Event: The Rules of You and Me by Shana Morris

The Rules of You and Me by Shana Norris
Release Date: June 17, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Event organized by: AToMR Tours

Book Description:
Hannah Cohen has always lived her life by a set of carefully constructed rules to maintain the image of perfection. But now, the rules aren't helping control the chaos that is quickly taking over.

Opting out of spending the summer in Paris with her mom, Hannah instead heads to the mountains of North Carolina to stay with her aunt. The Blue Ridge Mountains provide a barrier between Hannah and the rest of the world, a safe haven where her secrets can be forgotten.

When Hannah crosses paths with Jude Westmore, a guy who hangs a different shirt from the tree in his front yard every day, she finds herself breaking out of the comfort of her rules and doing things she had never dared before. As the summer passes, Hannah and Jude grow closer and make up their own rules for dealing with life.

But when the secret Hannah has tried to forget is finally revealed, even the new rules can't save her from possibly losing everything--including Jude.

This young adult romance is a standalone companion novel to Shana Norris's The Boyfriend Thief.

I caught sight of a shirt hanging from the same tree on the corner again and I slowed to a stop on the empty street to study it. It could have been just a shirt that was hung there and forgotten, maybe leftover from a yard sale. But I could have sworn that the shirt I’d seen before was red plaid. Today, a blue button up shirt hung from the tree branch, the sleeves flapping back and forth in the wind.

My gaze focused just beyond the tree and I saw a familiar dusty gray truck parked in the driveway of the house. The hood was up and as I watched, a figure emerged from the other side of the truck, wiping his hands on a dirty rag.

Jude Westmore. Shirtless.

He obviously didn’t spend his spare time laying around on the couch watching TV. Lightly muscled arms led up to a pair of broad shoulders that met a chiseled chest and abs. He had the kind of tan you got from working outside in the sun. The tattoo on his arm was a band, some kind of tribal design that wrapped around a nicely shaped bicep.

I leaned forward, my hands gripping the steering wheel until my fingers started to tingle.


I jumped back, slamming the back of my head against my seat and held my hands up away from the steering wheel. My gaze darted back toward the gray truck, hoping by some miracle he hadn’t heard me accidentally blare my car horn at him.

But no such luck. Jude straightened, shielding his eyes with one hand as he looked directly at me. Would I look too much like a stalker if I sped away? Did he remember that this was my car?

I lifted one hand and gave a small wave. I didn’t know what else to do.


About the Author

Most days, Shana Norris still feels like she's stuck at sixteen, which is probably why she enjoys writing about teens. She lives in a small town in eastern North Carolina with her husband and small zoo of pets, which currently includes two dogs, five cats, and five chickens.

Author social media links:


Review: Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall

Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall
Expected Publication: July 2, 2013
Format: E-ARC provided by Edelweiss
Publisher: Galley Books
Rating: 5/5

Summary via Goodreads
The summer of 1963 begins like any other for nine-year-old Starla Claudelle. Born to teenage parents in Mississippi, Starla is being raised by a strict paternal grandmother, Mamie, whose worst fear is that Starla will turn out like her mother. Starla hasn’t seen her momma since she was three, but is convinced that her mother will keep her promise to take Starla and her daddy to Nashville, where her mother hopes to become a famous singer—and that one day her family will be whole and perfect.

When Starla is grounded on the Fourth of July, she sneaks out to see the parade. After getting caught, Starla’s fear that Mamie will make good on her threats and send her to reform school cause her to panic and run away from home. Once out in the country, Starla is offered a ride by a black woman, Eula, who is traveling with a white baby. She happily accepts a ride, with the ultimate goal of reaching her mother in Nashville.

As the two unlikely companions make their long and sometimes dangerous journey, Starla’s eyes are opened to the harsh realities of 1963 southern segregation. Through talks with Eula, reconnecting with her parents, and encountering a series of surprising misadventures, Starla learns to let go of long-held dreams and realizes family is forged from those who will sacrifice all for you, no matter if bound by blood or by the heart.

