  Some not so successful (Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum, I'm looking at you), some very successful (Anna Paquin as Sookie Steakhouse, I'm looking at you too.).

Anyway, here is my top ten list.  Mostly of women I'd like to be friends with in real life, or at least read a lot more about.

1.  Stephanie Plum.  I love all the early Janet Ivanovich books in the Stephanie Plum series.  Four to Score made me laugh out loud over and over.  Sally Sweet was an inspired character- I wish I could see him make a return appearance in the series.

I do think the last four Plum books have been obvious phone-ins by Evanovich, but early on, I loved Stephanie Plum!  I couldn't decide between Morelli and Ranger, so I couldn't expect her to.

2.  Penelope Keeling from The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher.  Penelope is exactly the old woman I want to grow up to be.   Hands down, one of my favorite books.

3.  Jemima J.  One of my favorite Jane Green novels.  Jemima is an overweight girl who remodels herself - but finds out she was pretty great all along.  Very inspiring and it's $1.99 right now!

4.  Bridget Jones.  The original, irrepressible Bridget.  Who makes me feel good about feeling like an idiot most days.

5.  Darcy from Something Borrow and Something Blue by Emily Giffin.  I liked Rachel more than Darcy in the first book, but by the end of the second book, I was Team Darcy all the way.  I hated Kate Hudson's portrayal of Darcy in the movie.

6.  Sally Owens in Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman.  Love Alice Hoffman, but her characters are usually so melancholy.  Sally was melancholy but unforgettable.  I think Sandra Bullock actually did a great job realizing that character on the screen.

7.  Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger.  I know most people thought Andie was the character to root for. But I thought there was a lot more to Miranda than most people saw.

8.  Sookie Stackhouse from Charlaine Harris.  I read all the books before I started watching the TV show.  I liked Sookie's spunky attitude, and the never ending hot men around didn't hurt the story!

9.  Cannie Shapiro from Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner.  Cannie was an awesome heroine.  She faced insecurity, heartbreak, career meltdowns and an unexpected pregnancy and she just kept going, one foot in front of the other.  Strong stuff, that one.

10.  Scarlett O'Hara.  Because duh.







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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Weekly Book Haul....Sunday, February 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.

Light week on the new books, but I bought a few.  I've been reading a bit, but I've been distracted with work issues, so I'm finding it hard to focus.  Does anyone else find work taking over their whole life?

However, I just started the new Laura Lippman book, "Hush, Hush", and it's really holding my interest.  It's about a woman who has killed her child while in a post partum depression psychosis, and has now returned to Baltimore.  It's another Tess Monaghan book, and I've always loved this series.

But here's what I did get.....

From NetGalley

Complete Yoga Workbook by Stella Weller....There are three natural
resources that can promote health and healing: our body, mind and breath – we just need to know how to put them to work. Based on ancient yoga teachings and principles, Complete Yoga Workbook provides the framework for modern-day yoga practice.
This essential book has something for everyone, no matter your age or gender. It tackles many common physical and psychological ailments such as arthritis, digestive problems, depression, anxiety, fatigue, menstrual problems, stress and allergies and much more. There’s essential advice and information on each problem, along with a sequence of easy yoga postures that can aid the discomfort. Each posture is clearly explained and illustrated with easy to follow step-by-step photography.
With simple daily yoga routines, advice on breathing and meditation, warming up and cooling down, what to wear, and how to practice yoga safely, Complete Yoga Workbook is the ultimate guide to improving your physical and mental wellbeing.

I used to practice yoga quite regularly, but I fell off the wagon and have had a hard time getting back up.  I'm hoping to be inspired!
What I Bought

Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson....Someone Else's Love
Story is beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love, and learning that things aren't always what they seem—or what we hope they will be.
Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced parents. She's got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up and falling in love with William Ashe, who willingly steps between the robber and her son.
Shandi doesn't know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It's been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his world. But William doesn't define destiny the way others do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in facts and numbers, destiny to him is about choice. Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.

I've always liked Joshilyn Jackson, "Backseat Saints" was one of my favorites!



