Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WWW Wednesdays August 31



WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

  • I am currently reading The Gin and Chowder Club by Nan Parson Rossiter and Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda. I am enjoying them both.
  • I recently finished The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown and loved it! The dynamics of the sisters reminds me of me and my sisters. There is a lot of wisdom in this book, without being preachy. 
  • Next I think I am going to read either The Chocolate Diaries: Secrets for a Sweeter Journey on the Rocky Road of Life by Karen Linamen or What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.


So many books..... so little time!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Great giveaway you should check out!

 
Click the link to check out the details of the great giveaway and what you have to do to enter. The winner will get to choose from 12 series and will get the first 3 books in their chosen series. Haley's got some incredible choices, so be sure to check it out - you have until September 8th!

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Friday mood


Yep - some days are like that. Sure glad it's Friday!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WWW Wednesdays August 23


WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

  • I am currently reading The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. This one could be one of my favorites for the year. I am finding some great quotable lines already and I just started reading it. 


  • I recently finished Tuesday with Morrie by Mitch Albom. Great life lessons for all of us! My thoughts are here. I also read Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry. Wonderful book! My thoughts will be posted soon.


  • Next I think I am going to read either The Chocolate Diaries: Secrets for a Sweeter Journey on the Rocky Road of Life by Karen Linamen or Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda.


So many books..... so little time!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Great line(s) from..........

...... The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown 

"There is no problem a library card can't solve." 
  • Yea for libraries!!!!!

"See, we love each other. We just don't happen to like each other much." 
  •  Yea for sisters!!!!!

Love these lines - what a great book!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

This true story about the love between a spiritual mentor and his pupil has soared to the bestseller list for many reasons. For starters: it reminds us of the affection and gratitude that many of us still feel for the significant mentors of our past. It also plays out a fantasy many of us have entertained: what would it be like to look those people up again, tell them how much they meant to us, maybe even resume the mentorship? 

Plus, we meet Morrie Schwartz -- a one of a kind professor, whom the author describes as looking like a cross between a biblical prophet and Christmas elf. And finally we are privy to intimate moments of Morrie's final days as he lies dying from a terminal illness. Even on his deathbed, this twinkling-eyed mensch manages to teach us all about living robustly and fully. Kudos to author and acclaimed sports columnist Mitch Albom for telling this universally touching story with such grace and humility. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

I read this for one of my book groups. I had read it before and have seen the movie based on the book. It is such a fabulous book that it is worth re-reading. What great life lessons Morrie has for all of us. We should all live our lives as though we are aware that we are going to die and we need to live our lives to the fullest.

Morrie mentions several times that most people try to ignore the fact that their days on earth are numbered and don't appreciate every minute, hour and day that they have left. And most of us don't appreciate the people and relationships in our lives because there is always time..... But his message is that we may not have the time and we need to live our lives as though we may not see our families and friends again - to not take them for granted.

What a wise man Morrie was. And I will plug the movie too, if you have not seen it, it is very good and well worth the time to watch it. Amazing life lessons!!

Author website -

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I hit 40!! I am thinking about a having a giveaway!


Whooo hooooo!! And no, it's not my birthday - I now have 40 followers!!! I know, I know - that is not a whole lot when there are other bloggers out there that have thousands of followers. But I remember, not that long ago, when I had only about 12 people that pretended to care. I admired those bloggers that had 50+ followers. And now, I am close, I am real close! It could happen! 



So, this is a huge deal for me, people! And I think when I reach that magic number 50, I will hold a giveaway - my very first one!! Other people do it all the time so I should be able to figure it out, right? I love giveaways and winning books. I have gotten some great books from giveaways. And now I want to pay it forward. 


It's time for me to go through my books and find a really great one for you all. It might a hardback. It might be a paperback. It might be an ARC. But I will pass on one that I loved and hopefully you will too. 

Stay tuned and keep following!! 

So many books ..... so little time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WWW Wednesdays August 17

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

  • I am currently reading Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry. I am just getting started on it but it looks like a good one and ....... it just came out yesterday!


  • I recently finished The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan. Great story with some history of Niagara Falls. My thoughts are here. And before that book, I read Count Down to Love for it's blog tour - great summer read! My thoughts are here

  • Next I am going to read The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. I think I am really going to like it so I have been trying to get other books out of the way so I can really focus on this one. I think I am ready!


So many books..... so little time!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Tom Cole, the grandson of a legendary local hero, has inherited an uncanny knack for reading the Niagara River's whims and performing daring feats of rescue at the mighty falls. And like the tumultuous meeting of the cataract's waters with the rocks below, a chance encounter between Tom and 17-year-old Bess Heath has an explosive effect. When they first meet on a trolley platform, Bess immediately recognizes the chemistry between them, and the feeling is mutual.

