Monday, November 30, 2015

November Favorites~ Book Edition

So many books! I have read a lot this month, especially with having a holiday, but my reviews were (and still are) behind because I also had a lovely vaca to see my sister get married!!!! Below are my favorites for this month.
Again, it doesn't mean the other books I read and reviewed this month weren't good, just these were the ones that I keep thinking about or have already re-read!  I will continue posting the other books I read this month under November, but the ones that made my favorites have all been posted below! *You can find my reviews for each of the books by clicking on the title above the book cover:)*







What were your favorites?  Please keep letting me know so that I can add them to my TBR!!

Until my next post...love y'all!!

A Wicked Old Woman by Ravinder Randhawa, Book Review

General Information
Publisher~Matador
Published~ October 28, 2015

Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
Drama. Masquerade. Mischief.

A sharply observed, witty and confident novel. Linguistically playful, entertaining and provoking.

In a bustling British city, Kulwant mischievously masquerades as a much older woman, using her walking stick like a Greek chorus, ‘…stick-leg-shuffle-leg-shuffle…’ encountering new adventures and getting bruised by the jagged edges of her life. There’s the glamorous rebel who rescues her after a carefully calculated fall; Caroline, her gregarious friend from school days, who watched over her dizzy romance with ‘Michael the Archangel’, and Rani/Rosalind, who’s just killed a man …

Vividly bringing to life a bit of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

My Thoughts
An intriguing story, but difficult for me to read/follow.  I enjoyed the background and premise of the story, but I was confused many times while reading the book.  I am not sure if it was the writing style, format or just the moving around between the characters and whether she was in disguise, reflecting on an event, or herself, but I had to re-read sections of the book many times to make sure I was following the events and people.  Once I re-read and knew I was following the section though I enjoyed the story and the world that was created for me to explore.

Again, I do wonder if the writing style was just told in a different storytelling fashion from what I am used to reading because as I researched this book and author I found quite a few reviews and posts that likened the writing style to poetry, which I do not usually read.  The story premise was intriguing and language very descriptive.  I could imagine some of the scenes and thought this was an interesting take and view of and into cultural differences, norms and societal changes through the 60s, 70s and 80s.    This question and my enjoyment of the story idea and descriptive language have left me wanting to check out another book by Ravinder.  

Important Links

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Disclaimer~ I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Until my next post, love y'all!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pandora by Jennifer Griffith, Book Review

General Information
Genre~ Mythology, Romance
Publisher~
Published~

Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
Blake Wells seems to have it made: the wealthy bachelor life, Kennedy-esque good looks, rising political star. The tabloids love him. But one barracuda date after another drains his hopes for finding a girl who’s sincere. 

So when his Chief of Staff insists he take a beach vacation, Blake doesn’t go expecting to meet Cressida, the perfect girl. Shazam! She’s seriously a goddess. And even though she protests that she’s bad luck, he’s a goner. 

But when a string of crazy (albeit hilarious) coincidences threatens to sink his career, Blake must choose whether to save his campaign or save the love of his life. 

If he wants to get this goddess, he’ll have to break her curse. 


PANDORA is the first installment in the Goddesses & Geeks series by best-selling contemporary romantic comedy author Jennifer Griffith.

My Thoughts
It was a fun romance.  The mythological spin was interesting, but for fans of mythology it will probably deter you from enjoying the story.  I know a little, but not a lot, of mythology so for me it connected close enough that I enjoyed the play off of mythological events and gods without getting down into the nitty gritty of the facts for this story.  I thought the idea behind the reversals of luck was genius.   I enjoyed Blake's change in character from his job being his main priority to this new woman (though at times it did seem purely off of appearance and sexual chemistry).  I thought the humor (conspiracy theories always entertain me) and relationships between all the characters was the best part of the story.  Overall it was an entertaining read and a unique twist to a mythological and romantic story.

Important Links

Links to Purchase Book

Disclaimer~ I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Until my next post...love y'all!!


Friday, November 27, 2015

A Healing Spirit by Melissa A Hanson, Book Review

General Information
Genre~ YA, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher~mah
Published~ August 16, 2015

Book Summary (per Amazon)
A freak ski accident brings nineteen-year old Mia Kinney within minutes of death. Hurt and scared, Mia is calmed by the southern drawl and clear green eyes of her rescuer. 

