Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Reluctant Bachelorette



~ I received a copy of this book from the publisher or author to facilitate this review.  I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~



Synopsis (from Amazon):  Luke Carney has no idea what possessed him to move back to Shelter Springs, Colorado, to set up his veterinarian practice. His parents had long since left, the small farming community is on the brink of extinction, and only one close friend from his childhood remains--Taycee Emerson, his best friend's little sister, who isn't so little anymore. Then there's the matter of Shelter's Bachelorette, an online reality dating show created to raise some much needed funds for the town. 

Unknowingly cast as the bachelorette for her town's charity event, Taycee Emerson wants out. Especially when she discovers her old teenage crush, Luke Carney, is one of the bachelors and it's up to the viewers--not her--to decide which bachelors stay or go. Coerced into participating, Taycee does what any self-preserving girl would do. She launches a subtle attack on Luke's good name with the hope of getting him voted off the show. Unfortunately, Luke's an eye-for-an-eye kind of guy, and when he discovers what she's up to, it means revenge.



One (or more) Sentence Summary: Struggling town meets reality TV show, the Bachelorette/Bachelor.  I thought the concept of saving a town of farmers was really cute.  Using the TV reality show as the basis for the fundraiser was an unusual twist to a story.  It worked for the story!

Favorite Character(s):  I don't think I had a favorite one, because I liked them all.  

Setting:  Struggling, small farm town near Denver.

Fast read/slow read:  I won the audible version and listened it to it non-stop.  I absolutely love being able to listen to my TBR list!  I purchase the e-book version of The Reluctant Bachelorette, October 5, 2012 (per my amazon account) and have not found time to read it.  I was so happy to be able to listen to it.  The voices and quality were top notch!

Cover:  I think it is cute and so happy the flower is not a rose!!!

What Others Are Saying:  "I am in love with this book! It is witty, romantic fun that left me with a smile and a sigh. Such a perfect way to spend the day." --Aimee, Getting Your Read On book review blog.
  
I LOVED THIS ONE!! Rachael's best yet! Clean romance just how I love it!  --Kathy,  I Am A Reader, Not A Writer book review blog.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I would love to read another book by Rachael Anderson!


A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating. 

You can read more about her and her books online at rachaelreneeanderson.com.


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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Epic Fail - Gift Card Giveaway!!!



Since my rafflecopter was completely messed up for the Literary Blog Hop last week, I picked a winner from comments left.  Congrats Josie!


I was out of town and assumed the everything was fine.  Sunday I posted a comment that I would have another giveaway to make up for the inconvenience.  So, here is another chance to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card or a book of your choice (up to $15) from Book Depository.  We will call this the Epic Fail Giveaway!

We will give it a go.....again!  Good luck and thanks for your understanding.


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Monday, February 17, 2014

The Pact - TLC Book Tours


~ I received a copy of this book from the publisher or author to facilitate this review.  I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


Synopsis (from Amazon): Scott Addison never set out to be a hero. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t run away from destiny. On the heels of his father’s death, Scott and his mother move from Iowa City, Iowa to the small Southern Illinois town of Meadowbrook. Scott just wanted to blend in…to observe quietly…to be one of the kids. Unfortunately for Scott, his instincts, heart, and integrity took over on his first day at his new middle school. Scott stood up to and faced down three larger boys torturing a wiry little boy named Paul. This simple act of kindness and chivalry put Scott in the midst of the conflict and on the receiving end of the bullies’ antics.

Paul introduces Scott to two high school friends who just happen to play Warriors & Thieves, Scott’s favorite role-playing fantasy game. The game and his new friends provide a much needed escape from both his past and his present troubles…at least for a while. But no matter how hard Scott tries to blend in at school, his pet peeve of bullying and his overwhelming sense of right and wrong continue to push him into the limelight, bringing praises from many, but more opposition from the bullies. When the hazing goes too far Scott decides it is time to take a stand…no matter the cost. Of course, sometimes, that’s the price heroes must pay.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  The Pact is about a group of boys who stand up to bullying in their middle school.  A new boy to town arrives and seeks to break down the stereotypes about jocks vs. geeks.  

