Friday, April 28, 2017

Review - Motherhood Martyrdom and Costco Runs by Whitney Dineen

Join bestselling romantic comedy author, Whitney Dineen, as she discovers the three Es of parenting:
• Exhilarating—when you first discover you’re pregnant.
• Exhausting—when you realize you’ll most likely never sleep again--like EVER.
• Explosive—OMG these kids spew from both ends!
And that’s just the beginning. Whitney shares the ridiculous highs and excruciating lows of her catapult into motherhood. Enjoy the ride as this new mom vows to give up profanity while falling in love with… you guessed it, Costco. Be careful, because if you’re anything like Whitney, you may just pee a little.
Motherhood Martyrdom & Costco Runs takes the reader on a roller coaster of emotions as Whitney plummets into postpartum depression, desperately tries to get her kids to stop yodeling in public restrooms, and comes to terms with the fact she’ll never quite be queen of her own kingdom. Get ready to laugh, cry, cheer, and pat yourself on the back for the sake of mommies everywhere. And while you’re at it, stop by Costco for a case of toilet paper and a Very Berry Sundae. You won’t regret it! 

My Thoughts 
Where do I begin, seriously this book is hilarious!  I can't stop agreeing with Whitney and I can't stop laughing to myself!  I mean seriously if I was in public and people saw me they would think that I have lost my mind!
First and foremost I have never been to Costco, well I did go in the door when one opened near me years ago, but when I honestly realized that it was similar to BJs and I had to buy a membership, I just turned around and left.
But after reading Whitney's accounts of the all great and powerful Oz that is Costco, I may have to take a trip over there again soon in the near future!
I would be remiss if I didn't mention some of the parts that almost had me peeing my pants they were so funny.  (But I will not talk about ALL of them because you need to personally enjoy all that is Whitney's most hilarious book yet in my mind!)
I loath the days that my older children run around the house yelling the word penis or vagina.  It seriously makes me cringe because I do not want to have that talk with my 7 year old yet so I plug my ears with my fingers and say la la la and hope that it ends just as quickly as it began.  So far so good!
Whitney's description of the summer of the wiener seriously had me laughing so hard I was crying!  Just wait till you get to read all about it!
Or the moment when she thanks her mother for all the hell she put her through as a child from the vomit to the diarrhea to fevers and the list goes on and on.  I couldn't agree more with Whitney when she states that any mother who "deals with stuff shooting out both ends of a miserably sick child deserves a sash, tiara and monetary reward!"  Amen!
The reaction to Legos is priceless!  I curse those little pieces of pure plastic evil each and every day that my 7 year old starts a new set and I secretly suck some into the vacuum cleaner after I have warned him more times then I can count to pick each and every piece up!
BIG BLUE BALLS!  HAHA (just wait and read!)
Or the tampon launching at said Costco check out guys head?  Oh my - I would have crawled in the fetal position under the conveyor belt and hid. LOL
Her husband makes me giggle "swearing offends his delicate sensibilities, body parts are never to be discussed by their proper names and butt cleavage is enough to make him take off running for the hills" - I can only imagine the two of them in the same house and the discussions that are had.
Lastly, I love the girls conversations, priceless!
This book will have you laughing and cringing (depending on the conversation) from beginning to end!

Drink Selection
Due to the amazing spring day we are experiencing today, I am going to go with a delish glass of Watermelon Jalapeno Margarita - just as spicy as this book!
Laugh out loud funny all the way and totally worth a 4 wine glass rating!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Review - Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica

Clara Solberg's world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon. 
Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick's death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit. 
Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara's investigation and Nick's last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

My Thoughts 
This book had my mind pulled in 6 different directions OR MORE!  One minute I seriously thought I had it all figured out and then BAM Mary took the book back in another direction.
Character wise they have amazing depth.  I will say that throughout the book I was not a fan of Nick. For as much as he said that he loved Clara, I wanted to smack some sense into him.  The lies and the back handed acts that he got himself into were mind blowing.  And the fact that he hid every detail from his wife blew me away.  You have a wife and a daughter and baby on the way, get it together!
There are so many different story lines going on here from the tragic accident to theft and a blast from the past with a little medical malpractice thrown in to bring it all together.
I really couldn't wait to see what would happen next and I was sad when it came to an end.   

Drink Selection
We are going to pair this nail biter with a Limoncello Mojito!  The perfect drink to pair with this top beach read of 2017.
5 wine glasses all the way! LOVED it!  I can't say enough amazing things!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Review - Plan Cee by Hilary Grossman

Would you abandon your present for a second chance at your past?