Twenty-one year old Dylan Blackburn is one of the first Ski Patrol members on the scene. As his patient is airlifted to the local trauma center, he can’t shake her from his thoughts. 

As Mia fights for her life, Dylan, is haunted by the blonde hair beauty, and knows he needs to make sure she’s going to be okay. 

With a troubled past Dylan has vowed never to completely open himself up to another girl, but Mia continues to knock down every wall he’s constructed. When his past arrives at his front door and threatens once again someone that he loves, will Dylan be able to save Mia yet again? Or will he be too late this time? 

A story of love, friendship, and the determination to turn a horrible experience into something worthwhile. 


My Thoughts
I loved this book.  From the beginning I enjoyed that this book spoke from all of the character's perspectives.  MH brings all the emotions in this book.  I gasped, cried, laughed, got tense, irritated and happy during the different aspects of this story.  The characters of this story were all full bodied and relateable.  The relationship component between Dylan and Mia was clear from the get go, but what I loved was all the side stories that just strengthened their bond.  

After I finished the story I was thrilled to see that Collin and Bailey had their own story.  This story does not focus on them, but gives enough information that I wanted to know what they went through, what caused Mia to say something to him, etc.  I am so glad I read this book and was introduced to this author.  I think anyone looking for a well developed story that involves relationships, suspense, friendships, a wee bit of tragedy and humor will thoroughly enjoy this story.  I know after finishing this story and doing a bit of research (seriously read the last few pages after the story ends!!) I know this book is part of my monthly favorites and I will be reading more from MH!

Important Links
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Facebook
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Links to Purchase Books
Amazon
Itunes
Smashwords

Disclaimer~ I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Until my next post...love y'all!!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, Book Review

General Information
Genre~ Fantasy, YA, Romance
Publisher~Bloomsbury Children's
Published~May 5th 2015 

Book Summary (per Goodreads)
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!


My Thoughts
Where have I been?  This is the first book I have read by Sarah J. Maas....and I am hooked!!  I loved everything about this book.  The cover..gorgeous.  I mean it is a captivating cover from the font, to the word location, colors and more.  The story is hands down one of the best I have read this year.  It kept me guessing and captivated the entire time.  I loved the rich descriptions of both worlds, the characters, clothing, scenery and scary creatures!  Some of them sound like things from our nightmares.  The intrigue behind the story...LOVED it.  I never saw the twists coming regarding the curse or villain.  There were some characters (major and minor) that I loved, some I did not like...at all...but there were others that I didn't like, but then I did and am now just left completely conflicted! I must also admit that there was a scary creature that I also enjoyed! He gave such good advice, but so cryptic...his words could have easily changed the entire story-line if Feyre had listened to his comments.

This is easily a month and year favorite for me.  After I finished reading it I could not move onto another book for a while because I kept thinking about the entire story, but really about what Rhysand saw as he left.  Now that is a cliffhanger that I enjoyed!  This book intertwines fairy tales, myths, romance and political/court intrigue into a masterful explosion of a story that grabbed my attention and has not let it go. The sequel to this story, A Court of Mist and Fury is scheduled to be released on May 3, 2016...I can't wait!!!

Important Links
Author
Twitter
Wikia site
Goodreads
Facebook
Instagram

Links to Purchase Book
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Books a Million
Disclaimer~ I borrowed this book from the library:)

Until my next post..love y'all!!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Toms, Blissoma and DoTerra....

I know you probably are scratching your head over this title, but they do have something in common!!  All three companies sell a deodorant that I want to talk about today:)

I purchased this at my local grocery store when I started researching more about the ingredients that are in our lotions, body washes, shampoos, etc.  This was the only natural or more natural available in my area so I did some research and decided to give it a go!

Ingredients (per Tom's website)
Propylene glycol, water, sodium stearate, aloa vera leaf juice (organic), glyceryl laurate, hops [CO2] extract, sunflower seed oil (organic), ascorbic acid, lemongrass oil (organic) - 

Thoughts
I liked this product.  It lasted a long time and was comfortable to wear.  Did not leave marks on my clothing or cause any irritation. Its claim is 24 hour odor protection and I did not ever experience any odor while wearing it.  However, it did not address the sweating that I experienced for I found that it did not last as long or wear as well though during my work outs.  Essentially I am going to sweat I do not think this would be my best bet, but for everyday wear I thought this worked quite well!