We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir by Jennifer Coburn.....Jennifer Coburn has always been terrified of dying young. So she decides to save up and drop everything to travel with her daughter, Katie, on a whirlwind European adventure before it's too late. Even though her husband can't join them, even though she's nervous about the journey, and even though she's perfectly healthy, Jennifer is determined to jam her daughter's mental photo album with memories—just in case.
From the cafés of Paris to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Jennifer and Katie take on Europe one city at a time, united by their desire to see the world and spend precious time together. In this heartwarming generational love story, Jennifer reveals how their adventures helped vanquish her fear of dying...for the sake of living.

I'm hoping to be inspired by this.  I need to focus on the things that matter, and spending time with my daughters.

Party Girl by Rachel Hollis....Landon Brinkley’s dreams are all coming true.
She’s landed an internship with the fabulous Selah Smith, event planner for the Hollywood elite, taking her from small-town Texas to the bright lights of LA. Landon soon finds herself in a world in which spending a million dollars on an event—even a child’s birthday party—is de rigueur and the whims of celebrity clients are life-and-death matters. At first, the thrill of working on A-list parties and celebrity weddings is enough to get Landon through the seventy-five-hour workweeks and endless abuse at the hands of her mercurial boss. But when the reality of the business reveals itself, she’s forced to make a choice: do whatever it takes to get ahead, or stay true to herself.
Drawing on the author’s real-life experiences as an event planner to the stars, Party Girl takes readers on an adventure among Hollywood’s most beautiful—and most outrageous—people, revealing the ugly side of Hollywood’s prettiest parties.

This looks like a lightweight, fun read.  


In the Mail

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman....The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways. 

As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?


I'm not usually one for fantasy, but one of my BFF's tells me that this isn't heavy on fantasy.  Although, just the word dragon in the description makes me wonder if she isn't leading me down a garden path.......


What I Wrote

My Top Ten Book Related Problems

Wait For the Rain by Maria Murnane

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

A Giveway!


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Saturday, February 21, 2015

A New Giveaway starting on February 22, 2015!



a Rafflecopter giveaway








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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins





What They Say.....Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

What I Say....Every time the book blurb says "It's the next Gone, Girl", I do an inward eye-roll.  Don't get me wrong, I loved "Gone, Girl".  I had already read everything Gillian Flynn wrote before 'Gone, Girl" even became a thing.  But it's been a couple of years, let it go.  

But everyone was talking about "The Girl on the Train", so even though Amazon proclaimed it to be the next "Gone, Girl", I bought it because so many people I know were raving about it.

I don't know if my expectations were set too high, because I thought it was a good book, but it wasn't earth rocking for me.  I think in part because every single character was so despicable.  I really couldn't stand any of them, and Rachel most of all.  After many years of ER nursing, I truly cannot stand messy alcoholics, and that's all Rachel was.  At the end, I felt like the author was trying to get me to have pity on Rachel, but I didn't.  She was a blackout drunk, so she kind of left herself open to anyone rewriting her history.

It was definitely a good read, and I would read the author again, but i just felt kind of dirty after reading it.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wait for the Rain by Maria Murnane


Wait for the Rain by Maria Murnane
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (February 24, 2015)

