Thursday, May 21, 2015

13 Little Blue Envelopes

Synopsis (from Amazon): Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.
The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.
Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–though utterly romantic–results. But will she ever see him again?
Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.
Ages 12+

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I didn't click with 13 Little Blue Envelopes.  First it seemed very unrealistic (and yes, I know it is fiction, but it still needs to be believable) to me that Ginny would travel internationally by herself at her age to follow instructions in envelopes left to by her Aunt.  Not once, but twice she hops on a plane.  The adventure she has along the way was enjoyable and funny at times.  I would not let a 12 year old read this book though.  I would think it would be more appropriate for 18+.  It just wasn't my cup of tea.

Fast read/slow read:  Okay speed.  Not too fast and not too slow.

Cover:  Adorable.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Probably not, and I hate to type it.

Maureen Johnson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Like a lot of people who end up writing books, she was always reading. This paid off in the end, but also resulted in her not playing any sports, so she is spectacularly uncoordinated, and is easily injured by harmless household objects, like endtables.

She studied writing and theatrical dramaturgy at Columbia University. Before she could spend all her days writing, Maureen served up hamburgers in the company of mad scientists and talking skeletons in New York, tended bar in Piccadilly Circus, nervously worked alongside live tigers in Las Vegas, and once got mixed up with the entire cast of a major West End musical.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Styling Wellywood

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon): A humorous chick lit - romantic comedy novel about friendship, romance and overcoming your past. 

Jessica Banks is dragged kicking and screaming from her fabulous and carefree London life back to her New Zealand hometown and into the arms of her uptight mother. 

She starts up a personal styling business with one of her friends, hoping to bring some of her London glamour to the city. 

Things begin to look up when she meets Scott Wright, tennis coach, and serious contender for the hottest man on the planet. But is it a love match? 

When her best friend disappears and her high school arch nemesis rears her perky head, Jessica’s new life begins to come undone. 

Even her best friend, Ben, can’t protect her from her demons. 

Eventually, she realises she needs to face her darkest fear – the one she’s successfully drowned in cocktails for the last four years. 

Can Jessica overcome her past and find love and romance in unexpected places? 

With Wellington - the world’s coolest little capital city and New Zealand’s answer to Hollywood - as the backdrop, Styling Wellywood: A fashionable romantic comedy is a laugh out loud, entertaining romp in the world of contemporary women’s chick lit romance. 

If you love the humor found in Sophie Kinsella or Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary, or the women undone (and put back together) themes of Marian Keyes, you'll love this new contemporary women’s story filled with romantic humor! 

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Great read, with great characters.  I want to go to New Zealand and have Jessica help me with my wardrobe.  Heck, I would meet her in London too!  I like that Styling Wellywood brings in all of Jessica's friends from school.  It allows us to get to know her and her life.  Her mother is too funny. Her hippie father…peace out!

Favorite Character(s):  Ben was my favorite character.  It isn't often that I pick the guy, but Ben was very cool and a great friend.  

Setting:  Back in Jessica's home town in New Zealand. Yes, you can go back home!

Fast read/slow read:  Fast read

Cover:  Chick shopping.LOVE it!

What Others Are Saying:
"Part Bridget Jones's Diary and part Eat, Pray, Love, O'Keeffe's book blends multiple styles to form a novel that is all its own. At first glance, the book presents like a light, summer beach read. The pacing is fast and there are many romantic conundrums and slapstick snafus. However, underneath the apparent light-hearted fluff are several weighty issues, which O'Keeffe treats with sensitivity, finesse and just the right touch of humor... The story's circuitous path and the meatiness of the underlying issues are sufficient to set this book apart. It is worth escaping to a quiet spot to read O'Keeffe's engrossing tale."

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes, I want to read Wedding Bubbles!

Deciding long ago that feel good stories and happy endings shouldn't be limited to just children's books and fairy tales, Kate O'Keeffe decided to create such worlds through her writing. She has loved romantic comedies since she first encountered Bridget Jones as a young, impressionable writer. It really was a match made in chick lit heaven. Kate likes to take on serious subject matter and wrap it up in warmth, wit, and humor. And of course, apply the all important feel good factor and happy ending. Kate lives and loves in New Zealand, with her wonderful family and two very scruffy dogs.