I liked the book so much, that I took it into my classroom and gave it to the teacher.  After my classmates are done reading it, we are donating it to our school library.  I think it is a great book for 6th graders and up.

Favorite Character(s):  Do doubt about it....Scott is my favorite character.  He shows a cool side as he is bullied and the other boys try to run him off the wrestling team.

Setting:  Small town in Illinois.  It took place anywhere though.

Fast read/slow read:  The Pact was a very fast read. 


What Others Are Saying:  Check out the TLC Book Tours to see what others are saying about The Pact.

Tuesday, January 28th:  Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Thursday, January 30th:  Jorie Loves a Story
Monday, February 3rd:  Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, February 5th:  You Can Read Me Anything
Monday, February 10th:  Suko’s Notebook
Monday, February 10th:  YA Reads - author Q&A
Wednesday, February 12th:  Maureen’s Musings
Monday, February 17th:  Seaside Book Nook
Tuesday, February 18th:  The Things You Can Read
Wednesday, February 19th:  Shelf Full of Books
Thursday, February 20th:  Savings in Seconds


Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I would!  He has a very good way of weaving the story and keeping the events in perspective.


Mitchell S Karnes was born in Kansas and spent his childhood in Illinois.  He lives in Franklin, TN with his wife, Natalie, and five of their seven children, where he serves as the Pastor of Walker Baptist Church.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree and three Master’s degrees.
Mitchell’s first novel, Crossing the Line, made the Southern Writer’s Guild’s “Must Read” list.  His short stories include:  “When Nothing Else Matters,” “A Family Portrait,” and “Grampa Charlie’s Ring.”  He hopes to entertain, challenge, move and teach through each and every story.  The Pact is just the beginning…the first book in a four-part series.


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Monday, February 10, 2014

Emma vs. the Tech Guy


~ I received a copy of this book from the publisher or author to facilitate this review.  I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~



Synopsis (from Amazon): Emma Barton is a workaholic. Nothing is more important than becoming managing editor of the magazine she works for. And she has the perfect plan to achieve that goal. Then Guy Walker enters her office. Sexy, sweet, and super popular, the new tech guy takes the office by storm. Will he derail every strategy Emma has in place? If he discovers her secret, it could ruin Emma's career and turn her life upside down. 

This hilarious chick lit book will pull you into its world and leave you loving its fun, witty characters.


One (or more) Sentence Summary: What a cute story.  I totally get Emma and her workaholic lifestyle.  I thought I had Emma vs. the Tech Guy figured out at Chapter 3....but, holy tech_no!  I did not see the ending coming at all....what a surprise.  You have to read it, as I will not give this ending away.  

Favorite Character(s):  Who can't love Emma?  She has a great and fun job, is smart, and falls in love!  I also really liked Pop, Emma's grandfather.  What a cool guy.  Let's not forget his side kid Lou!  I would that kind of relationship with an elder.  

Fast read/slow read:  Fast!

Cover:  Too cute, don't you think so?

What Others Are Saying:  "I've never had a book sweep me off my feet and take me on such an emotional roller coaster quite the way this one has done, there were moments of pure laughter, gasps and jaw dropping..." Nerd Girl

"The Tech Guy is eloquently written and allowed my imagination to run riot. I failed to realize how deeply involved in the story I was and before I knew it the book was over, leaving it's mark on me for days after. This is always the sign of a great read: being pulled into a story, unable to put it down and leaving you wanting more." - BestChickLit.com

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Absolutely!

Lia Fairchild is both a traditionally published and independent author who writes contemporary fiction, chick lit, romance, and mystery/thriller. Fairchild was born and raised in Southern California and holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a multiple-subject teaching credential. She is a wife and mother of two teenagers.

