10.31.2014

October Wrap-Up

HAPPY  HALLOWEEN!! 

Where has the time gone? It just seems like the months are flying by! However I’m so excited because my fave months are coming and I can’t wait. I can taste the turkey and dressing as we speak. Besides all the good food to come I can’t wait to be surrounded with lots of family. Plus we are supposed to get some “cold” weather this weekend…I love it!  Now it’s about that time to share what I’ve read, bought, and received from publishers so here we go…

Read this month…

*Mistletoe on Main Street by Olivia Miles
Second Chance Christmas by Shawn Inmon
*Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
*The Perfect Gift by Dani Lyn Alexander
Christmas Angel by Regina Duke
The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
*My True Love Gave to Me by various YA authors

*- my super faves = BUY IT!

Received from publishers [physical books]…
Make You Remember by Macy Beckett
Saving Grace by Jane Green
My True Love Gave to Me by various YA authors
Caged in Winter by Brighton Walsh
Stillwater Rising by Steena Holmes
Wild Tales by Graham Nash
When We Met by A.L. Jackson, Molly McAdams, Tiffany King and Christina Lee
Surrender by June Gray
A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill
Driftwood by Elizabeth Dutton

Thanks to Penguin Berkeley/NAL, St. Martin’s Press, Random House and Skyhorse Publishing

Received via NetGalley/Edelweiss…
*Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson
The Little Christmas Kitchen by Jenny Oliver
*Mistletoe Mansion by Samantha Tonge
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
*In the Cards by Jamie Beck
*Driving Home for Christmas by A.L. Michaels
A Very Married Christmas by Erika Marks
*Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
*Twisted Fate by Norah Olson
*This Christmas by Katlyn Duncan
*Holding Holly by Julie Brannagh
Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla Payne

*Super excited for

Top Reads for November

This Christmas by Katlyn Duncan
Holding Holly by Julie Brannagh
Stillwater Rising by Steena Holmes

What I’m excited for in November
Family, food and lots of fun
Holiday shopping
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Please let me know what goodies you got this month and/or what your plans are for the holidays. Be sure to leave me a link to your wrap-up.

10.29.2014

WoW [95]

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

What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi
Expected Publication: August 1, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks

Synopsis...
What You Left Behind is about a teen wrestling with the guilt that if he hadn't gotten his girlfriend pregnant, she wouldn't have postponed her chemo treatments – and would still be alive. But as Ryden struggles to be a good father and grieve his girlfriend's death, he uncovers secrets that will make him reconsider every relationship in his life.

Why I Can’t Wait…
I love how we get to see the guys point of view on this one. When it comes to teen parents we only really see the females prospective and is a breath of fresh air. I sense the feels a comin’!

Feel free to link me to yours.

10.28.2014

Book Promo: Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster

BITTER IS THE NEW BLACK [NAL Trade Paperback] by the hilarious Jen Lancaster. Penguin is dropping the e-book price to $2.99 from 10/28-11/5 [tying in with a BookBub promotion on 10/31]! The price should be dropped tomorrow on all online retailers.


BITTER IS THE NEW BLACK was the one that started it all! This is the story of how a haughty former sorority gal went from having a household income of almost a quarter-million dollars to being evicted from a ghetto apartment in less than two years.  It's a modern Greek tragedy, as defined by Roger Dunkle in The Classical Origins of Western Culture: a story in which "the central character, called a tragic protagonist or hero, suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and therefore meaningless, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected." In other words? The bitch had it coming.

Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon/ BN








About the Author
Jen Lancaster is the New York Times bestselling author of ten books. She has appeared on the Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, andNPR’s All Things Considered. She resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and their ever-expanding menagerie of ill-behaved pets. 
Author websites
jennsylvania.com
facebook.com/AuthorJenLancaster
twitter.com/altgeldshrugged

10.24.2014

Music [Book] Spotlight: Record Collecting for Girls by Courtney E. Smith

Record Collecting for Girls by Courtney E. Smith
Published: September 6, 2011
Format: purchased copy
Publisher: Mariner Books
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
You never leave home without your iPod. You’re always on the lookout for new bands, and you have strong opinions when it comes to music debates, like Beatles vs. Stones. For years, you’ve listened to guys talk about all things music, but the female perspective has been missing. Until now.