My Thoughts
Whistling Past the Graveyard is just one of those books that will stay with you forever. It’s funny, witty, great characters and will no doubt touch your heart. Starla, the mainly character is nine years old and a spitfire if there was ever one. She’s sassy and takes nothing from nobody, not even her grandmother who bumps heads with at every chance they can. One day after deciding she can’t take it anymore Sharla decides she will run off and find her mother who left her years ago to become a singer. That one action changes her whole life and from then on sets off a series of actions she could never imagine.

She meets Eula, and African American woman who helps her along the way. However when they go to Eula’s house her husband is less pleased to find out they have company. He is an awful man who beats Eula and wants to kill Starla. One night Starla decides to escape and while Eula husband’s decides to end Starla’s life Eula kills him to save both of them. Needless to say they go on the run and Eula vows to take Starla to Nashville to find her mom.

In series of events that lead them to a small town, Starla starts to learn how cruel the world is in the 60’s south. Starla is forced to realize how not everyone is tolerate of all people. They are two unlikely people together who find a way to help each other out.

Once they reach Nashville Starla is hit hard with the fact that the fantasies she had of her mother are far from the truth.  She’s isn’t a famous singer just a woman who didn’t want her child. Starla’s heart is torn beyond repair and the only one she wants to comfort her is Eula. By the end her one action of running away Starla has grown way beyond her years. She was faced with many hard facts in her journey, but once home is thankful for all that she does have.

This book is just a masterpiece in my eyes. It’s one family, loyalty and family and shows that all those things don’t necessarily have to do with being blood related. It will make you laugh and shed a tear all at the same time. If you read any book this year make an effort to read this one.


Feature & Follow Friday

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

Gain new followers and make new friends! Or just check out the weekly questions and see what others respond.

Q: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, Paperback etc?

A: Well to be honest I like them all, although I like them for different reasons.

Hardback: Because they look pretty on my bookshelf.

E-books: Although I said I would never get a E-reader I LOVE my Kindle! These things can be dangerous to my book buying habit.  Honestly how many of us can get little trigger happy? It makes it so easy to just click and buy a book.

Paperback: If I just HAVE to have a physical copy of a book this is the cheapest way to go. Plus in my opinion it’s the easiest. They are light and easy to carry, just throw it in your bag and go.

Please feel free to share. Old and New followers please follow via Bloglovin'. Also feel free to friend me on Goodreads. Thanks!


WoW [34]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s WoW feature is:

Perfect Ruin [The Internment Chronicles #1]
by Lauren DeStefano
Expected Publication: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BYR

Summary via Goodreads...
On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.

Why I Can’t Wait....
The description sounds so AMAZING! I heard a lot of good things of Lauren DeStefano so I figured this would be the perfect book to check out.


Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I've Read so Far in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
This week topic…
Best Books I’ve Read So Far in 2013
While most are new books… two are old ones that I just read this year.

That’s my Top Ten…what’s yours?


Review: The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe

The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe
Expected Publication: June 25, 2013
Format: E-ARC provided via Edelweiss
Publisher: Galley Books
Rating: 4/5

Summary via Goodreads
Three sisters reunite on Sullivan’s Island off the coast of South Carolina after years of separation in this heartwarming first novel in a new trilogy from a beloved author. Eighty-year-old Marietta Muir is a dowager of Charleston society who has retired to her historic summer home on Sullivan’s Island. At the onset of summer, Marietta, “Mamaw,” seeks to gather her three granddaughters—Carson, Eudora, and Harper—with the intent to reunite them after years apart. Monroe explores the depths and complexities of sisterhood, friendship and the power of forgiveness.

My Thoughts
Resentment, secrets and family is just some of the themes that run through this wonderful story of The Muir family. Three very different sisters are summoned by their grandmother to spend the summer with her and each other before she sells the beloved family summer house. We are told the story of the three Muir granddaughters who spent all their summers with their grandparents, especially after their father’s death. While each of the sisters has dealt with their father’s death in different ways, the oldest sister Carson is the only one who knows the real truth to their father’s death. Each sister comes to the beach house with their own drama; never realizing that one place [the beach house] they didn’t want to visit again, is the one place that magically helps change each of their lives.

This is my first venture into a Mary Alice Monroe book but I can honestly say it won’t be my last. She is known for her wonderfully written novels about family and many of them focus on summer time as the setting. This is the first installment of her new series. In this one we are vaguely introduced to all the Muir clan but it mainly focuses on Carson. It’s just my guess that in each of the following books will focus more on each remaining sister.