See more at: http://www.tomsofmainestore.com/product/original-unscented#sthash.ri8w90gM.dpuf

I received this via an Instagram sample giveaway that Blissoma conducted.  You can buy it via their website which is linked through their company name above this sentence.

Ingredients (per Blissoma's website)
Ingredients: Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), Helianthus annuus (sunflower) Oil*, Mangifera indica (mango) Butter, Diatomaceous Earth, Bentonite, Maranta arundinacea (Arrowroot) powder*, Zinc Oxide, Ricinus communis (Castor) Oil*, Euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, Cocos nucifera (coconut) Oil*
*from Certified Organic Agriculture
Thoughts
I really enjoyed learning about and trying this product.  Blissoma's website is incredibly friendly and fully explains the why, how and benefits of their products.  I liked knowing that this product was 100% vegan, would absorb some sweat, and 100% natural.  When I first used it I was not sure what to expect because it looked different and had somewhat different texture then any other deodorant I have tried.  However, I quite like this product and see myself buying it again in the future.  The only problem I had was the same with Tom's in that if I was working out or in a hot environment I was sweating.  Now there was no odor, but having the sweat appear on my shirts is not the cutest look.



*I am a wellness advocate, but my review is based off of my own experience.  I am not a medical person or only promoting what is advertised, but sharing my person opinions.*
This was released in October of this year.  You can buy it from your Wellness Advocate or if you do not have a WA and would like to try it out, learn more about essential oils, etc. please contact me!

Ingredients (Per Doterra's website)~
Beeswax, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil, CocoCaprylate, Zea mays (Corn) Starch, Triethyl Citrate, Copernicia cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Cupressus sempervirens (Cypress) Oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (Melaleuca) Leaf Oil, Juniperus virginiana (Cedarwood) Wood Oil, Citrus aurantium bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Salvia officinalis (Sage) Oil, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) Butter, Sodium Caproyl/Lauroyl Lactylate 

Thoughts~
I enjoyed the smell and the feel of this deodorant the best so far.  It has had the overall same effect of stopping any odors from occurring as the other two deodorants I tried.  I have not experienced any sweating problems with this one, but that is not a claim it has so it might be due more to my schedule has changed and I have not been working out or in similar hot environments such as I was when wearing the above two deodorants.  I have only used this one for about 3 weeks, but thus far my skin has not had any reactions and I have liked this product a great deal!

Overall~
All three met their claims of stopping odor.  Non of them claim to address or stop sweating/use antiperspirants so that shouldn't have a claim here, but as I do look for deodorants that can address both issues it does!..eck.  I would use any of these again, but I believe it would be a tie between Blissoma and Doterra for what all I enjoyed (vegan at Blissoma, essential oils and how it felt on my skin for Doterra).

Have you tried any natural or organic deodorants?  What brands or recipes if you make your own?  Let me know!

Until my next post...love y'all!!

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan, Book Review

General Information
Genre~ YA, Mystery, Romance
Publisher~ Dutton Books for Young Readers
Published~ May 26th 2015 

Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.

In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.

Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.
 

My Thoughts
The blurb sounded amazing, the cover gorgeous, but I was a huge Revenge (TV show?!?!) fan and I was like is this just going to be identical to that? quick answer...nope! While obviously a young woman who is seeking revenge is similar to both the rest of each woman's journey take very different twists and turns.

I immediately was drawn into this young woman's story and loved it.  I thought the ups, downs, confusion and intrigue were exciting and the ending is one of the best ever!  For me it left it to my imagination or open for a follow up story.  CR's writing style is captivating. During the nightmare scenes and flashbacks I imagined what the passengers must have experienced and it was heartbreaking.  The way the final scenes go down are poignant and purposeful.

This was the first book I have read by Carrie Ryan, but I look forward to reading some of her others as I enjoyed this book immensely and know it will be on my favorites list for 2015.

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Links to Purchase Book

Disclaimer~ I borrowed this book from the library.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Until my next post...love y'all!!