Drawing on her personal life as a music enthusiast, as well as her experience working at MTV and in radio, Courtney E. Smith explores what music can tell women about themselves—and the men in their lives. She takes on a range of topics, from the romantic soundtracks of Romeo and Juliet to the evolution of girl bands. She shares stories from her own life that shed light on the phenomenon of guilty pleasures and the incredible power of an Our Song. Along the way, she evaluates the essential role that music plays as we navigate life’s glorious victories and its soul-crushing defeats. Finally, here is a voice that speaks to women—because girls get their hearts broken and make mix tapes about it, too.

My Thoughts
For me this book get all the right notes. While it read a little like a female version of High Fidelity I liked how it didn’t read like a conventional read but more like lists and essays. The whole point that this is a female’s perspective of music is like a breath of fresh air. I’ve read a ton of music books and 90% are by male writers which are okay but to see a females view on the subject is quite interesting. As for myself I always connect music to aspects of my live, certain songs can trigger a moment or emotion like nothing else can.

I enjoy reading how she breaks down subjects into list and discusses band against band. I love her top five list some very serious others just down right funny. In reading this I found we shared a lot of the same opinions on music while some left me scratching my head, in a good way. But that’s what I love about music, no one will have the same opinion on a song or album much less an artist. Every song will be taken differently from one person to the next. This is one of books that will bring back memories and brought back some music I forgot about. It makes you laugh at times when she talks about personal experiences but definitely makes you reminisce on songs that touch your soul. For anyone who loves music as much as I do this is one book that you should check out.  

10.23.2014

Book Blitz + Giveaway: I Need You by Jane Lark



I Need You by Jane Lark
Published: October 23, 2014
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Add to Goodreads
Buy : Amazon / BN

Synopsis
Guilt can eat away at you, but love can cut like a knife…

Wanting after his best friend’s girlfriend is a cliché Billy knows well – it’s the tightrope he’s walked for years. But now Jason and Lindy have broken up and Billy can’t help but be there for the girl he’s loved from afar for so long. She’s hurting.
Fighting to find a road to the future, Lindy’s heart hurts. She’s trying to escape the truth, but Billy keeps making her face it – and it’s ugly. How can she keep living when everything is made of glass and it keeps shattering? Her one constant is Billy. Only, rebound isn’t his style and when Lindy starts to see him in a different light, he just can’t trust her. He’s no one’s second best.
AUTHOR BIO
Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult romance and author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Novel,'The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, as well as a Kindle overall Top 25, bestselling author. She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis. When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write. Now Jane is writing a Regency series as well as contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others' imaginations at last. You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane's favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was 'Katherine' a story crafted from reality. Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses these to create more realistic plots.
'Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it's wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.


Author links: GR / Website / FB / Twitter

**BLITZ WIDE GIVEAWAY**
A signed copy of I Found You, the first book in the series and a backpack
Click HERE to Enter


Excerpt...
Guilt punched my chest. Maybe I’d been disloyal. My fingers brushed back Lindy’s hair.
She was too difficult, too angry, too judgmental, too everything. That was why I’d given up on her. But she’d been dating Jason for years, and in all those years we’d been friends too. We’d gone to college together.
Jason talked on his cell, walking a few feet away. I guess he’d told Rachel we’d found Lindy.
Tonight had been about a new start, drawing a line on the past, so Jason and I could move on, but we couldn’t when Lindy was like this.
A siren screamed in the distance. It got closer. Shit. I stood up. Jason looked at me and said something to end his call, then slipped his cell back in his pocket.
The cop car sped up Main Street. Its wheels screeched when it pulled up on the parking lot.
Great. Her dad was angry.
The driver’s door opened and Mr. Martin stepped out.
“What’s been going on, boys?”
Jason answered, “We were walking home, Dwayne, and Billy spotted her on the steps––”
“You don’t know what she drank?” Mr. Martin walked over.
I moved out of the way.
Lindy’s parents had used to be really social; we lived in a small town, everyone knew everyone, but I hadn’t seen them for months,
Jason looked down, his gaze scanning the parking lot near Lindy. “There’s nothing around to say she’s drunk anything.”
Her dad squatted down and touched her shoulder. “Lindy?” I’d thought the way he’d pulled up, he’d be shouting at her, but his voice was more concern than frustration.
Jason and I had encountered his temper as kids, the day we’d stolen that spray can. It wasn’t fun.
“Lindy?” he said more strongly when she didn’t answer, or move. He straightened, then bent over her, turning her head. There was absolutely no sign she even knew he was there. He lifted one of her closed eyelids.
All there was beneath it was the white of her eye.
Shit. She was in a hell of a mess.
Mr. Martin sighed like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders as he straightened up and his hand reached to the breast pocket of his shirt. He pulled out a cell, turned his back on us and walked a few feet away.
I looked at Jason. He looked at me. I was sure he felt like I did. Neither of us could move on with Lindy like this.
“Miriam, I’ve got Lindy down here at the Macinlays’ store… Yeah. Don’t worry I’ll sort it. You don’t need to fret, it’s not good for you, but just tell me what time she left home?”
I probably hadn’t seen her mom for more than a year, let alone months.
“Okay. Go check her room would you, she’s been drinking, or taken something, I wanna know which and what…”
There were a few minutes of silence.
“It’s empty?”
“How many were in there, do you know?”
“Okay, I’ll get her some help and call you. Don’t worry, honey. It won’t do you any good to worry, you know that, you have enough going on. She’ll be okay.” He sighed when he ended the call. He didn’t look at Jason or me, just stared into the distance for a moment, then took a deep breath, like he was drawing on some reservoir of strength and patience.
He probably needed it for Lindy, if she’d been this messed-up for six months. No wonder her parents had gone into hiding.
Jason and I looked at each other, waiting on the verdict.
With his back to us, he lifted another cell from a clip on his pants pocket.
“Hi, I’m at the Macinlay store, in Main Street, I need an ambulance, quick time. It’s an emergency. An overdose.” He sighed again. “It’s my girl…” There was so much pain in his voice it hit me hard, and I could see it hit Jason too.
We’d been celebrating a new life in the world… and Lindy… was so unhappy she’d tried to check out. Shit.