Watch for her new release, Circle in the Sand, due out January 7. Click on her name above (near title) to sign up and have Amazon alert you when it's available.

Look for updates on her and her books at her website, follow her on Twitter or Facebook.



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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Literary Blog Hop + Lots of Giveaways


Welcome!

Welcome to the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop!
The Literary Giveaway Blog Hop is hosted by Leeswammes. Between now and Wednesday, February  12th, you can hop to 40+different book blogs, all offering one or more giveaways of books or bookish items. All books will be literary (non)fiction or something close to that. Follow the links at the bottom of this post to find the other participating blogs.

My Giveaway


As part of the blog hop I will be giving away a $15 Gift Card to Amazon or a book of your choice from Book Depository (up to $15) Entries are open worldwide where Amazon or the Book Depository delivers.

To enter

To enter, please read the rules and then fill out the form below. 

The rules:



  1. Anyone can enter. You do not need to have a blog.
  2. There will be one winner.
  3. You need an email address for the amazon gift card or a post-office recognised address where you can receive packages.
  4. Fill out the form below. You can enter the giveaway until Wednesday June 26th.
  5. Note that double or invalid entries will be removed.
  6. I will notify the winner by email. The winner need to answer my email within 3 days, or I’ll announce a new winner. I cannot be held responsible for lost packages.
  7. That’s it! Good luck and thanks for playing.

UPDATE TO POST - 2/16/2014 @ 8 PM EST:

I am so sorry that the Rafflecopter was not (is not working).  Since I was out of town and assumed all was working as planned, I will pick one winner via comments entered.  Also, I will run another chance to win a $15 GC from Amazon or a book up to $15 from BookDepository this week.  I am so very sorry.

Now start blog hopping!

For more giveaways (and there are some real treasures out there for grabs) check out these blogs.
Giveaways are worldwide, meaning people from most or all countries of the world can enter, unless mentioned otherwise.
Participating blogs:

Linky List:
  1. Leeswammes
  2. Seaside Book Nook
  3. Booklover Book Reviews
  4. Biblionomad
  5. Laurie Here
  6. The Well-Read Redhead (US/CA)
  7. River City Reading
  8. GirlVsBookshelf
  9. Ciska's Book Chest
  10. The Book Stop
  11. Ragdoll Books Blog
  12. Nishita's Rants and Raves
  13. Lucybird's Book Blog
  14. Reading World (N-America)
  15. Journey Through Books
  16. Readerbuzz
  17. Always With a Book (US)
  18. 52 Books or Bust (N.Am./UK)
  19. Guiltless Reading (US/CA)
  20. Book-alicious Mama (US)
  21. Wensend
  22. Books Speak Volumes
  23. Words for Worms
  24. The Relentless Reader
  25. A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall (US)
  1. Fourth Street Review
  2. Vailia's Page Turner
  3. The Little Reader Library
  4. Lost Generation Reader
  5. Heavenali
  6. Roof Beam Reader
  7. Mythical Books
  8. Word by Word
  9. The Misfortune of Knowing
  10. Aymaran Shadow > Behind The Scenes
  11. The Things You Can Read (US)
  12. Bay State Reader's Advisory
  13. Curiosity Killed the Bookworm
  14. Lizzy's Literary Life
  15. Books Can Save a Life (N. America)
  16. Words And Peace (US)
  17. The Book Club Blog

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Glitter and Glue


~ I received a copy of this book from the publisher or author to facilitate this review.  I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~



Synopsis (from Amazon): From the New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place comes a new memoir that examines the bond—sometimes nourishing, sometimes exasperating, occasionally divine—between mothers and daughters.
 
