Monday, August 1, 2016

Getting to Know Me Through 17 Questions

1. What brings you the greatest joy? Being on the beach.  Hearing the waves.  Watching the sunset.   A book in hand.  A drink in the other.  Listen to my child laugh and splash and play.




2. What are your vices? Coffee, beer and chocolate.

3. What is on your nightstand? A picture of my daughter, a book I need to donate, Stitch Fix style cards.  It really needs to be cleaned.
4. Do you have a secret talent? None.
5. What is your greatest indulgence? Buying six packs of very expensive make your own craft beer and then sampling.  Or going out to eat far too often.
6. What should everyone try at least once in their life? Riding on a boat
7. What makes you laugh? My child, my husband, the male idiot running for President.

8. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?  I am extremely socially awkward.
9. What is on your bucket list? Buying a lake house
10. What is on your feet right now? socks
11. How did you make your first dollar? Babysitting, but I made my first 10 cents getting my uncle a glass of water.  He always paid us 10 cents to do him favors ha.
12. What superstition do you believe in? Karma.
13. What items in your closet do you wear the most? right now my maxi skirts and tank tops
14. What is the best gift you’ve ever received? My grandma's rings, Garth Brooks tickets or my necklace that is a heart engraved with my daughters name.

15. What is on your liquor shelf? We have a lot of randoms.  But I know we have Jim Beam, whipped cream vodka, butter shots and vodka.
16. What is on your kitchen counter? Too much crap.  A bunch of garden vegetables we need to deal with, coffee pot, bowl of vegetables/fruits, box of camping stuff.. lots of crap.
17. What would you never leave home without? My phone and my wallet.
What is the best gift you've ever received? What is on your bucket list?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

What I've Read Recenty

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

I really loved this book and read it for book club in June.  Lavinia is orphaned on her families voyage to America from Ireland.  The ship's captain takes her as an indentured servant and sells her brother to make up for the money her parents owed.  She lives and works in the kitchen house with the slaves.    Long story short things get messed up, and there is a heck of a story here.  Great read!





Me Before You - JoJo Moyes

I had gotten this book for Christmas in 2014 but hadn't read it yet.  It was the July pick for book club.  It was just eh to me.  And I called the story from the beginning and it just was blah to me.  I'd like to give some of her other books a chance but I'm unsure.

Description: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.


The Expats - Chris Pavone

I got this book Summer 2014 at my local library's Used Book Sale.  I am really trying to get through the books I own to make way for new books ha.  I haven't allowed myself to go to the used book sale in about a year.  This was a great spy thriller in that I read in a quick 24 hours while camping.

Description: Kate Moore is a working mother, struggling to make ends meet, to raise children, to keep a spark in her marriage . . . and to maintain an increasingly unbearable life-defining secret. So when her husband is offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg, she jumps at the chance to leave behind her double-life, to start anew.

She begins to reinvent herself as an expat, finding her way in a language she doesn’t speak, doing the housewifely things she’s never before done—play-dates and coffee mornings, daily cooking and unending laundry. Meanwhile, her husband works incessantly, doing a job Kate has never understood, for a banking client she’s not allowed to know. He’s becoming distant and evasive; she’s getting lonely and bored.

Then another American couple arrives. Kate soon becomes suspicious that these people are not who they claim to be, and terrified that her own past is catching up to her. So Kate begins to dig, to peel back the layers of deception that surround her. She discovers fake offices and shell corporations and a hidden gun; a mysterious farmhouse and numbered accounts with bewildering sums of money; a complex web of intrigue where no one is who they claim to be, and the most profound deceptions lurk beneath the most normal-looking of relationships; and a mind-boggling long-play con threatens her family, her marriage, and her life.



Tricky Twenty-Two - Janet Evanovich

I made a quick stop into the library this week and found a copy of the newest Janet Evanovich book so of course I had to read it. I'm fully committed to seeing this series through at this point.  However, it's getting lamer and lamer and I need some action to occur.  Hilarious as always!