What They Say....Daphne White is staring down the barrel of forty—and is distraught at what
she sees. Her ex-husband is getting remarried, her teenage daughter hardly needs her anymore, and the career she once dreamed about has somehow slipped from her grasp. She’s almost lost sight of the spirited and optimistic young woman she used to be.
As she heads off to a Caribbean island to mark the new decade with her best friends from college, Daphne’s in anything but the mood to celebrate. But when she meets Clay Hanson, a much younger man, she ignores her inner voice warning her that she’s too old for a fling. In fact, this tropical getaway might be the perfect opportunity to picture her future in a new sun-drenched light.
With the help of her friends, Daphne rediscovers her enthusiasm for life, as well as her love for herself—and realizes that her best years are still ahead.
What I Say....I have such a love/bore relationship with Maria Murnane's books.  One night as I surfed the internet searching for something to read, Amazon suggested that I read "Perfect on Paper", the first book in her Waverly series.  
I only made it through the first book in the series because it was just such a weird read for me.  There were parts that i really liked, then parts that felt so amateurishly written that they actually grated on my nerves.  The Honey notes especially just bugged me to no end.
But there was enough about it that I liked, that I took a chance on one of her books that I saw on NetGalley, called Katwalk (see my review here).  And I really liked that book.  I thought, yep, she's hit her stride, and now I'll watch for her.
So when I received a copy of Wait for the Rain from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, I was feeling pretty positive about it.  However, this book turned out to be pretty uneven, reminiscent of the Waverly book.  It started so slowly, and the dialogue felt very hokey.  
About halfway through, it picked up, and I wanted to follow it through to the end.  The storyline was good, and the setting was great, I just really struggled with the dialogue.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Top Ten Book Related Problems




This weeks Top Ten Tuesday list (weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is the My Top Ten Books Related Problems.

This was an easy list. Mostly because I don't consider them to be problems, more like issues.  And not really issues for me.  For example, if you watch TV with me, and you don't like that I read at the same time, that's your issue........

Is it any wonder I'm so happily divorced?  But onto my list of book related problems, here we go......

1.  Cleaning my house can be tricky.  I have stack of books on my bedside table, in baskets, on end tables.  This seems normal, until you realize you have a beautiful set of bookshelves that are currently holding some candles, dried flowers and pictures.  You know, anything but books.


2.  Sometimes when I'm in meetings, I appear to be paying great attention to the person speaking, but actually I'm wondering what the character in my current book is going to do next.


3.  My idea of watching TV includes an open book to read during commercials, or whenever the people talking start to bore me.


4.  No matter how bad a book is, no matter how bored I am or how aggravated I'm getting, I can't stop.  i have to follow it through to the end.  Which is weird, because I don't have any problem not following other things through to the end, like diets, exercise, and cleaning out closets.


5.  I'm not a good person to take to the movie based on a book.  I think the book is always better than the movie.  Gone With the Wind, Pet Sematary, Gone, Girl.  The books were always better.  There is only one exception, that is Bridget Jones' Diary.  In that case, the movie was as good as the book (but still not better).


6.  There are very few things I would rather be doing than reading.  Sometimes I tell myself to go out at night and do something new.  I always end up thinking I would have preferred to be at home reading.


7.  Losing my library card is almost as bad as losing my debit card.  Not so much anymore, thanks to the wonders of the auto save feature on my iPad, but not being able to put my hands on my library card when I want it causes me great anxiety.


8.  I can't sleep unless I read first.  So no matter how late I stay up, I have to get at least three chapters in before I can fall asleep.


9.  My greed is for books, not money.  But I would like to be like Scrooge McDuck, diving into an unlimited pool of books.  All the books ever in the world, mine, mine, mine.





10.  I pay for books twice.  Once for the initial purchase, then again to ship to my sister, who loves books just as much as I do,


Book problems are great probllems to have!


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Sunday, February 15, 2015

My Weekly Book Haul......February 15, 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.

Oh, what a week.  We've started to foster a dog each week so my time has been very occupied by keeping an eagle eye on the newest addition.  We keep the pup all week, then make sure it's at Petco on Saturday and Sunday for the adoption fairs.  My daughter is an animal lover and giving a dog a loving home until adoption gives her great satisfaction.  It gives me great anxiety.  I love dogs, but the work of watching them every minute makes me feel the grandmother from Flowers in the Attic.

But this was a great week for me, bookwise.  I got approvals from St. Martin's Press!  I was so excited, as I've said before,  I never get any book love from them and it bums me out because so many of my favorite writers are published by them.

So here's what came to me this week.......

From NetGalley

The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer....Sensible thirty-six-year-old Sophie Anderson has always known what to do. She knows her role in life: the supportive wife of a successful architect and calm, capable mother of two. But on a warm summer night, as the house grows quiet around her and her children fall asleep, she wonders what's missing from her life. When her husband echoes that lonely question, announcing that he's leaving her for another woman, Sophie realizes she has no idea what's next. Impulsively renting a guest cottage on Nantucket from her friend Susie Swenson, Sophie rounds up her kids, Jonah and Lacey, and leaves Boston for a quiet family vacation, minus one.