Monday, May 18, 2015

The Selection

Synopsis (from Amazon): For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I really liked the Selection.  I think it is a great young adult book.  I really like America's spunk and the way she sticks up for everyone regardless of class.  She is not afraid or intimidated by Prince Maxon. They become fast friends and develop a special relations.

Setting:  In the future, but I am not sure when or maybe in the past.  I just know it is a make believe world.

Cover:  Love it! Reminds of a great party or prom! 

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Absolutely.  I need to read the rest of the series!

Kiera Cass is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Selection series and The Siren. She is a graduate of Radford University and currently lives in Christiansburg, Virginia, with her family. Kiera has kissed approximately fourteen boys in her life. None of them were princes.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Beyond Believing

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon): When Olivia gets news of her best friend Dan’s fatal car accident, her life is shattered. Consumed with grief and struggling to find any meaning or purpose to life, she trudges along with a gaping void in her heart. Finally, when her frustration reaches its peak, Olivia decides to put her trust in the depth of friendship the two of them shared. That trust finally allows him to breakthrough to her, and Dan begins to guide Olivia through the twists and turns of her life, leading to something new and entirely unexpected.

When Olivia exposes a gigantic internal scandal at work, her career implodes. With no job and nowhere to turn, she escapes to Palm Springs for the sympathy and care of her beloved cousin, Garrett. However, with only weeks left before the opening of his newest store, “Gin and Tonic,” Garrett isn’t quite the comfort Olivia had expected. She yet again tries to find her way, and in the process meets someone who begins to fill that void in her heart. She’s never before experienced a love like this; it heals her soul and rekindles her spirit – and just may have been the design of her dearly departed friend all along.

Beyond Believing is a sweet, funny, and romantic story that touches the heart, serves up delicious twists and turns, and shows the reader that there’s no such thing as “coincidence.” Author D.D. Marx regards this book as her “love letter to friendship,” written in memory of her best friend, Dan.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!  I was hooked from page one.  I can't wait for next book (yes, there are two more!!! Beyond Love and Beyond Forever).  Beyond Believing is a modern day story that takes us quickly from high school, to college, the loss of a friend, the loss of a spouse - the real world.  The book is has two different stories going on for most of the book.  Olivia's up and downs of life after losing a best friend and entering the work world and Finn's ups and downs, love, career and loss in Paris.  Their paths cross unexpectedly leaving us wanting more.  Oh….sigh…..I just loved it.

Favorite Character(s):  I could really relate to Olivia.  I felt she was the "real world." What she went through, reality of life and what we go through all told in an very entertaining way.  I loved the signs from Dan, the hard decisions she had to make, and her independence. 

Fast read/slow read:  I read Beyond Believing so quickly.  I just couldn't get enough of it.

What Others Are Saying:  Check out what others are saying on the tour 
April 27 - StoreyBook Reviews - review / giveaway
April 27 - 
The Autistic Gamer - review
April 27 - 
Coffee, Books & Art - book spotlight / giveaway
April 28 - 
Readers' Muse - review / author interview
April 28 - 
Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author - book spotlight
April 29 - 
Souls Readers - guest post / giveaway / book spotlight
April 29 - 
Griperang's Bookmarks - review / author interview / giveaway
April 30 - 
The Things We Read - review
May 1 - 
Book Loving Hippo - review / giveaway / author interview
May 4 - 
Girl With Camera - review / giveaway
May 4 - 
Deal Sharing Aunt - review
May 5 - 
Christa Reads and Writes - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 6 - 
Romance Novels for the Beach - review
May 7 - 
Rockin’ Book Reviews -  review / giveaway / author interview
May 8 - 
Bound for Escape - review / giveaway
May 11 - 
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! -  review / giveaway
May 12 - 
A Blue Million Books - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 12 - 
Allthingsbookie - review
May 13 - 
Deal Sharing Aunt - review
May 13 – 
Walking with Nora - review / giveaway
May 14 - 
Library of Clean Reads - review
May 15 - 
The Phantom Paragrapher - review
May 15 - 
Did YOU Hear About the Morgans? - review
May 15 - 
Seaside Book Nook - review
May 15 - 
Jessica Cassidy - review / author interview / giveaway

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I can't wait for the next two books: Beyond Love and Beyond Forever.