What books have you read recently? Anything good? Anything you've had on your shelves for awhile?



Friday, July 15, 2016

Lately


Reading:  Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.  It’s for book club and it’s okay.  Not in love, not in hate.  Just okay.  I need to find something to sink my teeth in! We are going camping for 5 days soon and I want to bring some good reads with me!

Loving: more day light,  It’s amazing the motivation to do things after working all day when it’s warm and nice outside!


Thinking: about how crazy hour life will be soon when my baby starts Kindergarten!!!
 
 

Feeling:  unsettled and I don’t really know why.   


Anticipating: a wedding away with the hubs this weekend and then like I mentioned before our camping trip.  It’s going to be crazy getting ready for it.


Watching: the Blacklist.  We are almost all the way caught up finally.  We’ve been trying to do a show a night lately because we recorded so many shows this year and have so many to catch up on since apparently we do things other than just watch tv ha

Working: summer hours so that’s nice.  We get out at 3 on Friday’s but I really don’t feel like it helps any except for when we are leaving for the weekend and can get a head start.

Grateful:  that I am going to be able to adjust my hours at work this school year so I can drop the kiddo off at school every day before work.  Which means we do not have to pay for the before care program.  I was dreading that, not because it’s expensive, but because of the time I’d need to drop her I’d be paying someone to have her line up and wait.  So this is nice.


Listening:  to a ton of podcasts.  I have a problem.  Too many podcasts, not enough time.


Wishing: for a cleaning fairy!


What are you reading, listening to and watching lately?

Monday, June 27, 2016

All the Single Ladies

My obsession with books set in the South is nothing new here.  When I was given the opportunity to read Dorothea Benton Frank’s newest book, All the Single Ladies, I jumped on it! I LOVE HER books set in the South Carolina Lowcountry!


All the Single Ladies is about perseverance, love, doing what’s right and friendship.  With a lot of family drama thrown in!  If you are looking for a light hearted easy beach read, here you go! Perfect for the beach bag. 

Description: The perennial New York Times bestselling author returns with an emotionally resonant novel that illuminates the power of friendship in women’s lives, and is filled with her trademark wit, poignant and timely themes, sassy, flesh-and-blood characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry.

Few writers capture the complexities, pain, and joy of relationships—between friends, family members, husbands and wives, or lovers—as beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank. In this charming, evocative, soul-touching novel, she once again takes us deep into the heart of the magical Lowcountry where three amazing middle-aged women are bonded by another amazing woman’s death.

Through their shared loss they forge a deep friendship, asking critical questions. Who was their friend and what did her life mean? Are they living the lives they imagined for themselves? Will they ever be able to afford to retire? How will they maximize their happiness? Security? Health? And ultimately, their own legacies?

A plan is conceived and unfurls with each turn of the tide during one sweltering summer on the Isle of Palms. Without ever fully realizing
how close they were to the edge, they finally triumph amid laughter and maybe even newfound love.

Like her other books there is a light of great one liners.  I would love to rock on a porch swing with Dorothea and just listen to her talk.  I imagine she’s full of some good stories.  This is not a thinker, it’s fun quick and if you can imagine live as a single 50 something year old with some great gal pals it is perfect for you!  It may also test your feminist patience and your sense of IS THIS FOR REALSSSS.  Not my favorite by DBF but a great trip back to the lowcountry!

What author would you like to share an afternoon of porch rocking?

I received this book from TLC book tours but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

All the Single Ladies

My obsession with books set in the South is nothing new here.  When I was given the opportunity to read Dorothea Benton Frank’s newest book, All the Single Ladies, I jumped on it! I LOVE HER books set in the South Carolina Lowcountry!

All the Single Ladies is about perseverance, love, doing what’s right and friendship.  With a lot of family drama thrown in!  If you are looking for a light hearted easy beach read, here you go! Perfect for the beach bag. 