10.22.2014

WoW [94]

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

A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery
Expected Publication: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Poppy

Synopsis...
When high school senior Kelsey's identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn't know about the tragedy is Michelle's boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can't bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want.

Why I Can’t Wait…
OMG I really have to read this to see how this all pans out. Sounds sad and tragic but also kind of twisted!

Feel free to link me to yours.

10.20.2014

Review: Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler

Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler
Published: August 1991
Publisher: Knopf
Format: purchased copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
In 1965, the happy Bedloe family is living an ideal, apple-pie existence in Baltimore.  Then, in the blink of an eye, a single tragic event occurs that will transform their lives forever--particularly that of seventeen-year-old Ian Bedloe, the youngest son, who blames himself for the sudden "accidental" death of his older brother.

Depressed and depleted, Ian is almost crushed under the weight of an unbearable, secret guilt.  Then one crisp January evening, he catches sight of a window with glowing yellow neon, the CHURCH OF THE SECOND CHANCE.  He enters and soon discovers that forgiveness must be earned, through a bit of sacrifice and a lot of love.

My Thoughts
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I love everything about this one. It focuses on Ian and his family, his older brother Danny meets this woman and gets married very quickly. She has kids from a previous marriage and is pregnant though no one knows. Ian from the very beginning doesn’t trust this woman, Danny is a man who naïve and very much in love. One night he confronts Danny about his marriage how his wife is always gone and how Ian even doubts that the baby is his. Danny devastated gets into a car wreck down the street. Was it an accident? Or did Danny so hurt crash on purpose.  Ian from that day is hurt and remorseful knowing he might have played a hand into his brother’s death. He searches deep within himself and one night wanders into a church and decides he will raise these children since they have no one. Ian gives up everything his college education and his girlfriend at the time. After time he realizes that family doesn’t always mean by blood, family is anyone you love and care for. He loved and raised those kids as his own loving them no matter what.

I loved how this story took place in the 60’s at a time when the country was still very innocent. This story was all about family and faith, knowing sometimes God has a bigger plan for yourself than you could have every imagined. This is one book that demands to be read. Also if you like they did make this into a TV movie; while I’m one who doesn’t like 90% of book to films this one is quite nice. They tend to show it every time around Christmas on the Hallmark channel. If you can find it check it out it’s not to shabby.

10.17.2014

Review: The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
Published: October 11, 2011
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: Kindle purchase
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis
THE BEST OF ME is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they've taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.

My Thoughts
Oh how I wanted to truly love this book. As a huge Nicholas Sparks fan it had everything I wanted and needed in a classic book by him. It had two characters who weren’t supposed to be together but you know were meant to be, there was that something that kept them apart and lastly there was the undeniable love that couldn’t keep them apart no matter what. So what was the problem you ask? Well I think there was just too much doing on. There was the flash backs to when they were young, which I had no problem with. However there was this storyline of Dawson’s family that honest I could’ve done without. Yes it did play a role in the end but I just didn’t feel like it did much in the overall aspect of things.