D.D. Marx is a contemporary romantic fiction writer and blogger, as well as a lover of all things social. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton, as well as the Second City program in Chicago, where she currently resides. A proud aunt and self-described hopeless romantic, Marx has always has a knack for humorous and engaging storytelling. Her pen name is a dedication to her beloved friend Dan, who continues to guide and inspire her in her daily life.  Connect with D.D.:  Website  ~  Facebook  


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Shelf Life Audio + Giveaway

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis: Publishing: An industry of out-of-control of egos, unrealistic expectations, and books with the shelf life of milk. This is Kate’s world, but for how long?

When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, she thinks it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold on to but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. When her career and love affair hit their expiration dates, Kate sets off on a new adventure....

Starting over in California is easy, but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn’t. Nicholas Lavigne is eager to help her forget, but two things still own her heart: the dream of discovering the next great American novel and MacDermott Ellis. As Kate tries to rebuild her life, she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest best sellers publishing has seen in ages, and she's welcomed back with open arms. At the height of her success, the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she'd been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart. Behind the book there’s always more to the story.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I have read Shelf Life and loved I have listened to Shelf Life and loved it more.  The characters were brought to life not just through the story but through audio.  I absolutely love these series.  It doesn't matter if you start with the first one or with the second one (Shelf Life), but I would recommend you experience them both.  

Kate is such a strong person and got through so much in a short period of time. I love Kate with Mac and I love Kate with Nick.  The problem is I can't decide which team I would be on.I like them both for different reasons.  Kate has to make so difficult choices as the story twists and turns.  Shelf Life is just too good!

Favorite Character(s):  Besides Kate, I keep going back and forth between Nick and Mac, so I will stick with Grace!  Grace is the type of friend we should all have; honest, there for you no matter what, looks out of you, caring, and much more.

Setting:  NYC to LA to NYC

Fast listen/slow listen:  Sat in my car in the garage not wanting to stop listening, kind of fast listening!

Audio Thoughts: I am a HUGE fan of Audiobooks and Audible.  I wish they were less expensive.

What Others Are Saying:  Check out other reviews on iRead Book Tours!
April 13 - Eargasms Audiobook Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
April 14 - XoXo Book Blog - book spotlight / giveaway
April 15 - Back Porchervations - review of Shelf Life / giveaway
April 16 - Seaside Book Nook - review of Shelf Life / giveaway
April 17 - For Life After - review  of Shelf Life/ giveaway
April 17 - Laura's Interests - review of The Publicist
April 20 - The Book Fairy - review of Shelf Life/ giveaway
April 20 - T's Stuff - review of The Publicist / giveaway
April 21 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Shelf Life/ giveaway
April 22 - Brooke Blogs - review of Shelf Life/ guest post / giveaway
April 23 - T's Stuff - Review Shelf Life
April 24 - Green and Glassie - review / giveaway
April 27 - A Soccer Mom's Book Blog - review / giveaway
April 28 - Girl With Camera - book spotlight / review
April 29 - Laura's Interests - review of Shelf Life

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  No doubt about it. I love Christina's books and would be thrilled to read any book by her!

Christina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn't. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it.  

Connect with Christina: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~ Goodreads


Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. (Open Internationally) Ends May 8


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bridges of Paris and Giveaway

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis: Bridges of Paris is a large-format coffee-table book, with over 350 original color photographs, which casts new illumination on the City of Light. The 37 bridges over the Seine River emerge as beautiful, historic destinations rather than unnoticed thoroughfares. The book features stunning portraits of each bridge as well as intimate riverside moments. Once you’ve experienced this river tour, you will never see Paris the same way again.

Living as a Parisian for a year, author Michael Saint James left his American lifestyle and spent his days and nights capturing images from over, on, beside and under the bridges of Paris. With over 30 years experience as a photographer, educator and world traveler, Michael immersed himself in French culture to search out his authentic artist self. The result is a visual treasure to share with everyone.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I was very interested in reviewing Bridges of Paris to learn more about Paris.  The book has so much more to offer.  There is a lot of culture, history, and interesting stories behind each section.  After reading A Photographer's Perspective at the beginning of the book, I realized there is so much more to a bridge than connecting one piece of land to another.  It took me back to my hometown, when "the Bridge (on Bridge Street)" was deteriorating and needed to be torn down.  The town picked a new site for the bridge (not anywhere near the original one) and the towns people were in an uproar.  After a long debate, the new bridge was constructed right next to the old bridge.  I never realized what a bridge could mean to a community until that time.  

