Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review - Cake Therapy by Cindy Arora

When single mom and journalist, Olivia, sets out to find romance, she gets a little help from her friends and more than a few slices of cake to coax her off the couch and into the arms of a truly great love.

My Thoughts
Fun story to grab and read while sitting by the pool!  I really enjoyed the story line and it had me wanting more!
I will not go into detail, being a novella and all! 
Enjoy chick lit?  You'll love Cake Therapy!

Drink Selection
Grab a glass of Proseco and sit back and enjoy!
Rating
Fun from beginning to end, 4 wine glasses for sure!





Book Spotlight - The Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he's promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion. In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.

My Thoughts
To begin, THAT COVER!  I LOVE it!  It just draws you in and makes you want to know what is on the other side!
This book was constantly challenging me.  When I thought I figured it out, then Kaira threw another surprise my way.
I hated Paul so much that I loved him.  He was so charming and devilish and just plan crazy!  He reminds me on one of those creepy clowns - he stares at you, thinks evil thoughts about you and at the end will kill you and laugh about it.  Such a weird comparison I know but it describes him perfectly.
On the other hand, Mia, I was impressed!  I don't think I could ever keep the plans to myself and not crack or freak out or heck even go through with it all to begin with!
The roller coaster ride will have you guessing all the way till the very last page!
I would say more but I don't want to give it all away!

Drink Selection
Pop open the bubbly, I want to celebrate this read with some delish glasses of Champagne! 


Rating
I could read this book over and over again!  LOVED it!  5 wine glasses all the way!




Review - All the Best People by Sonja Yoerg

Vermont, 1972. Carole LaPorte has a satisfying, ordinary life. She cares for her children, balances the books for the family’s auto shop and laughs when her husband slow dances her across the kitchen floor. Her tragic childhood might have happened to someone else.

But now her mind is playing tricks on her. The accounts won’t reconcile and the murmuring she hears isn’t the television. She ought to seek help, but she’s terrified of being locked away in a mental hospital like her mother, Solange. So Carole hides her symptoms, withdraws from her family and unwittingly sets her eleven-year-old daughter Alison on a desperate search for meaning and power: in Tarot cards, in omens from a nearby river and in a mysterious blue glass box belonging to her grandmother.

An exploration of the power of courage and love to overcome a damning legacy, All the Best People celebrates the search for identity and grace in the most ordinary lives.


My Thoughts
I felt the story was hard for me to grasp at times and maybe a little slow to begin. 
I will say that I enjoyed the balance of the family dynamics and each of the characters personalities together as well as on their own.
It was hard for me to imagine what it must have been like for Carole to have her mind playing such tricks on her.  I wouldn't know if I could trust myself?  Could I trust those around me? 
Withdrawing from her family is the last thing she should do and sending her daughter on a hunt to get answers to questions, is a little rough in my opinion.  I don't think I would have done that to my family.
All in all, I really did like the premise of the story.

Drink Selection
At times when the story was slower, I could use a few glasses of Riesling to get me back on track! 
Rating
I would have to rate All the Best People 3 wine glasses, I enjoyed the concept, it was just hard for me to really get close to the characters and keep my focus.




Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Excerpt - Little Gray Dress by Aimee Brown


A Bad Dress

“It won’t zip.” I look over my shoulder trying to see just how much of a gap there is in the zipper.

The seamstress pulls open the curtain and peeks in. “Ohh…” She taps her lips with her forefinger. “Maybe a corset will help?”

“A corset? Like, what they used to wear in the 1800s?” I ask, worried that instead of just looking fat I’ll end up with crushed ribs as well.

“They aren’t quite as excruciating as they were back then. I’ll just go grab one.”

“A corset, Lily!” I yell through the curtain at my best friend. “Did you hear that? I’m so fat that I need to cinch it all in with a corset.” I stick my face out of the edge of the curtain, only to see Lily’s nod.

“I don’t know what you’re complaining about, Ems. I wear Spanx every day of my life.” She rolls her eyes at me. Spanx isn’t an option for me; I need the big guns of underwear to make this dress even a tiny bit presentable.