But the hopes of young love are constrained by the 1915 conventions of Niagara Falls, Ontario. Tom's working-class pedigree doesn't suit Bess's family, despite their recent fall from grace. Sacked from his position at a hydroelectric power company, Bess's father has taken to drink, forcing her mother to take in sewing for the society women who were once her peers. Bess pitches in as she pines for Tom, but at her young age, she's unable to fully realize how drastically her world is about to change.

Set against the resounding backdrop of the falls, Cathy Marie Buchanan's carefully researched, capaciously imagined debut novel entwines the romantic trials of a young couple with the historical drama of the exploitation of the river's natural resources. The current of the river, like that of the human heart, is under threat: "Sometimes it seems like the river is being made into this measly thing," says Tom, bemoaning the shortsighted schemes of the power companies. "The river's been bound up with cables and concrete and steel, like a turkey at Christmastime."

Skillfully portraying individuals, families, a community, and an environment imperiled by progress and the devastations of the Great War, The Day the Falls Stood Still beautifully evokes the wild wonder of its setting, a wonder that always overcomes any attempt to tame it. But at the same time, Buchanan's tale never loses hold of the gripping emotions of Tom and Bess's intimate drama. The result is a transporting novel that captures both the majesty of nature and the mystery of love.
~~ synopsis from Goodreads 

What a great book! I loved the setting, Niagara Falls. I visited there when I was much younger but I remember it so well. It was almost like visiting it all over again. The author is from there and does a great job with descriptions and the history of the Falls. 

This is a beautiful story of love, loss, struggle and survival. I loved how the Cole men were so in tune with the river and the Falls, like the men were a part of the water, and how they knew how the river was going to act and react to the elements. There was a magical feeling to it. 

The story is very well written and I got so caught up in Bess and Tom's lives that I was joyful with them, I struggled with them and I cried with them - true signs of a well written novel! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Blog Tour - Countdown to Love by Julie N. Ford

Synopsis ~~ Abandoned at the altar, Kelly Grace Pickens finds herself left holding not only the bouquet, but also the exorbitant bill for an A-list wedding. Homeless, a once-promising singing career floundering, and her life bearing an uncanny resemblance to one of her country music ballads, she reluctantly accepts a last-minute offer to appear on a reality TV show akin to The Bachelor. 

Pitted against silicon-enhanced supermodels in four-inch heels, Kelly feels confident that she will be among the first would-be fiancĂ©es to be excused. Only, when the mysterious bachelor from New York City, Dillon Black, invites her to stay, Kelly finds herself thrust into the vortex of a game she doesn’t have the first idea how to play. Nursing her hopelessly broken heart while avoiding the foils of her fellow contestants, Kelly is oblivious to Dillon’s affections as she wades through hurt and betrayal to discover, in the end, that she has landed firmly on both feet.

Leaving behind Nashville’s Music Row for the majestic Grand Teton Mountains, Count Down To Love takes readers on a journey from duplicity to sincerity as Kelly discovers that being true to oneself is the first step in finding happiness and everlasting love.

Count Down to Love is a great book! I'll just get that out of the way, right off the bat.

The premise of the story is based on the Bachelor reality show, one gorgeous cowboy trying to decide which beautiful woman he wants to fall in love with. I have to admit that I am not into these types of shows. I know some people that are, shall we say, addicted to them? But the fact that I don't watch them did not make any difference in how much I enjoyed this book.

Kelly agrees to go on the Count Down to Love reality show to make oodles of money to pay for her wedding that didn't happen. She never guessed that she would be so instantly attracted to Dillon, the bachelor on the show. The story has a lot of twists and turns and one is never sure if the story is going to have a happy ending or not, right to the very end.

This is a very enjoyable read with very likable characters and it is very well written. I lost myself in the story and and had a great time. It is a nice, clean romance with a little suspense thrown in. I highly recommend it and I will be checking out this author's other books.

Links:
Author’s site:  JulieNFord.com
Author’s blog:  Queries2Reviews.wordpress.com
Purchase on Amazon



I received an e-book copy of this book for review from Tristi Pinkston Book Tours. My remarks are my honest opinion.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry

After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish. 

A haunted kitchen isn’t Ginny’s only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka “Demanda”) insists on selling their parents’ house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents’ belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn’t sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn’t know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father’s photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there’s only one way to get answers: cook from dead people’s recipes, raise their ghosts, and ask them. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

I might as well get it out of the way right now - I love this cover! I am such a sucker for a beautiful cover. Publishers must know that a lot of us are drawn first to a book by it's cover.