Also minus one is single parent Trevor Black, a software entrepreneur who has recently lost his wife. Trevor is the last person he would think could raise a little boy like Leo by himself at any age, much less at thirty. Leo's a sweet, smart boy, but he grapples constantly with his mother's death, growing more and more closed off. Hoping a quiet summer on the Nantucket coast will help him reconnect with Leo, Trevor rents a guest house on the beautiful island from his friend Ivan Swenson.

But best-laid plans run awry when Sophie and Trevor realize they've accidentally rented the same house. Determined to make this a summer their kids will always remember, the two agree to share the Swensons' Nantucket house. But as the summer unfolds and the families grow close, Sophie and Trevor must ask themselves if the guest cottage is all they want to share.

Beach house in Nantucket? Single mom meets single dad?  Count me in.

Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky.....Blueprints, the new novel from bestselling author Barbara Delinsky, 
is the story of two strong women, Caroline MacAfee, a skilled carpenter, and her daughter Jamie, a talented architect. The day after her 56th birthday, Caroline is told the network wants Jamie to replace her as the host on
 Gut It!, their family-based home construction TV show. The resulting rift couldn’t come at a worse time. 
For Jamie, life changes overnight when, soon after learning of the host shift, her father and his new wife die in a car accident that orphans their two-year-old son. Accustomed to organization and planning, she is now grappling with a toddler who misses his parents, a fiancé who doesn’t want the child, a staggering new attraction, and a work challenge that, if botched, could undermine the future of both MacAfee Homes and Gut It!
For Caroline, hosting Gut It! is part of her identity. Facing its loss, she feels betrayed by her daughter and old in the eyes of the world. When her ex-husband dies, she is thrust into the role of caregiver to his aging father. And then there’s Dean, a long-time friend, whose efforts to seduce her awaken desires that have been dormant for so long that she feels foreign to herself.
Who am I? Both women ask, as the blueprints they've built their lives around suddenly need revising. While loyalties shift, decisions hover, and new relationships tempt, their challenge comes not only in remaking themselves, but in rebuilding their relationship with each other.
Well, hello, Barbara Delinsky.  One of my favorite authors and this looks like it's going to be a good one.  Belinsky writes the angst of family life so well.
Summer Secrets by Jane Green....This is the one I'm most excited about.  It doesn't even have a blurb yet, but it doesn't matter.  It's Jane Green so it will be fabulous.





The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan....There are many reasons to bake: to feed; to create; to
impress; to nourish; to define ourselves; and, sometimes, it has to be said, to perfect. But often we bake to fill a hunger that would be better filled by a simple gesture from a dear one. We bake to love and be loved. 

In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookbook writer and wife of a supermarket magnate, published The Art of Baking, her guide to nurturing a family by creating the most exquisite pastries, biscuits and cakes. Now, five amateur bakers are competing to become the New Mrs. Eaden. There's Jenny, facing an empty nest now that her family has flown; Claire, who has sacrificed her dreams for her daughter; Mike, trying to parent his two kids after his wife's death; Vicki, who has dropped everything to be at home with her baby boy; and Karen, perfect Karen, who knows what it's like to have nothing and is determined her facade shouldn't slip. 

As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest pastry seems the least of the contestants' problems. For they will learn--as as Mrs. Eaden did before them--that while perfection is possible in the kitchen, it's very much harder in life.

This will be a new author to me, but we all know I'm a sucker for a great cover and orphaned kids.

The Beekeeper's Daughter by Santa Montefiore.....From the #1 internationally bestselling author, her
first book set in America, the story of a mother and daughter searching for love and happiness, unaware of the secrets that bind them. To find what they are longing for they must confront the past, and unravel the lies told long ago.