Cecelia Reynolds has spent most of her life trying to forget the commitment-phobic man who broke her heart. It wasn’t easy, but eventually she did it, or so she thought…

As Cecelia and her husband gather for a friend’s wedding, her perfect world is thrown into complete turmoil. Even though it’s been twenty years since she last laid eyes on Keith Emerson, all it takes is one glance for her to feel emotions she thought were long gone. When Keith ends up officiating the ceremony, she quickly realizes his message of love is directed at her, not the happy couple. But can she believe him?

We live our entire lives thinking we know ourselves. But do we ever really?

As secrets and lies cause Cecelia’s world to spin completely out of control, she is forced to seek advice from the most unlikely ally. In the process, she must confront the demons of her past and the events that shaped her into the woman she is now. Will she finally learn the real meaning of love, friendship, and family?

While this book is a sequel to Plan Bea, it also reads as a standalone.

My Thoughts 
What a great follow-up read to Plan Bea.  It was great to see a lot of the characters back again - Bea and her cranky (yet supportive) self and Anna who had it touch in Plan Bea but is the steadfast friend to Cee and trying to help her get her life back on track at the end and so many others...
I'm sure many if us have had that one love who has gotten away, no matter the situation, and the thought of seeing that person again years and years later, what would you do?
Cee was left by the love of her life, Keith, and she never really got over it.  She had moved on and married her husband Bryce and they have adorable twin boys together.
One day she attends Bea's wedding to Walter and who walks in the door?  Keith!
Cee starts to panic and doesn't know what to do.  She can't tell anyone, yet she figures out later that Bea and Walter already know, Walter and Keith being long time friends and all.
What is Cee going to do?  Her past comes flooding back to her now and sends her head into a tailspin of emotion.
Can she just forget about Keith and Move on?  Can she and Bryce's marriage last after this sighting?  It will be a long crazy ride but the end is well worth the wait!

Drink Selection
I am going to pair this beauty with a Seaside Sunrise - Delish! Who doesn't love juice and a little bit of rum?! 
What a great read to relax with this week!  It was just what I needed!  5 wine glasses all the way!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review - Dreaming of Venice by TA Williams

Find love, friendship and prosecco – in the magical city of Venice
Life is tough for Penny. A dead end job in a London café, a boyfriend in Australia (what could go wrong?) and an art career going nowhere. But then Penny is approached with an extraordinary proposition.
It isn’t going to be easy but, if she can pull it off, she will turn her life around and at long last see the fulfilment of her dream – to visit Venice. And, just maybe, find true happiness with the handsome man of her dreams.
But can dreams come true?

My Thoughts 
Oh my goodness!  THIS cover!  Amazing!  The colors are TO DIE FOR!  I can honestly say that if this is what Venice truly looks like I will be visiting very soon!
The concept behind this story is so creative!  I love the mystery and the intrigue!  The dynamic between the characters is at a whole different level.
Penny was basically living life day to day and felt like her life was going no where.  Then one day she was approached with an offer that she couldn't refuse.  The money was amazing and with her bills piling up she really couldn't say anything other than yes!  Would she really be able to pull it all off in the end?
There are so many elements to this piece - love, mystery, art, heartbreak, friendship and so much more.  This story will draw you in from the beginning and the images that TA paints really make you feel are you are right there with the characters in London and Venice.

Drink Selection 
We have to go with the yummy drink selection of the book, Prosecco!   One of mt all time favorites!

I really loved this story from beginning to end and it is 5 wine glasses all the way!


Monday, April 17, 2017

Book Review - Kim vs. the Mean Girl by Meredith Schorr

High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.

Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?

Kim vs. The Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series and is set in 2000. Told in the duo perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan) and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.

"In Blogger Girl we meet the irrepressible Kim Long and her nemesis Hannah Marshak. Kim Vs. the Mean Girl takes us back to high school with Kim and Hannah 101 in this delightful prequel. I gobbled it up in one byte…er, I mean bite (this is the era before a cell phone was in every backpack). When Kim declares war on Hannah, it takes some unexpected, and at times amusing, turns, and though the enemies don’t emerge as friends, or even frenemies, they each come away the better for it. A fun read for all ages." Eileen Goudge, New York Times best-selling author

My Thoughts
What a fun read!  I loved Kim in Blogger Girl and it is fun to go back in time and see what life was like for Kim going to high school with Hannah.  It really did play out just the way that I thought in would in my mind.
Hannah has always been a bully of sorts and her behavior when she was younger doesn't shock anyone.  Towards the end I really think she started to see Kim in a whole new light.  Could even be a fun second book starting point!
From Hannah stealing her diary and telling the entire class her inner most secrets to Kim getting her back with the perfect revenge plan, the girls both learned a few very important lessons in life. Hannah learned that there is more to life then just money (sort of) and Kim learned that you should just let things go and ignore people who are irritating you because the more attention you give them the more they will pester you.
If you loved Blogger Girl you will love Kim vs. the Mean Girl.