When Kelly Corrigan was in high school, her mother neatly summarized the family dynamic as “Your father’s the glitter but I’m the glue.” This meant nothing to Kelly, who left childhood sure that her mom—with her inviolable commandments and proud stoicism—would be nothing more than background chatter for the rest of Kelly’s life, which she was carefully orienting toward adventure. After college, armed with a backpack, her personal mission statement, and a wad of traveler’s checks, she took off for Australia to see things and do things and Become Interesting.
 
But it didn’t turn out the way she pictured it. In a matter of months, her savings shot, she had a choice: get a job or go home. That’s how Kelly met John Tanner, a newly widowed father of two looking for a live-in nanny. They chatted for an hour, discussed timing and pay, and a week later, Kelly moved in. And there, in that house in a suburb north of Sydney, 10,000 miles from the house where she was raised, her mother’s voice was suddenly everywhere, nudging and advising, cautioning and directing, escorting her through a terrain as foreign as any she had ever trekked. Every day she spent with the Tanner kids was a day spent reconsidering her relationship with her mother, turning it over in her hands like a shell, straining to hear whatever messages might be trapped in its spiral.
 
This is a book about the difference between travel and life experience, stepping out and stepping up, fathers and mothers. But mostly it’s about who you admire and why, and how that changes over time.


One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Kelly did it again.  I read The Middle Place years ago and fell in love with Kelly and the whole Corrigan clan. I was beyond excited when I received Glitter and Glue in the mail.  Kelly takes us back to the early 90's and her trip aboard. When she runs out of money, she has two choices, go home or takes a job as a nanny.  She takes the job as a nanny in the Tanner's house.  She is finally able to understand her mother and all that she learned over the years, without even realizing it.  I absolutely LOVE how she reflects back over her relationship with her mother and how it has developed over the years.  She realizes she still (and we always do) needs her mother, even though she a mother herself.  Get ready to laugh a lot, but a few tears will flow too!

P.S.  If you were between 19 - 25 in the early 90's....you will love being taken back through Kelly's memoir.  The flashback had me laughing out loud so many times.

Setting:  In the Tanner's house in Australia.  Mrs. Tanner recently passed away from cancer and Kelly has been hired to be the nanny.  As she develops a relationship with the kids, Milly and Martin, and their half brother Evan, she reflections on her own childhood and her relationship with her mother.

Fast read/slow read:  Very, very fast read.  I couldn't get enough and didn't want it to end.  

What Others Are Saying:  “Kelly Corrigan’s heartfelt homage to motherhood is every bit as tough and funny as it is nostalgic and searching. It’s a tale about growing up, gaining wisdom, and reconciling with Mom (something we all must do eventually), but it’s also an honest meditation on our deepest fears of death and abandonment. I loved this book, I was moved by this book, and now I will share this book with my own mother—along with my renewed appreciation for certain debts of love that can never be repaid.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love
 
“In this endearing, funny, and thought-provoking memoir, Kelly Corrigan’s memories of long-ago adventures illuminate the changing relationships between mothers and children—as well as everything else that really matters.”—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project
 
“Kelly Corrigan parses the bittersweet complexities of motherhood with humor and grace. Her writing has depth and buoyancy and light. It's a river on a summer day. You slip into the current, laughing, and are carried away by it. Glitter and Glue is a perfect gift for anyone with a mother.”—Mary Roach, New York Times bestselling author of Stiff and Spook
 
“Kelly Corrigan’s thoughtful and beautifully rendered meditation invites readers to reflect on their own launchings and homecomings. I accepted the invitation and learned things about myself. You will, too. Isn’t that why we read?”—Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Water

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Absolutely and I highly recommend Kelly's two other books.

For Kelly Corrigan, family is everything. At thirty-six, she had a marriage that worked, two funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column. But even as a thriving adult, Kelly still saw herself as the daughter of garrulous Irish-American charmer George Corrigan. She was living deep within what she calls the Middle Place--"that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap"--comfortably wedged between her adult duties and her parents' care. But Kelly is abruptly shoved into coming-of-age when she finds a lump in her breast--and gets the diagnosis no one wants to hear. When George, too, learns that he has late-stage cancer, it is Kelly's turn to take care of the man who had always taken care of her--and to show us a woman who finally takes the leap and grows up.