If you are looking for a good family based summer read pick this one up. It has all the elements of a classic summer book. It’s light, funny and touching all at the same time and I know you will surely enjoy it as much as I have. I can’t wait for the next one!


Review: Girls Like Us: Carloe King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon by Shelia Weller

Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon-and the Journey of a Generation
By Shelia Weller
Published: April 14, 2009
Format: Purchased copy
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary via Goodreads
A groundbreaking and irresistible biography of three of America's most important musical artists -- Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon -- charts their lives as women at a magical moment in time.

Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Each woman is distinct. Carole King is the product of outer-borough, middle-class New York City; Joni Mitchell is a granddaughter of Canadian farmers; and Carly Simon is a child of the Manhattan intellectual upper crust. They collectively represent, in their lives and their songs, a great swath of American girls who came of age in the late 1960s. Their stories trace the arc of the now mythic sixties generation -- female version -- but in a bracingly specific and deeply recalled way, far from cliché. The history of the women of that generation has never been written -- until now, through their resonant lives and emblematic songs.

Girls Like Us is an epic treatment of midcentury women who dared to break tradition and become what none had been before them -- confessors in song, rock superstars, and adventurers of heart and soul.

My Thoughts
I've had my eye on this book for a long time. Being a huge music fan I love reading music bios, and my favorites are the ones about classic rock/folk singers from the 60’s and 70’s. I don’t know why but I just really love that era of music. I guess mainly because in my eyes that’s when music was at its finest. There was so much going on in the world at that time that its affects definitely made a huge impact on the world of music.

So when I saw this book focusing on my three favorite singers how could I resist? I went into it mainly wanting to read up on Joni and Carole but it’s the story of Carly that really took me by surprised. What I really loved about this book that it dug in deep into each of these ladies lives. It had a great balance of their background, how they made their way to do what they loved, and yes all the men in their lives. It wasn't too gossipy which bios can be.

If there was one thing that truly took away from this great book it would have to be the ever ending footnotes! I mean I’m one of those nerdy chicks who loves looking at footnotes and discovering more facts but serious there is a thing called “overdoing it.” I mean at over 600 pages I’m really thinking a quarter of this book is footnotes. Ok maybe not but it feels like it. Some pages are literally half in footnotes. As much as I had a problem with that it couldn’t take away for the love I have for this wonderfully written book.

This is for anyone who loves music or is interested in learning how women played a huge part in the 60’s rock era.


Feature and Follow Friday

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.
Gain new followers and make new friends! Or just check out the weekly questions and see what others respond.

Q: Share your favorite literary quote.

A: Wow how can I pick from so many?? If I have to choose…here’s my favorite literary quote…
I love this quote because it’s one that can speak too many of us. I feel like sometimes we don’t always feel like we deserve good things in life, for whatever reason. Sometimes people settle for the now and don’t want to wait for real thing. I believe in never settling, we all deserve the best!

Feel free to share, please leave your link below. You can follow via Bloglovin and email. Also feel free to friend me on Goodreads. Thanks!


WoW [33]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s WoW feature is:

The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
Expected Publication: August 20, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books

Summary via Goodreads...
For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now . . . not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?

Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.

And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them.

Why I Can’t Wait....
The description sounds so AMAZING! I love a great love story, especially one that plays out and is never rushed. Can’t wait to devour, what seems like a story I won’t be able to forget.

That’s what I’m waiting for…please share yours.
*If you like feel free to follow me via Bloglovin'...thanks!


Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
This week topic…
My Summer TBR List
These are books I currently have in my possession that I hope *fingers crossed*  I will have read before the end of summer.

 That’s my Top Ten…what’s yours?
* If you like feel free to follow me now via Bloglovin'... thanks!


Review: Island Girls by Nancy Thayer

Island Girls by Nancy Thayer
Published: June 18, 2013
Format: ARC provided by publisher
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Rating: 4/5

 Summary via Goodreads
Charming ladies’ man Rory Randall dies with one last trick up his sleeve: His will includes a calculating clause mandating a summer-long reunion for his daughters, all from different marriages—that is, if they hope to inherit his posh Nantucket house. Relations among the three sisters are sour thanks to long-festering jealousies, resentments, and misunderstandings. Arden, a successful television host in Boston, hasn’t been back to the island since her teenage years, when accusations of serious misbehavior led to her banishment. College professor Meg hopes to use her summer to finish a literary biography and avoid an amorous colleague. And secretive Jenny, an IT specialist, faces troubling questions about her identity while longing for her sisters’ acceptance.