The Naked Eye by Iris Johansen & Roy Johansen, Book Review

General Information
Genre~ Mystery, Thriller
Publisher~ St. Martin's
Published~ July 14, 2015

Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
The #1 New York Times bestselling author and the Edgar Award winning author are back with a new a new novel featuring Kendra Michaels—hired gun for both the CIA and FBI.

It’s been four months since the events of SIGHT UNSEEN, and Kendra Michaels is obsessed with trying to track down serial killer Eric Colby. Despite his apparent execution at San Quentin, Kendra is convinced that Colby is still alive. The trouble is, she can’t prove it. Even her razor-sharp powers of observation, honed while blind during the first twenty years of her life, have gotten her nowhere. So no one believes her.

Then out of the blue she gets a call from the Sheriff of Olancha, California, about a young woman being held on a drunk and disorderly charge who lists Kendra as her emergency contact. It’s Eve Duncan’s sister, Beth Avery, who after being wrongfully institutionalized for five years has been living on the road and trying to figure out her life. Kendra can identify, having gone through a similar period of self-discovery after gaining her sight, and she takes Beth home to San Diego with her.

But the murder of a police detective who had once very openly crossed swords with Kendra is about to complicate her life even further. She visits the crime scene in search of anything that might provide a link to Colby and instead finds evidence that links the crime to her. Finally Colby’s master plan becomes clear: he is framing Kendra for a brutal cop-killing.

Suspicions mount along with the body count, and Kendra is thrust into spine-tingling pursuit to clear her name and find the killer no one believes exists anymore. Beth joins her on her quest, and agent-for-hire Adam Lynch soon follows. And they get help from another friend anxious to repay her debt to Kendra… none other than Eve Duncan herself.
 

My Thoughts
Kendra is quickly becoming one of my favorite female characters!  Her wit and abilities keep me intrigued by her stories and make me wonder what she would notice if she met me, came to my work, saw my car, etc. For me I do believe it would be hard to find an Iris Johansen novel that I do not enjoy, but I must say this one was fantastic!  I didn't have to think about loved it, but I sure did miss___. This story brought in Eve and some of her story line and other characters that avid IJ fans enjoy.

I did think the part of the story where she was under suspicion was a bit silly because as the reader we knew it would not be her and that she would be found innocent as she explained the crimes, but it definitely was a new approach to a story for a IJ character!  I found this serial killer to be one of the scariest I have come across in my reading in a while.  This story and Kendra's previous story developed him into such a realistic and evil being that I kept waiting for the ending to go a different way!  As a side comment, but one I thought about when it was first mentioned and again in this book.  I really really really like Kendra and the idea of her being with Adam.  More importantly though I would love to see or learn more about his house.  It sounds fantastic!  The scene where she finds out the new wall art is of her..loved it!

Important Links
Author
Goodreads

Links to Purchase the Book
Barnes & Noble
Amazon


Disclaimer~ I borrowed this book from the library.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Until my next post...love y'all!!


A real life glamorous fairytale

I must apologize for not posting in such a long time!  I have been posting on my Instagram and Facebook, but not on my blog for at least 2 or 3 weeks...eckk!  However, I promise I have a good reason...really..promise.
How perfectly adorable and picturesque do they look?!?!?!

My sister (only sibling I have) got married!!  So for the last few weeks I have been making sure my dad was health wise up to travel, getting everything organized for while I would be gone, helping out with last minute conversations or details as my sister needed, etc.  But now I am back and I am ready to write about some of the great books I have read, beauty products I have been using, subscription services I have received and more!  First though I wanted to share some pictures of my gorgeous sister, handsome brother in law and their truly magical ceremony and reception in New Orleans, LA.
*my pictures do not do this any justice.  I can't wait to see the pictures from their photographers!!*

The beautiful and historic Marigny Opera House
When daddy first got a look of my sister in her beautiful dress...all of us girls started crying!
My parents and sister...love..just love
Izzy and mom..beautiful
Izzy and dad..handsome and beautiful!

I adore the way mom and dad are looking at my sister in these pictures!!

This ceremony was straight out of a fairy tale.  So happy for the two of them.

The happy couple!