Drink Selection
This was a fun read from beginning to end, and going a long with the theme of younger characters, I will be picking a Shirley Temple.  Delish!

Such a fun book, highly anticipated by all of us Blogger Girl fans!  5 wine glasses all the way!  I wish it had been longer!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Review - The Art of Southern Charm by Patrica Altschul

“Patricia on #SouthernCharm, like lookin’ in the damn mirror. Cheers queen.” —Lady Gaga

Fan-favorite Bravolebrity Patricia Altschul from the primetime show Southern Charm finally brings fans her eagerly anticipated opus on etiquette and living a glamorous Southern lifestyle. Patricia provides advice on every situation, from hosting a memorable cocktail party, to decoding the dress code for any event, to handling a drunken boor at the dinner table, to delivering the perfectly phrased insult—like her now iconic “shameless strumpet.” The Art of Southern Charm takes readers inside the world of Charleston’s most captivating grande dame, who (with Michael the Butler) offers a blueblood’s blueprint for curating and celebrating life at its best.

My Thoughts 
LOVE LOVE LOVE Patricia!  She is laugh out loud funny, her comebacks are simply amazing!
She is one of my favorite people on Southern Charm on Bravo.  I will have to say I am totally addicted to the show - if you haven't seen it you need to check it out now!  The new season just started and the hot messes have already begun!
Not only is Patricia a true southern matriarch, she is the "mother" to all the charmers and that is not an easy task!  She has the best advice in Charleston by far!
Her parties are to die for and I would love to be in attendance.  He butler Michael is adorable and together they have a great time and live great lives!
Throughout this book she gives advice on dressing, parties, and life in general!  She has great guest celebs that give advice and one is Carson Kressley - the amazing man from one of my favorite all time shows, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy!  I miss that show!

I highly recommend this book with its household tips and delicious recipes that will have your mouth watering and planning a trip to your nearest Wegmans (or the Piggly Wiggly if you are down south!).

Drink Selection 
Perfect drink for this book is none other than Patricia's signature drink, Michael's Perfect Martini!  They sound simply amazing and created to perfection by Michael, her butler.

Rating 1
5 wines glasses all the way!  Patricia is amazing, smart and funny as hell!  I would LOVE the meet her one day!  I believe a trip to Charleston is in order!

Review - Everything We Left Behind by Kerry Lonsdale

Two months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancée, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.
Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.

My Thoughts 
I couldn't wait to read this sequel!  And Kerry did not disappoint.   I personally hope that this story will continue and there will be a third story sometime soon down the road!
The Donato family is nothing but trouble.  Or so we think.  James was trying to track Phil down after he harmed his fiance Aimee. 
What he didn't bargain for was being lost at sea and losing six years of his life as James and instead becomes Carlos.  This all took place when he suffered from a dissociatic fugue and couldn't remember any of his life pre-Carlos.
He creates a new life as an artist, gets married and has a child.  To then talk to Aimee when she locates him as Carlos and have no idea who she is.  How is that possible?
He goes through a roller coaster of emotions from fear to love to questioning everyone and anyone around him.  Who and what can he believe?
Will Carlos ever become James again and if so will he remember his life in Mexico or fall back into his previous life?
He returns to California and he tries to piece together the life he once had and has to figure out if that's the life he wants again or if he wants to live in Mexico and remain Carlos for as long as possible?
This book will have you questioning what is going to happen till the very end and then you may still not believe it.

Drink Selection
The is the perfect story to pair with a yummy Casa Blanca, perfection!

What a great sequel from beginning to end, and can't wait to see if there is a third book to find out more!  4 wines all the way!


Friday, April 14, 2017

Review - The Cornish Escape by Lily Graham

Victoria Langley’s world crumbles when her husband leaves, but she knows exactly where to go to mend her broken heart. The rugged shores of Cornwall will be her perfect sanctuary.

In the quaint, little village of Tregollan, nestled in the sea cliffs, Victoria is drawn to Seafall Cottage, covered in vines and gracefully falling apart. Inside she finds a diary full of secrets, from 1905.

Victoria is determined to unravel the diary’s mystery, but the residents of Tregollan are tight-lipped about Tilly Asprey, the cottage’s last owner. Just as she reaches a dead end, Victoria meets Adam Waters, the lawyer handling the cottage’s sale. He’s handsome, charming, and has a missing piece of the puzzle.

Tilly’s diary tells a devastating love story that mirrors Victoria’s own. Can Victoria learn from Tilly’s mistakes, and give herself a second chance at love? Or is history doomed to repeat itself?