To their surprise, the three young women find their newfound sisterhood easier to trust than the men who show up to complicate their lives. And if that weren’t problematic enough, their mothers descend on the island. When yet another visitor drops by the house with shocking news, the past comes screaming back with a vengeance. Having all the women from his life under his seaside roof—and overseeing the subsequent drama of that perfect storm—Rory Randall might just be enjoying a hearty laugh from above.

My Thoughts
This book has everything I love in a great summer read. It has the beach, family, secrets and love. It all starts with three sisters coming together after their father’s death. In order inherit his beach house they must spend the entire summer together or lose out on everything. While a false accusation when they were young cause two of the sisters growing up not really knowing their father. It causes resentment and hatred between all the sisters and all their mothers.

While each one went into this with the intention of only money, all the sisters end up becoming close and realizing all that they missed out on. They come together themselves and not only restore their relationship between themselves but also with their moms. In restoring their sisterhood they also found more about themselves and each grew as a person like never before.

Just when they thought they had hashed out all their old problems and settled them, they realized dear old dad had one more secret. The secret? Another woman…his mistress, who decides she wants a piece of the action and is, set out to get what she “thinks” she deserves. Talk about drama! Nothing screams beach read then a little drama.

This is my first forte regarding a book by Nancy Thayer and I think she’s so fabulous! Why have I waited so long??!! She’s now my new [to me] go to author for awesome summer reads. You can almost feel the Nantucket sun on your face and feel the sand between your toes. I highly enjoyed this book and I know you will too.


Review: The Widow Waltz by Sally Koslow

The Widow Waltz by Sally Koslow
Published: June 13, 2013
Format: Finished copy via publisher
Publisher: Viking
Rating: 3.5/5

Summary via Goodreads
Georgia Waltz has things many people only dream of: a plush Manhattan apartment overlooking Central Park, a Hamptons beach house, valuable jewels and art, two bright daughters, and a husband she adores, even after decades of marriage. It’s only when Ben suddenly drops dead from a massive coronary while training for the New York City Marathon that Georgia discovers her husband—a successful lawyer—has left them nearly penniless. Their wonderland was built on lies.

As the family attorney scours emptied bank accounts, Georgia must not only look for a way to support her family, she needs to face the revelation that Ben was not the perfect husband he appeared to be, just as her daughters—now ensconced back at home with secrets of their own—have to accept that they may not be returning to their lives in Paris and at Stanford subsidized by the Bank of Mom and Dad. As she uncovers hidden resilience, Georgia’s sudden midlife shift forces her to consider who she is and what she truly values. That Georgia may also find new love in the land of Spanx and stretch marks surprises everyone—most of all, her.

 Sally Koslow’s fourth novel is deftly told through the alternating viewpoints of her remarkable female protagonists as they plumb for the grit required to reinvent their lives. Inspiring, funny, and deeply satisfying, The Widow Waltz explores in a profound way the bonds between mothers and daughters, belligerent siblings, skittish lovers, and bitter rivals as they discover the power of forgiveness, and healing, all while asking, what is family, really?”

My Thoughts
The Widow Waltz is a tale of a widow whose life is turned upside down after the sudden death of her husband. Georgia Waltz and her daughters lived a very comfortable life, however while dealing with the aftermath and settling her husbands will she is dealt another unbelievable blow. He left her virtually penniless. While trying to find out what all he was doing with their money she finds out something she could never imagine…her adoring husband was having an affair. While I won’t spoil the book for you, the book continues with how she deals with these new found revelations and other things you can’t believe.

I enjoyed the storyline and the cast of characters. It explores how one learns to deal with the things that life throws are way. Showing how no matter how bad you think you have it, it all eventually gets better and you become way stronger than you could ever have predicted.

This is a wonderfully written story of hope, family and most important self-discovery, which allows us to know that we aren’t alone when life throws us obstacles.


Feature and Follow Friday

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.
Gain new followers and make new friends! Or just check out the weekly questions and see what others respond.