This cake, display and courtyard were just breathtaking.  My sister and brother in law designed the cake and it was fantastic! The courtyard at Brennan's New Orleans and the food...devine

At the after party sitting on a Carousel Bar.

For better pictures or more pictures of New Orleans, other events and fun please check out my Instagram

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Kate Unmasked by Cindy M. Hogan, Book Review

General Information
Genre~Mystery, YA, Romance
Publisher~O'Neal Publishing
Published~ August 11th 2015


Book Summary (per Goodreads)
The mysteries of her past consume her.

Seventeen-year-old Kate has never stopped searching for the secrets of her past - the secrets that began with her missing birth parents. After years of every lead drying up and every hope turning false, Kate finally lucks onto a promising lead.

Determined to find the truth once and for all, Kate travels to the gritty New Jersey shore. But what she finds is worse than she ever could have imagined. She can't hide from who she is, and now she must face the awful consequences of finding the very people she should have been hiding from.

Some secrets should stay dead and buried.


My Thoughts
This book read like a movie.  I thought it was fantastic.  From the cover, to the descriptive language, to the characters, the plot, the emotion and more I loved it!  This felt like a very realistic and fresh story because the characters were discussing reality tv, adoption, teenage relationships, parental trust and more.  All items that we do talk about or see in our regular life. I enjoyed the way the book ended as well.  It had a cliffhanger, but one that was not like really you end there!  I also like that it is a series or that at least there will be more because I have questions...like why did the dad not do more, is the mom alive, what happens to those that helped her out, and more!!

The only issue, really not even an issue, that I had was the scene with the reality tv star.  I didn't get the way that played out.  I didn't get the actions that the friend took, the actions the star took towards the end, etc. I kept waiting for it to be that the family took action, but that didn't happen.  I just felt bad that it was one more thing Kate worried/felt guilty about.

Would I recommend this book..yes I would.  I thought it was fantastic and I can't wait for the next one in this story line to come out!!

Important Links
Goodreads
Twitter

Links to Purchase Book
Amazon
Barnes & Noble


Disclaimer~ I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Until my next post...love y'all!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Love Lost by Maria Desouza, Book Review

General Information
Genre~ Romance, Suspense
Published~ 2014

Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
Love can come into your life in an instant, and leave just as quickly....

Jason Straiz is a New York detective working on a case to bring down a major crime lord. He keeps his life simple. Work. Family. Friends. Until he meets Selene.


Selene is a lawyer on a mission. Her goal is to bring down the monster that has been terrorizing her for years. When she meets Jason, the attraction is intense. When Jason comes to her aide after tragedy strikes, he becomes a target.


When her case and their relationship collide, will her secrets destroy a future they could have together? Can he handle the truth about her?


Can love truly conquer all or is there a limit?


My Thoughts

Yes, yes and yes!  Selene and Jason are two characters that I immediately enjoyed.  I loved seeing their conversations, hesitations, and overall path to fall in love.  MD's writing style brought the characters and the scenarios to life.  As in there were a few times I wanted to be like nooo just talk to each other, really TALK about what is going on, how your feel, etc...just do it!  As a reader I was able to see what the other characters couldn't see and it was genius how MD brought that awareness to Selene and Jason.  

For me this was the perfect blend of a romance and suspense.  There were times I thought I knew what was going to happen, but either the method was different from what I expected or I was completely wrong!  Along with Selene and Jason we meet several friends and family members that are very well developed and I can't wait to learn more about them. When Selene's friend encounters Selene's monster my mouth dropped open in shock.  I did not see that coming.  Jason's friend Vin led me through the wringer of emotions.  For most of the story I thought he was maybe one of the biggest jerks I had read about in a while, but then...oh then..we see the actions he takes for certain people and I completely changed my thoughts about him.  By the end of the book/preview of the next I loved Vin's character and hope to read his story soon! 


*Image from Authors website*

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am starting to pay more attention to the cover of books.  I think this cover is a fantastic portrayal of Jason! I enjoyed this book a great deal and loved the fast pace, overall energy, emotions and what can only be called a doozy of a cliffhanger.

Important Links

Author
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Links to Purchase Book

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords


Disclaimer~ I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Until my next post...love y'all!!