My Thoughts
What do you do when your life falls apart at the seams?  Well if you are Victoria you take a road trip and getaway to Cornwall to clear your head!  I'm game, I can truthfully think of many times I would have loved to do this but alas I have children and it's not possible.  Darn!
As Victoria is visiting the town, she takes a walk and is drawn to a hidden cottage known as Seafall Cottage.  The feelings that she gets when she is there are hard to describe, she feels as if she was meant to find it, hidden in the cliff.
Then one day she hears that it is about to be demolished and what does she do?  She buys it!  What has she just gotten herself into?
As she is walking around her new home, she comes across a diary with a mystical coded language and then she locates letters here and there and she begins to research the past of this mystical place.
Victoria learns how to live life, smile, breathe and possibly finds love again?
What more could a broken hearted woman ask for?
Curl up with a copy today!  You will fall in love with Cornwall!

Drink Selection
Sit back and relax and enjoy a glass of 2013 Camel Valley Sparkling Demi-Sec from the Camel Valley Vineyard in Cornwall!
Well, I couldn't put it down and I LOVED every minute, 5 wine glasses all the way!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Review - The Good Widow by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

Elementary school teacher Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.
For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiancé. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.
Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…

My Thoughts 
What just happened?  Wow, I can't even process how good Liz and Lisa's first suspense book is!  The lies, the cheating, this story has it all and more!
Jacks truly believes that her marriage is OK, there are a few ups and downs but every marriage has its moments right?  She's then blindsided and doesn't know how to process what her life has become.  She just received news that her husband died in a car accident in Maui, wait! Maui?  How is that possible?  He's on a business trip in Kansas?  They must have the wrong person.  There has to be another explanation.
Then Nick shows up one day at her door, Dylan's Fiance, and Jacks is thrown another curve ball.
Nick not only wants to find out the truth but he wants Jacks to accompany him to Maui to find out what REALLY happened with their exes.  Did they truly love each other or were they just having a fling that didn't mean anything?  Did that really matter?  I mean cheating is cheating right?  Would you be able to take the same trip that your husband took with his mistress?
This story will have you questioning all aspects from love to cheating to the accident.  Just when you thought you knew what happens, then you are sent into left field.  You won't be able to put this book down - I literally read it in a couple of days time! 

Drink Selection
This story will have your head spinning, not knowing what is going to happen next!  Enjoy a Mai Tai!  I could enjoy these all day!  Delish!
5 wine glasses all the way!  You won't be able to put it down till you get to the end!  Forget about sleep, it's totally overrated! 


Review - The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner

The discovery of long-buried secrets brings three generations of women together to Cape Cod for the summer homecoming of a lifetime.

Marin Bishop has always played by the rules, and it's paid off: on the cusp of thirty she has a handsome fiancé, a prestigious Manhattan legal career, and her father's hard-won admiration. But with one careless mistake at work, Marin suddenly finds herself unemployed and alone. Before she can summon the courage to tell her parents, a young woman appears, claiming to be Marin's half-sister. Seeking answers, Marin agrees to join her on a soul-searching journey to Cape Cod, to meet the family she didn't even know she had.

As the summer unfolds at her grandmother's beachside B&B, it becomes clear that her half-sister's existence is just the first in a series of truths that will shake Marin's beliefs--in love, and in her own identity--to the core. Filled with shocking revelations, heartfelt romance, and resilient women banding together against the most unexpected twists of fate, THE FOREVER SUMMER is an emotionally resonant page-turner, and a delicious escape for any season.

My Thoughts 
The perfect beach read for anyone looking for a story about love, life, family, redemption, forgiveness just to name a few -  I could go on and on.
The depth of the multiple story lines within this one piece sets apart Jamie from many other writers.  She is able to flow from one character to the next seamlessly, not skipping even the smallest of details to intertwine their lives together in one great novel.
Marin has always followed the rules and has planned for a set course in life - follow in her father's footsteps and become a lawyer, get engaged to a top notch guy and live in an amazing city.  But then she meets the man of her dreams and decides to leave her fiance to pursue him.  But there is one tiny little problem, she and Julian and are not allowed to date and work together.
Just when then thought they had it under wraps, someone leaks their relationship to the partners and both Marin and Julian are out on their butts.  What are they going to do?  At least they have each other right, or do they?
Then a stranger contacts Marin and states that she is her long lost half sister, how is that possible?  Her parents have never been apart?  There has to be a mistake, right?
Then Marin chooses to follow her "half-sister" to Cape Cod and meet the fam.  She is still not sure what to think or what to expect.
This trip will change Marin's life in more ways then she will ever imagine.  Will she find her true passion?  Will she reconnect with Julian?  Will her mother be able to look her in her eyes after living such a lie?

Drink Selection
Yum!  The PERFECT drink to go along with this beach read, the Cape Codder!  Grab one (or a couple today!)

 5 wine glass review all the way - pre-order your copy today!