I peel the dress off and drape it over the small chair in the fitting room. The dress could be described as ‘daring’, but a more fitting word would be ‘repulsive’. It could cause the ugly swan dress Bjork wore to the Academy Awards to bow its head in shame. Which I think is what it was doing that night, anyway. Hannah must have lost her mind to create this disaster as a bridesmaid’s gown. Maybe the dress itself isn’t that terrible, but on me… it’s appalling.

“Here we go!” The seamstress holds up a white corset. “We’ll just get you tied into this and we should be good to go.”

If only it was that easy. It takes ten minutes of pulling, pushing, and adjusting. I wish I could say that the superstrength, agonizingly uncomfortable corset does the trick. It nearly does, but to really drive home the fact that I still look terrible, we also opt for high-waisted Spanx-like underwear that hits me just below the breast. Then the corset itself, and I swear at one point it felt as if the seamstress has a foot on my back as she pulled the strings as tight as they could go to get it on. Then, as if two pairs of smoothing and self-shrinking underwear aren’t enough, we add some kind of full-length slip to smooth out the uh… lumpy areas. Which give me a bit more flare at the bottom of the skirt, in an attempt to achieve that hourglass shape that this dress so desperately needs, as opposed to the pear shape I seem to have taken on recently.

Sadly, the biggest problem I’m going to have at this wedding isn’t even the fact that I’ll be wearing a lot of bodycinching underwear underneath an ugly, far-too-snug dress created by my almost sister-in-law, Hannah.

My biggest concern is Hannah’s brother: Jack Cabot. My ex-fiancĂ©.

Jack and I dated for five years, and for the last one of those years we were engaged. In all honesty, it was the best five years of my life, right up until that last day. That day is forever burned into my brain and has ruined so many parts of me. That was the day he shattered my heart, and I still haven’t found all the pieces.

I probably shouldn’t have put off the first fitting. Maybe my reflection in the dress wouldn’t be so shocking if I’d started the alteration process a month ago. Or maybe not. I’m sure the whole experience, no matter when I started it, would be just as traumatizing as it feels right now.


About the Author
Aimee Brown is a writer and avid reader, often blogging her thoughts on chick lit books. Little Gray Dress is her first novel published. She’s currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in English Writing. She spends much of her time writing her next book, doing homework, raising three teenagers, binge watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has been known to use far too many swear words.

Aimee grew up in Oregon but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and many, many pets.

She would love to hear your thoughts on Little Gray Dress! If you want to chat with her she’s very active on social media. Find her over at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or her author website – http://www.authoraimeebrown.com. Continue checking her website for information on her next book release!        

Link to Purchase
        


Book Spotlight - Little Gray Dress by Aimee Brown

 
Title: Little Gray Dress
Author: Aimee Brown
Release Date: August 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Chick Lit
GoodReads: add Little Gray Dress to your to be read list

Book Blurb: Emi Harrison has avoided her ex-fiance, Jack Cabot, for nearly two years. Her twin brother Evan’s wedding is about to end that streak. From bad bridesmaid’s dresses, a hyperactive sister-in-law, a mean girl with even meaner secrets, and too much to drink, nothing seems to go right for Emi, except when she’s wearing her little gray dress. When she speed-walks into Liam Jaxon’s bar, things get more complicated. He’s gorgeous, southern, and has no past with Emi. He may be exactly what she needs to prove for the last time that she doesn’t need or want Jack! Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult life. Will it make another when she least expects it?

AmazonUSeBook – $2.99 | print – $9.99
AmazonUKeBook – £1.99| print – £6.99
Barnes & Nobleprint – $9.99
 

 I have the cutest Giveaway for the tour - pictured here <-- & opened worldwide.
Included is a 'create' coffee cup, some dark & handsome K-cup pods, a cute Life is Short, Eat Cake wall art, some tiny macaroons, a Little Gray Dress bookmark & postcard!
Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Aimee Brown – author bio: Aimee Brown is a writer and an avid reader. Little Gray Dress is her first published novel. My second novel is in the works now. She’s currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in English Writing. She spends much of her time writing, doing homework, raising three teenagers, binge watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has been known to utter profanities like she’s competing for a medal. Aimee grew up in Oregon but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and far too many pets. She would love to hear your thoughts on Little Gray Dress! If you’d like to chat with her she’s very active on social media. You can find her at any of the networks below. Stop by and say hello! Facebook | Twitter Instagram | Pinterest | Website/Blog | GoodReads | Amazon Page | Newsletter
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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Review - The Wild Woman's Guide to Traveling the World by Kristin Rockaway

Objectively, Sophie is a success: she's got a coveted job at a top consulting firm, a Manhattan apartment, and a passport full of stamps. It isn't quite what she dreamed of when she was a teenager dog-earing pages in exotic travel guides, but it's secure. Then her best friend bails just hours after they arrive in Hong Kong for a girls' trip, and Sophie meets Carson, a free-spirited, globetrotting American artist.