Shadow Play: An Eve Duncan Novel by Iris Johansen, Book Review

General Information
Genre~ Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal
Publisher~ St. Martin's Press
Published~ September 29, 2015

Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
Eve Duncan is the most sought-after artist in the field of forensic sculpting. Dedicated to her work ever since her daughter Bonnie was taken and killed at the age of seven, Eve feels a sense of duty to those whose lives were lost and whose bones are now in her hands. When a sheriff in California contacts her with a request for help on the reconstruction of the skull of a nine-year-old girl whose body has been buried for eight years, his intensity and investment in the case puzzle her. But when the ghost of the girl begins communicating with her, Eve finds herself wrapped up in the case more intensely than she could have ever imagined. Not since Bonnie has Eve had such an experience, and suddenly she finds herself determined to solve the murder and help the little girl find peace. Except that the killer is still out there, and he knows Eve is on the case. And he won’t rest until anything and anyone that could reveal his identity is eliminated... 

My Thoughts
Eve Duncan is incredible.  Every story I admire her character, morals, wit, snarkiness and weee bit more!  This story stayed true to the Eve Duncan series where we know that it is her expertise that is needed, Joe gets protective, children are involved, there is a back story working its way to a head.  I absolutely loved the way this ended and I can't wait to see what results from this new character addition!!  I know I have my fingers crossed for a certain type of result, but then I wonder about Jane?!!?!?!

I read this story in one setting and was captivated by the twists and turns.  When I finished reading the book I could see that some of the language and scenes were definitely foreshadowing of events to come, but I did not see it while reading.  I have so many questions after finishing this book, but I love the way a new story is emerging that will impact all of these amazing characters in Eve's world! I must admit that for a few books I was having difficulty with the whole Bonnie component of the story, but now..oh now..I don't want to see her leave or change so I hope this all works out! One could definitely read this book without reading the other Eve Duncan stories, but having that background will definitely enrich the experience and understanding of the relationships and loyalty among this group of characters.

Important Links
Author
Goodreads

Links to Buy Book
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer~ I borrowed this book from the library.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Until my next post...love y'all!!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild, Book Review

General Information
Genre~ Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Publisher~Knopf
Published~ November 3, 2015


Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
A smart, sweeping novel--at once satirical and moving--about love, a famous lost painting, and a dark secret from the past, set in the London art world.

Annie McDee, thirty-one and recovering from the end of a long-term relationship, is chef for two sinister art dealers. She's just spent her meager savings on a dusty junk-shop painting for her new, unsuitable, boyfriend. But when he doesn't show up for his birthday dinner, it becomes hers. And amazingly, the painting speaks--though only we hear "him." Shrewd, spoiled, charming, world weary, and cynical, he comments, from his unique perspective, on Annie and the modern world, but he also recounts tales of his previous owners: Louis XV, Voltaire, and Catherine the Great, among them. Once it becomes known that Annie has the painting--whose provenance involves the Nazis--she finds herself at the center of a frantic, and sometimes fiendish, scramble among dealers, collectors, and other highly interested parties, for its ownership. It's a dazzlingly irreverent and entertaining many-layered tale of a devious world where, however improbably, love will triumph.

My Thoughts
Recently I have started paying more attention to the covers of books.  I have seen hashtags regarding covers, models at book conventions with followings, people purchasing books solely based on the cover and more, which has struck me as odd because I had not ever really focused on the cover.  The blurb, yes.  The inside jacket, perhaps.  The author, certainly.  However over the last few weeks I have really started to think about the cover, the story it is conveying, how it relates to the book, etc.  So with that I must say that I do not like the cover of this book.

Beyond the cover though I think this book is a delight.  A few things at time were a bit drawn out (the book is over 400 pages), but overall it was an entertaining read. The story is complex and simple at the same time.  It is simple because at its heart it is a story about love.  We see the love a father/daughter, a mother/daughter, a new couple, an uncle/nephew, love of money, love of art, the decisions to love a job over seeking love of family and more in this intricate story that covers wide spans of history and decades of characters.