My girls and I would read a section of Bridges of Paris and would discuss our favorite parts, pictures, and what we learned.  We had a blast.  My favorite was learning about the Love Locks.  Pont de L'Archeveche and Pont des Arts are the two bridges where lovers write their name on a lock and attach it to the bridge.  I absolutely love that, however, I don't like that the weight of the locks are putting a strain on the structure of the bridges.  

One of my girls really liked the Passerelle Leopold-Sedar-Senghor bridge.  She loved the bridge under the bridge and that there was a statute of Thomas Jefferson on the bridge.  She thinks it would be fun to walk the bottom bridge with all the steps….I have to say, I agree.  

My other daughter's favorite bridge
was Pont de Grenelle.  She thought it would be amazing to see the statute "Liberty Enlightening the World" and the Eiffel Tower.  The photos are so amazing.  I too would love to experience crossing the Pont de Grenelle.  So much history in one place.

Bridges of Paris is more than just a "coffee table" book, there is so much you can learn about a historical city in this beautiful book.  

Fast read/slow read:  Bridges of Paris was a very easy book to read and is organized by bridges/areas around Paris. This makes it very easy to read and view all the differences in each bridge and the history behind each one.  

Cover:  Absolutely beautiful.

What Others Are Saying:  Makes sure you check out what others are saying about Bridges of Paris on the iRead Book Tour.

April 13 - Readers' Muse - review / giveaway
April 13 - Girl With Camera - review
April 13 - Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
April 14 - Bound 4 Escape - review / author interview / giveaway
April 14 - Seaside Book Nook - review / giveaway
April 15 - Breath of Life - review / guest post / giveaway
April 15 - Bluerose's Heart - review / giveaway
April 16 - Bless Their Hearts Mom - review / author interview / giveaway
April 16 - 3 Partners in Shopping - review / giveaway
April 17 - Roughseaseinthemed - review / author interview
April 17 - Deal Sharing Aunt - review / giveaway
April 20 - Lavish Bookshelf - review / giveaway
April 20 - Minnesota Girl in the World - review
April 21 - My Life. One Story at a Time - review / giveaway
April 21 - Hello, my name is Alice - review / author interview
April 22 - She Treads Softly - review
April 22 - Life With Katie - review / giveaway
April 23 - Posting for Now - review / giveaway
April 23 - View From the Birdhouse - review / giveaway
April 24 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
April 24 - Working Mommy Journal - review / giveaway
April 27 - Psychotic State Book Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
April 27 - TW Brown on zombies, Border Collies, and the Indie Writing Scene - review / author interview
April 28 - Griperang's Bookmarks - review / guest post / giveaway
April 29 - Chic Toronto - review
April 30 - Reading Authors - review / giveaway
May 1 - The Bookish & The Romantic - review / author interview / giveaway
May 1 - Thoughts in Progress - review / giveaway
May 4 - Ivory Owl Reviews - review / giveaway
May 5 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review 
May 5 - Impressions in Ink - review
May 6 - One Frugal Girl - review / giveaway
May 7 - Words and Peace - review / giveaway
May 7 - BooksatVioletCrush - review
May 8 - Create With Joy - review

Michael Saint James’ artistic pursuits include award-winning book design, film editing, and sound recording, as well as his first love, photography. Saint James is a world traveler, having visited more than 50 countries - doing everything from photographing penguins in Antarctica to trekking the Himalayas.

As an educator with California teaching credentials, he has taught media production and technology arts as well as photography, art history and visual storytelling. He is an expert speaker on Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. Indeed, he walked in Vincent Van Gogh’s footsteps through the Netherlands, Belgium, and France in order to immerse himself in that troubled master’s vision.

The father of two grown children, Saint James once owned a café in Berkeley, California. He has bicycled from Las Vegas to Washington, D.C. and is rumored to play a mean blues harmonica.

Connect with Michael:  Website Twitter  ~  Pinterest

Amazon |  Author's Website

Win one of 15 print copies of Bridges of Paris. (Open Internationally) Ends May 16
a Rafflecopter giveaway