England, 1932: Grace Hamblin is growing up on the beautiful estate of the Marquess and Marchioness of Penselwood. The beekeeper’s daughter, she knows her place and what the future holds—that is until her father dies. Her childhood friend Freddie has recently become her lover, and she is thankful when they are able to marry and take over her father’s duties. But there is another man who she just can’t shake from her thoughts…

Massachusetts, 1973: Grace’s daughter Trixie Valentine is in love with an unsuitable young man. Jasper Duncliffe is wild and romantic, and in a band that might hit it big. But when his brother dies and he is called home to England, Jasper promises to come back for Trixie one day, if only she will wait for him. Grace thinks that Trixie is surely abandoned and tries to support her daughter, but Trixie brushes off her mother’s advice and comfort. She is confident that Jasper’s love for her was real…

Set on a fictional island off the coast of Massachusetts with charming architecture, beautiful landscape, and quirky islanders, The Beekeeper’s Daughter is “a multigenerational banquet of love…one of the most engrossing reads of my year” (Elin Hilderbrand).

Honestly, I don't even remember requesting this, but if it's good enough for Elin Hilderbrand, it's good enough for me.

Blogging for Books

What Are You Hungry For? by Deepak Chopra....After promoting this message worldwide for thirty years,
bestselling author Deepak Chopra focuses on the huge problem of weight control in America with exciting new concepts. 
What Are You Hungry For? is the breakthrough book that can bring weight under effortless control by linking it to personal fulfillment in every area of a reader's life.
 
What are you hungry for? Food? Love? Self-esteem?  Peace? In this manual for "higher health," based on the latest findings in both mainstream and alternative medicine, Deepak Chopra creates a vision of weight loss based on a deeper awareness of why people overeat - because they are trying to find satisfaction and wind up using food as a substitute for real fulfillment.  Repudiating the failed approaches of crash dieting and all forms of deprivation, Chopra's new book aims directly at the problem of finding fulfillment.  When that problem is solved, he argues, normal eating falls into place automatically, and the entire system of mind and body achieves what it really desires.
 
“Everyone’s life story is complicated, and the best intentions go astray because people find it hard to change,” writes Chopra. “Bad habits, like bad memories, stick around stubbornly when we wish they’d go away. But you have a great motivation working for you, which is your desire for happiness. I define happiness as the state of fulfillment, and everyone wants to be fulfilled. If you keep your eye on this, your most basic motivation, then the choices you make come down to a single question: “What am I hungry for?” Your true desire will lead you in the right direction. False desires lead in the wrong direction.”
 
Wherever you are in life, this book will help point you in that right direction.

Well, I certainly want a lighter soul, along with smaller thighs, so I'm going to give this a whirl.  I actually have a copy to giveaway to a reader of my blog as soon as I learn how to do the rafflecopter thing correctly.

What I Wrote

Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike in My ChickLit/Romance Books

Waiting on....Summer Secrets by Jane Green

A Murder of Magpies by Judith Green

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders

  • Print Length: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (February 24, 2015)
What They Say....It’s just another day at the office for book editor Samantha Clair.
Checking jacket copy for howlers, wondering how to break it to her star novelist that her latest effort is utterly unpublishable, lunch scheduled with gossipy author Kit Lowell, whose new book will deliciously dish the dirt on the fashion industry. But little does she know how much trouble Kit’s book is about to cause. Before it even goes to print. When police inspector Field turns up at the venerable offices of Timmins & Ross, asking questions about an undelivered package that was addressed to Sam, she knows something is wrong. The messenger sent to deliver the package was murdered, and then Kit goes missing. Suddenly, Sam's nine-to-five life is turned upside down and she is propelled into a criminal investigation. Someone doesn't want Kit's scandalous manuscript published and unless Sam can put the pieces together in time, they'll do anything to stop it.

What I Say....This is a debut author, and this is the kind of book I typically enjoy.  So I was really excited to get an ARC from NetGalley and St. Martins Press.

The mystery was interesting, and I liked being surprised at who the bad guy really was.  I hate when I can figure out whodunit in the first few chapters.