In the midst of their whirlwind vacation romance, Carson invites Sophie to join him on his haphazard journey around the world. While the brief international jaunts she sneaks in between business trips don't feel like enough, Sophie is far too practical to throw away her five-year plan on a whim. Yet Carson's offer forces her to question whether the reliable life she's chosen is really what she wants--and she soon discovers that his feelings for her run deeper than she realized.


My Thoughts
I hands down think this book is one of the best I've read in 2017!  From the traveling to the love story of two strangers who meet for the first time, I couldn't put this book down! 
Sophie has the world at her fingertips - the perfect job, an apartment in the greatest city in the world, all the traveling she could wish for but why isn't she truly happy?
Personally I would take a job and make myself love it if it meant that I could travel all over the world and see wonders I have only read about in travel guides.
Next stop - HONG KONG!  And this time she has a travel companion - her best friend!  But it didn't last long and her friend was homesick for her boyfriend and left her the next morning.
Well Sophie decided to do what Sophie does best and that's travel alone.

Then she meets a handsome guy named Carson - he's a free spirited artist with no set plan in life - he quit his job to travel the world.  Throughout the journey they fall more and more in love.  He asks her to quit her job and travel the world with him.  How could she just drop her 5 year plan on a whim?
But in the end she does go back to NYC, she doesn't have it in her to remain in the world with no plan.

Will Sophie and Carson ever see each other again?  Will the connect again one day in another part of the world?  You will have to pick up a copy and find out!  From sexiness to travel to love - you will never be bored on this WILD ride!


Drink Selection
Doesn't that look delish?  Um YES!  It's a very popular drink in Hong Kong!  It's the blending of whisky, honey, maple syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon and lemon oil, the sweet and sour in perfect harmony.

Rating
5 wines glasses all the way!  I can't wait to read more books by Kristin in the future!


Author Bio
Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker with an insatiable case of wanderlust. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of software. THE WILD WOMAN'S GUIDE TO TRAVELING THE WORLD is her first novel. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, and planning her next big vacation.

Link to Purchase



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Happy Pub Day - Return to Summer by Melissa Baldwin

Happy Release Day to Melissa Baldwin! RETURN TO SUMMER is out now!!!

Title: Return to Summer
Author: Melissa Baldwin
Series: Seasons of Summer #4
Release Date: July 19, 2017
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35381340-return-to-summer
Amazon: https://books2read.com/mbrts

About RETURN TO SUMMER
Summertime has arrived and things aren’t only heating up outside for Summer Peters. After a rocky spring, Summer thinks she’s finally moved on from the heartache of last year. She’s found a new place to live, her company has new clients, and her relationship with Alexander Williams is going strong, despite the desperate attempts by others to sabotage it. Just when Summer thinks everything is finally falling into place, she receives another crushing blow, and this time it could even affect her business. Summer knows it’s finally time to put a stop to the one thing that threatens her happiness, even though it requires a difficult decision in order to do this. Will this season bring her everything she’s always wanted or will history repeat itself?
Find out how Summer’s one-year journey ends in this final installment of the Seasons of Summer Novella Series.


Read the first three SEASONS OF SUMMER novellas!
FALL INTO MAGIC - https://books2read.com/mbfim
WINTER CAN WAIT - https://books2read.com/mbwcw
TO SPRING WITH LOVE - https://books2read.com/mbtswl


Meet MELISSA BALDWIN

Melissa Baldwin is an avid runner, planner obsessed, and has always had a love for writing. She is a wife, mother, and avid journal keeper who took her creativity to the next level by fulfilling her dream with her debut novel, An Event to Remember...or Forget. Melissa writes about charming, ambitious, and real women and is now a published author of nine Romantic Comedy novels and novellas.

Where to Find MELISSA