Description: The perennial New York Times bestselling author returns with an emotionally resonant novel that illuminates the power of friendship in women’s lives, and is filled with her trademark wit, poignant and timely themes, sassy, flesh-and-blood characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry.

Few writers capture the complexities, pain, and joy of relationships—between friends, family members, husbands and wives, or lovers—as beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank. In this charming, evocative, soul-touching novel, she once again takes us deep into the heart of the magical Lowcountry where three amazing middle-aged women are bonded by another amazing woman’s death.

Through their shared loss they forge a deep friendship, asking critical questions. Who was their friend and what did her life mean? Are they living the lives they imagined for themselves? Will they ever be able to afford to retire? How will they maximize their happiness? Security? Health? And ultimately, their own legacies?

A plan is conceived and unfurls with each turn of the tide during one sweltering summer on the Isle of Palms. Without ever fully realizing
how close they were to the edge, they finally triumph amid laughter and maybe even newfound love.

Like her other books there is a light of great one liners.  I would love to rock on a porch swing with Dorothea and just listen to her talk.  I imagine she’s full of some good stories.  This is not a thinker, it’s fun quick and if you can imagine live as a single 50 something year old with some great gal pals it is perfect for you!  It may also test your feminist patience and your sense of IS THIS FOR REALSSSS.  Not my favorite by DBF but a great trip back to the lowcountry!

What author would you like to share an afternoon of porch rocking?

I received this book from TLC book tours but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Bridge Ladies

I've enjoyed reading books about women who've lived through the 40-60s.  That generation is fascinating to me.  So close to mine but very different lives. The Bridge Ladies by Betsy Lerner is a non-fiction look at this generation through the eyes and voice of one of its daughters.

Description:  After a lifetime of defining herself against her mother’s Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell generation, Betsy Lerner, a poster child for the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock ’n’ Roll generation, finds herself back in her childhood home of New Haven, Connecticut, not five miles from the mother she spent a lifetime avoiding. When Roz needs help after surgery, it falls to Betsy to take care of her. She expected a week of tense civility; what she got instead were the Bridge Ladies. Impressed with their loyalty, she realized her generation was lacking. Facebook was great, but it wouldn’t deliver a pot roast.

Tentatively at first, Betsy becomes a regular fixture at her mother’s Monday Bridge Club. Before long, she braves the intimidating world of Bridge and comes under its spell. But it is through her friendships with the ladies that she is finally able face years of misunderstandings and family tragedy. The Bridge Ladies become a Greek chorus, a catalyst for change between mother and daughter.

By turns darkly funny and deeply moving, The Bridge Ladies brilliantly weaves the stories of the Bridge Ladies, along with those of Betsy and her mother across a lifetime of missed opportunities. The result is an unforgettable and profound journey into a hard-won—but never-too-late—bond between mother and daughter.


I really liked when Betsy went and visited the ladies and asked them questions outside of their Bridge gatherings.  They are all fascinating people and would reveal more when not around the others.  I also found it interesting how non-emotional/touchy feeling the group was, even after being together for so long.  However, I do think of my own grandmother and she was like this as well.  She had a group of friends she'd get together with often and for years and some that were closer than others but maybe only one of them she'd share personal stuff with, but how do I know?  It is interesting how we are more of a sharing age than ever before.

The book jumps from bridge games to interviews and is heavy on bridge.  My favorite parts were the interviews or conversations.  But, I also know nothing about Bridge.  I do recommend this.  It's a fast book that's about relationships and generational differences. 

How many non-fiction books have you read this year? Have you read anything recently that you'd recommend?

I received this book from TLC book tours but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Father's Day

I may be a sucker for a good emotion packed read.  Just from the first few words of the back cover, "At the age of six, a little girl named Harvey learns that her parents have died in a car accident."  I knew I had to try this book by Simon Van Booy out.