Q: Activity: Spine Poetry. Create a line of poetry with your book spines (take a picture). Not feeling creative? Tell us about your favorite poem.

Please feel free to share. You can follow via GFC, email, or bloglovin’. Also feel free to friend me on Goodreads. Thanks!


Wow [32]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s WoW feature is:

This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready
Expected Publication: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Summary via Goodreads...
Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.

But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined.

Why I Can’t Wait....
Just seems like a fresh new kind of story to me. I feel like it will be an awesome and intriguing read and will sure keep me interested the whole book though. The only bad thing? I’ll have to wait until next year. Boo! Lol.

That’s what I’m waiting for…please share yours.


Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
This week topic…
Summer Reads
I thought I would honor some of favorite authors whom I view as my go to for awesome summer reads. Plus two books by my [new to me] favorite author Joshilyn Jackson.

  That’s my Top Ten…what’s yours?


Review: Reality Ends Here by Alison Gaylin

Reality Ends Here by Alison Gaylin
Published: June 10, 2013
Format: E-Arc provided byNetGalley
Publisher: Pocket Star
Rating: 3/5

Summary via Goodreads
With a major crush on an adorable pop star, annoying younger siblings, and a mom and stepdad who are too strict, Estella Blanchard is a typical teenage girl-except that her daily struggles are plotlines on the reality show, Seven Is Heaven, which relentlessly documents her life as the older half-sister of sextuplets. Estella's an Oscar-worthy actress at hiding her true feelings from the camera.

However, she can't outrun the spotlight when she receives a Christmas present from her biological father...who died ten years ago under mysterious circumstances. Blamed for this "sick prank," Estella is placed in an unorthodox support group for troubled child stars-including a twenty-three-year-old has-been, a backstabbing drama queen, and a super-cute (but very off-limits) boy bander. And, as weird as the group is, when a creepy paparazzo starts stalking her, claiming that her dad is actually alive, Estella's going to need their help to uncover the truth and stay alive.

My Thoughts
All in all I thought this book was ok. I didn’t love it but it wasn’t awful either. It’s a very quick read, read it in just one sitting. I liked the premise of the book I just felt something was missing. I felt the “romance” between Estella and her love interest was well lacking…romance. I didn’t feel the connection between these two. No sparks, I thought they made better friends than potential boyfriend/girlfriend.

I did feel that it captured the right feel of the whole reality television vibe that’s going on right now. Showing how everything isn’t as it seems, that in actuality “reality” isn’t really real at all. Everyone it seems wants their 15 minutes of fame; even if it means hurting and exploiting those they “love”.


Feature & Follow Friday

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.
Gain new followers and make new friends! Or just check out the weekly questions and see what others respond.

Q: Have you broken up with a series? If so which one and why?

A: I haven’t actually broken up with any series. I tend not to read many too begin with. I have to really want to read the first book because I feel a series is so much of a commitment. However sometimes the series is so good you can’t help but to be drawn in.

Please feel free to share. You can follow via GFC, email, or bloglovin’. Also feel free to friend me on Goodreads. Thanks!


WoW [31]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s WoW feature is:

Hereafter [Shadowlands #2] by Kate Brian
Expected Publication: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Summary via Goodreads...
Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. But a fresh start on Juniper Landing Island was exactly what she and her family needed. For the first time in years she and her sister hang out at the beach, gossip about boys, and party together. She's also made friends with a local clique--including a magnetic and mysterious boy named Tristan.

But Rory's world is about to change again. Picturesque Juniper Landing isn't what it seems. The truth about the swirling fog that rolls in each morning, the bridge that leads to nowhere, and those beautiful locals who seem to watch Rory's every move is more terrifying than being hunted by Steven Nell. And all Rory ever wanted was the truth. Even if it means learning that she can never go home again.

Why I Can’t Wait....
I’m actually so excited since I don’t have to wait. I received my ARC yesterday! I love this series. If you haven’t read Shadowlands please do, it’s a really great read and will have you gripped until the surprise ending. Can’t wait to dive in and sees how it all plays out.

That’s what I’m waiting for…please share yours.


Top Ten Tuesday: Books ft. Travel

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
This week topic…

That’s my Top Ten…what’s yours?