This is a long story full of many characters.  Even the small characters come fully alive and full of pizzazz.  Even the ones that began somewhat as staid or cold had spins that were fully of surprise twists and depth.  At first I was not sure of my favorite character, but I do believe after thinking on it that my favorite would be, The Improbability of Love itself.  As you read the book you will find that this is the name of the art masterpiece, but it also is a character who tells us about its own history, the story of its owners and more. If I had to pick a favorite twist I do believe that it would involve the James Bond conversation and who the current version of Britain's James Bond actually is in this novel.

The intertwining of history, art, food, love and money make this an adventurous story that I think many will enjoy...if they can commit to reading a little over 400 pages!

Important Links
Goodreads

Links to Purchase Book
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer~ I was loaned this book by Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Until my next post...love y'all!!!

October Favorites~ Book Edition

I enjoyed reading so many great books this month and came close to finishing my TBR, so I would say October was a successful reading month:)  Below are my favorites from what I did read this month..enjoy! *Click on the title and you will go to my review of that book*

 Walk Through Fire
I mean is anyone surprised that this author would make my favorites list?!?!?! Love these KA books..Chaos series is wonderful:)

Cress




Until my next post...love y'all!!


Saturday, November 7, 2015

My Year of Running Dangerously: A Dad, a Daughter and a Ridiculous Plan by Tom Foreman, Book Review

General Information
Genre~ Non-fiction, Memoir
Publisher~ Blue Rider Press
Published~ October 6, 2015

Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
CNN correspondent Tom Foreman's remarkable journey from half-hearted couch potato to ultra-marathon runner, with four half-marathons, three marathons, and 2,000 miles of training in between; a poignant and warm-hearted tale of parenting, overcoming the challenges of age, and quiet triumph.


As a journalist whose career spans three decades, CNN correspondent Tom Foreman has reported from the heart of war zones, riots, and natural disasters. He has interviewed serial killers and been in the line of fire. But the most terrifying moment of his life didn't occur on the job--it occurred at home, when his 18-year old daughter asked, "How would you feel about running a marathon with me?" 


At the time, Foreman was approaching 51 years old, and his last marathon was almost 30 years behind him. The race was just sixteen weeks away, but Foreman reluctantly agreed. Training with his daughter, who had just started college, would be a great bonding experience, albeit a long and painful one. 


My Year of Running Dangerously is Foreman's journey through four half-marathons, three marathons, and one 55-mile race. What started as an innocent request from his daughter quickly turned into a rekindled passion for long-distance running--for the training, the camaraderie, the defeats, and the victories. Told with honesty and humor, Foreman's account captures the universal fears of aging and failure alongside the hard-won moments of triumph, tenacity, and going further than you ever thought possible.


My Thoughts
I am a newbie walk/runner and can say at this time I have no desire to actually do an ultra-marathon, but I am fascinated by those that do them and the events themselves!  I thought this book was fantastic and I really enjoyed the writing style, family conversations, sentimentality and humor that shone through his honest look back at his year of training and racing.  I found myself laughing over the different types of runners, smiling over the companionship and bonding between him and his daughter Ronnie, crying over the scare due to his brother's health, cringing/cheering when he discussed the obstacles on the first ultra-marathon and appreciating the love and support his wife, daughters, family and friends provided.  

One of the things I found fascinating was his glimpses about the thoughts and emotional ups and downs one faces while alone in the woods.  While I have not swam for 12 hours, when I do partake in my long swim days that is one of the best and worst parts..my thoughts.  It also was interesting to see the factual approach to injuries.  The stories that resulted in bleeding, scratches, the jammed thumbs felt like a blunt "yes this happens" which I have never encountered in discussions from others.  The conversations, pep talks, doubt and more make this book and adventure very relateable.  After reading the book and thinking about it for a few days these conversations were some of my favorite sections of the book.  One such quotation that has not left me is when Ronnie and Tom were talking and they brought up the saying, "It was inevitable. That made it ideal."(p.142)

I have read several memoir's this year.  Some have dealt with fashion, with humor, with art, with religion and I have enjoyed them greatly.  However, this memoir (along with The Book of Joan) is one of my favorites I have read.  I feel this book would be an excellent read for any one who enjoys memoirs, is interested in taking up an athletic challenge or change or enjoys humorous anecdotes.

Important Links

Links to Purchase Book

Disclaimer~ I was loaned this book by Penguins First to Read program in exhange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Unil my next post...love y'all!!