Samantha was a smart heroine, but I wasn't exactly rooting for her.  She seemed to staid for her age, but then she did things that didn't seem to match her character - sleeping with Jake so quickly, going off to Paris to investigate the rich and untouchable on her own.



I think the book could have been a little better if the author spent more time on developing her characters, and less time adding more twists of the mystery.  Sometimes it felt like there were TOO many characters, and I didn't know enough about any of them.

But the good part is that I wanted to know more about the characters.  Nothing is worse that when you are reading a book and don't really care what happens to the characters.  That's the worst.

This book was well definitely well written, and I would read the author again.  A good mystery for a cold night.

Current GoodReads rating 3.73

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Waiting on......Summer Secrets by Jane Green





"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's "can't-wait-to-read" book for me is:


Summer Secrets by Jane Green....Ta Da!  Right now, there is no description for this book, but it doesn't matter - it's Jane Green!!  My favoritest author!

I got an ARC of this today, and it completely made my day!!  St. Martin's Press publishes so many of my favorite authors, and they haven't showed me much love up until now.  Victory!!!

Can't wait to read it, and can't wait to review it.  It will be published on June 23, 2015.
 


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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Top Ten Things That I Like/Dislike in My Chick-Lit/Romance Books


This weeks Top Ten Tuesday list (weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is the Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike in My Chick-Lit/Romance books.
I've split this list in half.  Five of what I like, and five of what I don't like.  So hear you go authors, the recipe to write the perfect book for ME!



What I Dislike in My Chick-Lit/Romance Novels

  1. Too much flowery language.  I hate it when the characters start sounding like a soap opera.  I need my dialogue to sound like people I would be interested in eavesdropping on.  Not over the top drama queens.
  2. Too much gratuitous sex.  I'm all for sex if it moves the story line, but when it's just there and it's over the top, blech.  Gross.
  3. Graphic sex in a chick lit book.  I just read a book recently where this happened, and it turned me off the whole story.  If I'm reading chick lit, it's because I want a fun, flirty read.  If I wanted to read 50 Shades of Grey, I'd read 50 Shades of Grey.  If I'm reading Jane Green, I want to read Jane Green.
  4. Not enough/too many plot twists.  I don't want to go in a zig zag of twists, but I also don't like to be able to predict  everything that's going to happen.
  5. Boring characters.  I hate when a romantic story is built on a character who bores me.  When they can't make up their mind, or seem to be content to just let things happen to them.  Those people bore me in real life, so I definitely can't take it in a book.

What I Like in My Chick-Lit/Romance Novels

  1. The guy who gets introduced as the last guy that the character would ever be interested in.  It's even better if he seems to be totally unlikeable and uninterested, but as the book progresses, you find out who he really is.
  2. A little bit of a sexy scene.  I like to see some romance between the characters, and the longer it gets dragged out, the better.  A kiss can actually be sexy if it's done right.
  3. Some of my favorite books have featured a surprise pregnancy in an older character.  Since this is so out of the norm of chick lit (the only kind of romance I like), it's always an attention grabber for me.  See The Opposite of Maybe by Maggie Dawson.
  4. I like a smart character who might be a bit dumb in love.  It always makes me feel better when the character in my book is no better off than me.
  5. I like a happy ending.  It doesn't have to be the typical happy ending, but I want to know that everything turned out okay.  It gives me hope for the future.



What do you like to see in your Chick-Lit/Romance novels?
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Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Weekly Book Haul....February 8, 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.

A purposefully light week in new additions.  I'm getting bogged down on my TBR list, and it stresses me out.  I don't like it when reading starts feeling like work.



From NetGalley

If We Lived Here by Lindsey Palmer...Razor-sharp and thought-provoking, Lindsey J. Palmer’s
incisive new novel both celebrates and skewers modern relationships and their milestones, offering a witty and wise look at what it takes to commit—to love, to a home, and to the life that’s right for you.

After three years of dating and trading nights at their respective New York City apartments, Emma Feit and Nick O’Hare are moving in together. Or they will be, as soon as they find the right place. For two happily-in-love professionals—Nick’s a teacher, Emma tutors college-bound teens—with good credit and stellar references, how hard can it be? As it turns out, very—in ways that are completely unexpected.