Description:
When devastating news shatters the life of six-year-old Harvey, she finds herself in the care of a veteran social worker, Wanda, and alone in the world save for one relative she has never met—a disabled felon, haunted by a violent past he can't escape.
Moving between past and present, Father’s Day weaves together the story of Harvey’s childhood on Long Island and her life as a young woman in Paris. Written in raw, spare prose that personifies the characters, this novel is the journey of two people searching for a future in the ruin of their past.
Father's Day is a meditation on the quiet, sublime power of compassion, and the beauty of simple, everyday things--a breakthrough work from one of our most gifted chroniclers of the human heart.

Harvey and Jason's story alternates between the past and the present, starting with Harvey's life before the accident that left her orphaned and then to present day Paris, Harvey has created a Father's Day box for Jason containing objects that stand for a vital moment in their lives. Each day Jason removes one of the gifts and opens it during their travels around Paris. The gifts then are followed with flashbacks explaining the significance to their relationship. All of the gifts lead up to mysterious revelation Harvey plans to make to her father on his last day visiting.

It's a fast paced book that quickly changes times.  A little long and a little sentimental.  You may or my not need some Kleenex.  Especially in the beginning.  Maybe.  You may or may not get aggravated a time or too.

Basically, a feel good story with a tinge of sadness but a heck of journey to get there. ;)

What do you think of naming a girl Harvey? What is your first impression about a disabled felon being allowed to adopt a 6 year old girl? Have you read any books by Simon Van Booy?

I received a review copy of this book from TLC Book Tours but all thoughts and opinions are my own.




Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rare Objects

I love a book where you pick it up and next thing you know you are 100 pages in and you didn't even think you were reading that long! Rare Objects by Kathleen Tessaro quickly sucked me into the world of 1930s Boston.  Maeve is the only daughter of a long widowed Irish woman.  Her mother has instilled in her that she not everyone else and not 'common.'  With a desire to be more she leaves behind a boyfriend and her friends for a new adventure in New York.

Sadly, New York during the depression just wasn't what she had hoped and dreamed. Maeve got into a bad place and ended up in a psychiatric hospital and after her release she went home to Boston with a made up story and friendships to mend.  Boston wasn't doing much better in terms of jobs but Maeve works herself into a very interesting job where her past comes back.

This book was quick and fun.  I liked how it touches on fate and luck and different things that did and didn't happen and actions surrounding them.  If you are looking for a quick fun historical book this one would do it.  Perfect for a quick weekend read. 

Do you have a good luck charm? Any superstitions?

I received this book from TLC book tours but all thoughts and opinions are my own!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Girl Who Stayed

I am a sucker for books set in South Carolina.  I devour books by Dorothea Benton Frank and have savored Pat Conroy tales.  I will try just about anything to get a little Charleston / Sullivan Island / Folly's Beach in my life.  Which is super strange since I have never been there but have planned many vacations there that have yet to happen.

Description: Zoe Rutherford wasn't sure what she was expecting when she returned to Sullivan's Island. The house on Sullivan's hadn't represented home to her in decades. It was the place where she endured her father's cruelty. It was the place where her mother closed herself off from the world. It was the place where her sister disappeared. But now that her parents are gone, Zoe needs to return to the house, to close it down and prepare it for sale. She intends to get this done as quickly as possible and get on with her life, even though that life seems clouded by her past, both distant and recent. But what she discovers when she gets there is far beyond her imagining and will change her in profound ways.

This book sounded like my kind of book.  And it started out that way.  It had mystery.  It had beach.  It had a potential for danger.  It had a learning to be yourself aspect.  There was beer.  And wine.  And grandma's who told Gullah stories.  And somewhere after the first couple of pages it started to just fall flat.

I was even okay with it being a feel good story and not that horrifying or awful in the mystery/suspense aspect until the second to last chapter, I believe.  Then I was just annoyed with the ending.  I felt I deserved a better ending for reading the book.