And then, I did also love this book. My heart broke for Ginny, who's parents had just died, both of them at once. She has lived a somewhat sheltered life, living with them and being taken care by them, and now that protected life is gone. Her caring sister wants and expects Ginny to change her way of life but that is not an easy thing for Ginny to think about. She does not want to move and make changes.

I love the fact that Ginny can make deceased people appear in her kitchen by cooking their recipes and that these people help her figure things out. Wouldn't that be awesome to be able to talk with people in our lives that have passed on so that we can have a better understanding of the past and then hopefully be able to understand the present better?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved the characters. The story kept a fast enough pace to keep me interested and had enough twists and turns so that I really didn't know how things were going to turn out. And.... the book contains some very interesting recipes that I just may have to try out.

I am thinking this might be a book that I suggest to my book group to read. It is a beautiful book and there would be a lot of issues to discuss. Jael McHenry is an author that I will add to my list of 'must-read' authors and I will be anxiously waiting for her next novel.

Author's website - http://jaelmchenry.com 

Ms. McHenry also writes a cooking blog - check it out. http://simmerblog.typepad.com/

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WWW Wednesdays August 10

 

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading  
To play along, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Countdown to Love by Julie N. Ford. I will be posting my review on August 15th, my date for this book's blog tour. 



I just recently finished reading Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews and The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry. You can read my thoughts about Summer Rental here. I will be posting about The Kitchen Daughter soon. 

Let me just say, I loved them both!



Next I think I will read The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. I won this book from a drawing on the author's website. Yippee for me!!


I love the line on the authors website ‘There’s no problem a library card can’t solve.’ Libraries have been a part of my life, my whole life. Also the line 'See, we love each other. We just don't happen to like each other very much.' is on the cover of the book. Isn't that true of some of all of our relationships at some point? I am anxious to read more of this author's wisdom.

Happy reading everyone! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews

Ok, so last week I was on vacation. We (my whole family, my sibs and their families) spent a week in the Black Hills. My brother rented a place big enough for all of us. I thought it was fitting that I read Summer Rental while in a summer rental - get it? 

I also took along 3 other books and a ton of e-books but this is the only one I got read. But I am okay with that, we had a great time and I am glad I got to spend time with everyone instead of being anti-social with my head in a book all week.

I have to admit that as we were driving to the Hills and I started reading this book, I was a little nervous about what kind of place we were going to find when we got there. My brother rented the place from the internet and didn't know much more about it other than the pictures on the web. In the book, the woman that rented the summer rental was somewhat disappointed when she arrived, things were not exactly as they were portrayed to her. I was afraid that was going to happen to us. But no worries, it was fabulous!

Sometimes, when you need a change in your life, the tide just happens to pull you in the right direction….

Ellis, Julia, and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade school, they now find themselves, in their mid-thirties, at the crossroads of life and love. Ellis, recently fired from a job she gave everything to, is rudderless and now beginning to question the choices she's made over the past decade of her life. Julia—whose caustic wit covers up her wounds--has a man who loves her and is offering her the world, but she can't hide from how deeply insecure she feels about her looks, her brains, her life. And Dorie has just been shockingly betrayed by the man she loved and trusted the most in the world…though this is just the tip of the iceberg of her problems and secrets. A month in North Carolina's Outer Banks is just what they each of them needs.

Ty Bazemore is their landlord, though he's hanging on to the rambling old beach house by a thin thread. After an inauspicious first meeting with Ellis, the two find themselves disturbingly attracted to one another, even as Ty is about to lose everything he's ever cared about. 

Maryn Shackleford is a stranger, and a woman on the run. Maryn needs just a few things in life: no questions, a good hiding place, and a new identity. Ellis, Julia, and Dorie can provide what Maryn wants; can they also provide what she needs?
 
Five people questioning everything they ever thought they knew about life. Five people on a journey that will uncover their secrets and point them on the path to forgiveness. Five people who each need a sea change, and one month in a summer rental that might just give it to them. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

Like I said, this was the perfect book to read while on vacation at our summer rental. I also liked it because of the women in the book, 3 of them have been friends for a long time. They come together to spend a month on the beach, girls only, no males allowed. They all have issues they are dealing with or maybe not dealing with so very well. Their friendship and honestly with each other helps each of them work through their issues.

Then you add in the 4th women, whom no one knows, but they invite into their house anyway. After a bumpy start and a lot of resistance on both sides, they all come around and are there for each other when they need to be. 

I love the way that Ms. Andrews writes - it is very smooth and believable. I felt like I was one of the friends in the house and was sorry to see the month end, kind of like I was sorry for our week to be over in the Hills. I very much enjoyed this book, the first one that I have read by this author. She will be added to my list of authors to watch so I can read her next novel. I will also be checking out her previous books too. She has several under her belt already. 


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