Suddenly Emma is filled with questions about cohabiting, about giving up her freedom—not to mention about who’s going to clean the toilet. And while her best friend plans a dream wedding to her wealthy fiancé, and her older brother settles into suburban bliss, Emma must figure out what home means to her—and how on earth to get there. 

Here's a book I want to read because of the cover.  How cute is that keychain?


From Edelweiss

The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell.... In the early hours of a summer morning, a young woman steps
into the path of an oncoming bus. A tragic accident? Or suicide?

At the center of this puzzle is Adrian Wolfe, a successful architect and grief-stricken widower, who, a year after his third wife’s death, begins to investigate the cause. As Adrian looks back on their brief but seemingly happy marriage, disturbing secrets begin to surface. The divorces from his two previous wives had been amicable, or so it seemed; his children, all five of them, were resilient as ever, or so he thought. But something, or someone, must have pushed Maya over the edge…

With psychological nuance that gets into the heart of its characters, The Third Wife is a gripping story about a man seeking the truth behind his seemingly perfect marriage and the broken pieces left behind. 


I read Lisa Jewell's, "The House I Grew Up In", and I loved it!!  I can't wait to get started on this.


I Bought

Swimming Home by Ruth Mancini....Lizzie’s life hasn’t exactly gone to plan. Eighteen years ago,
she made the difficult decision to leave London for Paris to escape her best friend’s fiancé, the man who’d attacked her and turned her world upside down. Secure in the belief that she and her daughter, Helena, are now safe from harm, Lizzie contemplates her future. But is the nightmare really over?

When the captivating Sky Donoghue comes along, pulling Helena into dangerous waters, Lizzie’s strength and judgement are put to the test. Just how far should she go to save her daughter? How far will she go to save herself?


I don't know exactly why I bought this - impulse purchase, but it has good reviews on Goodreads.

Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich....Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich is a rollicking
and poignant romantic comedy about a young widow who decides to get in shape...and winds up getting her groove back—and a whole lot more!

Holly Brennan used food to comfort herself through her husband’s illness and death. Now she’s alone at age thirty-two. And she weighs more than she ever has. When fate throws her in the path of Logan Montgomery, personal trainer to pro athletes, and he offers to train her, Holly concludes it must be a sign. Much as she dreads the thought of working out, Holly knows she needs to put on her big girl panties and see if she can sweat out some of her grief.

Soon, the easy intimacy and playful banter of their training sessions lead Logan and Holly to most intense and steamy workouts. But can Holly and Logan go the distance as a couple now that she’s met her goals—and other men are noticing?


I've been wanting to read this forever - Amazon has it right now for $1.99 so get on it!


In My Mailbox

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin....The author of the blockbuster New York Times
bestsellers, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, tackles the critical question: How do we change?

Gretchen Rubin's answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.

So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits?

Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin’s compelling voice, rigorous research, and easy humor, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, Better than Before explains the (sometimes counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation.

Along the way, Rubin uses herself as guinea pig, tests her theories on family and friends, and answers readers’ most pressing questions—oddly, questions that other writers and researchers tend to ignore:

• Why do I find it tough to create a habit for something I love to do?
• Sometimes I can change a habit overnight, and sometimes I can’t change a habit, no matter how hard I try. Why?
• How quickly can I change a habit?
• What can I do to make sure I stick to a new habit?
• How can I help someone else change a habit?
• Why can I keep habits that benefit others, but can’t make habits that are just for me?

Whether readers want to get more sleep, stop checking their devices, maintain a healthy weight, or finish an important project, habits make change possible. Reading just a few chapters of Better Than Before will make readers eager to start work on their own habits—even before they’ve finished the book.


I need to learn to make some new habits!

What I Blogged

Single, Carefree and Mellow by Katherine Heiny

Winter at the Door by Sarah Graves

Top Ten Books I Can't Believe I Haven't Read

It Started at Sunset Cottage by Bella Osborne



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