Also? I wanted to like the main character.  Really did.  The components were there.  But just fell flat.  I was disappointed because I really wanted to love it.  Like I said, it possessed all the things I love, it just didn't jive for me. 

About the Author:  Tanya Anne Crosby is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-five novels. She has been featured in magazines, such as PeopleRomantic Times and Publisher's Weekly, and her books have been translated into eight languages. Her first novel was published in 1992 by Avon Books, where Tanya was hailed as "one of Avon's fastest rising stars." Her fourth book was chosen to launch the company's Avon Romantic Treasure imprint. Known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, Tanya is an award-winning author, journalist, and editor, and her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. In 2013, she penned her first romantic suspense novel, Speak No Evil, which appeared on the USA Today list. The Girl Who Stayed brings her full circle to work with Lou Aronica, President and Publisher of The Story Plant, who first published Tanya at Avon Books. Tanya and her writer husband split their time between Charleston, SC, where she was raised, and northern Michigan, where the couple make their home.

Is there a certain geographical area that you are drawn to read about? What types of descriptions make you want to pick up a book? Have you been to Sullivan's Island?

I received a copy of this book from TLC tours.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Double Knot

I am so glad that I got the opportunity to read Double Knot by Gretchen Archer! Double Knot is the 5th in the Davis Way Crime Caper series! And we all know how I love a series!!

Gretchen writes quick witted and funny dialogue.  Her categories may be outrageous but they are consistently outrageous! And I love them.  If you love Janet Evanovich you MUST try out her series.

Description: Super Spy Davis Way sets sail on a Caribbean cruise aboard the MS Probability with fifty billionaires, a boatload of Louis Vuitton luggage, Anderson Cooper, and her mother. (Her mother?) The weather is perfect, the seas are calm, and Suite 704 is spectacular. Until the door slams shut. For good.

Obviously, it’s a system glitch. Surely someone will show up to free Davis, Miss Hawaii, and the creepy staff. But when the minutes turn to hours and the hours stretch into a day, Davis knows it’s up to her. With $50,000 in casino chips, a pot roast, and a crash course in banking, she races against the clock to determine why they’re being held, stop the people behind it, and find a way out.

Secrets are revealed, antiquities are destroyed, and they’re running out of dishes. It’s mayday on Probability when Davis Way realizes that only the truth will set her free.



Just like the 4 books before it, Double Knot is laugh out loud funny! Davis is a riot and her mother is a hoot.  Fantasy also comes through with some great lines as well.  I will say I was not a fan of one of the characters but she was written to be annoying, and she was! ;)

Only thing I'd warn people is that there is pregnancy is in this book and some of it could be a little too much if reading about pregnancy can be a trigger.

The quick of it is that Davis and her entourage which includes her cat, Anderson Cooper, Fantasy, her mother and the suite wait staff arrive in their suite with the addition of Jessica who was in charge of organizing the cruise with her husband, when the doors clock in their fancy suite and their means of communication to the outside is knocked out.  Of course Davis Way isn't even supposed to be in this suite, Bianca  Sanders is supposed to be there for her pregnancy photo shoot.  But of course she has Davis doing her dirty work.  What, wait are you confused?  Little series back story... Davis is a dead ringer for her bosses wife and her bosses wife uses it to her advantage.  Especially now that they are both pregnant.

At first they assume it's the whole ship.  But then they realize something more sinister is happening and they need to work together to help themselves and their loved ones.

The book basically covers 2 days but it seems like they would be at sea much longer than that with all the action that is packed in!

Even though this book is part of a series you could probably read it as a stand alone but I would recommend you start at the beginning of this awesome series! Don't miss out, this book comes out April 12th! There is also a giveaway going on through goodreads! Take the time between now and April 12th and read the other four.  I guarantee you will read them quickly and be entertained!

What funny books have you read recently? Do you read cozy mysteries?

Thanks to Larissa for sending me a copy for review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!