Overall I did enjoy the story; I love the way Nicholas Sparks gives us characters to root for. However of all his characters I just didn’t fall in love with these two, I didn’t feel that connection like I have in the past. I will admit the ending did get me and that was classic Sparks to me. While I wasn’t head over heels with this one I do want to see the movie which comes out today. I want to see how the book and movie differ and how the characters work with each other. Plus I just adore James Marsden I think he is so underrated as an actor not to mention he isn’t hard on the eyes. Haha! This is once instance where the movie trailer really made me want to see the movie and not so much just because I read the book.

10.16.2014

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Follow Me Home by Monica Goulet



Follow Me Home by Monica Goulet
Published: September 16, 2014
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books


Summary from Goodreads:
16-year-old Kelsey thinks her new house far away from Tulsa is the perfect place to escape her past—until she meets Jay, the boy who used to live there.

After a series of mysterious break-ins at the house, Kelsey discovers the culprit is Jay, but before she can confront him, Jay inadvertently sets in motion a series of events that leave Kelsey and her family devastated and wind Jay up in juvie.

Desperate to fix things, Kelsey confronts him only to discover Jay’s not the delinquent she expects, but a boy with a past more messed up than hers. Against her better judgment, the two of them form an unlikely friendship she keeps secret from everyone.

Then Jay asks for a favor she didn’t see coming – one that leaves Kelsey torn between her growing loyalty to Jay and throwing away the new future she worked so hard to build.

Excerpt:
For the first time in almost a year, I feel safe. My sandals slap against the uneven sidewalk, and I wave back at the old man driving by in a green pick-up truck. His toothless grin should scare the crap out of me, but something about this place makes it okay. I’ll even forgive its lack of a real downtown. I went in search of one of those quaint main streets with specialty coffee shops and expensive clothing stores, and all I found were a bunch of empty buildings for lease and a no-name pizza place. So much for small town charm.
I turn the corner to my house and skid to a halt. The edge of my sandal catches in a crack, and I lurch forward, scraping my palms against the cement. There’s a leg dangling out my bedroom window as if it’s not attached to a body. It reminds me of a cricket I caught when I was eight. I’d accidentally ripped its leg off trying to make it dance. I shudder and pick myself up, my palms burning.
I glance at the driveway. Mom and Dad’s cars aren’t there.
The person in the window struggles to squeeze his way out. Blue jeans and a ratty running shoe. Painter, maybe? Repair person? But there’s no work van in sight.
The rest of the body lowers from the window. I suck in a breath and duck behind a parked car just as he jumps.
Five, four, three, two, one. I pop my head up just enough to see over the hood.
He’s crouched on the ground, so I creep up a little higher and let out a breath. He’s tying his shoe? What kind of thief would stop to tie his shoe, let alone come out empty handed?
Anger rises in my chest and I clench my fists. What does this guy think he’s doing? I pop up from behind the car without thinking. “You could have used the door, you know!”
My mouth snaps shut as soon as the words are out. What am I doing? For all I know this guy could have a gun or something. I almost duck behind the car again when he looks up, but he turns away again just as quickly as if I never said a thing. He just finishes tying his shoe and shakes his head to get the hair out of his eyes.
I finally catch a glimpse of his face. He’s young – my age maybe. Too young to be someone my parents hired. He heads toward the street, and I glance up at the open window again.
Something doesn’t seem right.
“Hey!” I yell. “Wait!” Against my better judgment, I start after him, but he still doesn’t turn around. My hand closes around the cell phone in my pocket. The police. I should call the police. I fumble with my phone, and it clatters onto the sidewalk.
The guy looks back.


About the Author
Monica Goulet writes and lives in Oshawa, Ontario with her husband. She graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Professional Writing. In her other life, she’s an instructional designer and a mother-to-be who likes ice cream, running, and losing herself in a good story.


Author Links:


Blitz Wide Giveaway click here to enter



Book Blitz Organized by:

10.15.2014

WoW [93]

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

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Expected Publication: May 5, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen

Synopsis...
When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

Why I Can’t Wait…
It’s Kasie West ya’ll! I love all her books, they just make me so happy. Can’t wait for this one!


Feel free to link me to yours.