Kelly Corrigan is a natural-born storyteller, a gift you quickly recognize as her father's legacy, and her stories are rich with everyday details. She captures the beat of an ordinary life and the tender, sometimes fractious moments that bind families together. Rueful and honest, Kelly is the prized friend who will tell you her darkest, lowest, screwiest thoughts, and then later dance on the coffee table at your party.

Funny yet heart-wrenching, The Middle Place is about being a parent and a child at the same time. It is about the special double-vision you get when you are standing with one foot in each place. It is about the family you make and the family you came from--and locating, navigating, and finally celebrating the place where they meet. It is about reaching for life with both hands--and finding it.


No matter when and why this comes to your hands, I want to put down on paper how things started with us.

Written as a letter to her children, Kelly Corrigan's Lift is a tender, intimate, and robust portrait of risk and love; a touchstone for anyone who wants to live more fully. In Lift, Corrigan weaves together three true and unforgettable stories of adults willing to experience emotional hazards in exchange for the gratifications of raising children.

Lift takes its name from hang gliding, a pursuit that requires flying directly into rough air, because turbulence saves a glider from "sinking out." For Corrigan, this wisdom--that to fly requires chaotic, sometimes even violent passages--becomes a metaphor for all of life's most meaningful endeavors, particularly the great flight that is parenting.

Corrigan serves it up straight--how mundanely and fiercely her children have been loved, how close most lives occasionally come to disaster, and how often we fall short as mothers and fathers. Lift is for everyone who has been caught off guard by the pace and vulnerability of raising children, to remind us that our work is important and our time limited.

Like Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea, Lift is a meditation on the complexities of a woman's life, and like Corrigan's memoir,The Middle Place, Lift is boisterous and generous, a book readers can't wait to share.



I’m Irish. That must be where the luck comes from, the luck required to find a publisher after filling diaries and journals for thirty years, first in a gingham wonderland from Sears, then in a dorm room in Virginia, finally in a fixer-upper near Oakland, California.
My first book, The Middle Place, was about my father, Greenie, who was very sick at the same time that I was very sick. Next, in 2010, I tried to capture what it has been to my daughters’ mother in Lift. Finally, with Glitter and Glue, my mother gets her due. Now, Mary Corrigan is a complicated topic, as most mothers are. Think stoic, gritty, unbending; one part saint, two parts sergeant. Or, as she put it, “Your father’s the glitter, but I’m the glue. It takes both, Kelly.”
I hope that somehow, given the toppling pile of books on your nightstand, you can find an evening to spare for this story of how I came to wonder who my mom was before I arrived, what motherhood had done to her and who she had become since I left home. Parenthood is so distorting; we all deserve a second, longer look.
You can connect with Kelly on her website (sign up for her newsletter), Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
My sister was so lucky a few years ago when Lift just came out.  She was able to meet Kelly at a Border's in the Detroit area, at a book signing tour.  


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Monday, February 3, 2014

My Mother's Funeral (Memoir) - TLC Book Tours


~ I received a copy of this book from the publisher or author to facilitate this review.  I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~



Synopsis (from Amazon): Every woman has stories to tell about her mother. The mother that she remembers, the mother she wishes she’d had, the mother she doesn’t want to become, and then eventually, the mother she buries. Every immigrant woman has stories to tell about her homeland.  My Mother’s Funeral is a combination of both: Mother and Homeland.  The book circles around the death of Páramo’s mother but the landscape that emerges is not only one of personal loss and pain, but also of innocence, humor, violence and love.

Drawing heavily upon her childhood experiences and Colombian heritage, the author describes the volatile bond linking mothers and daughters in a culture largely unknown to Americans. The book moves between past (Colombia in the 1940’s) and present lives (USA in 2006), and maps landscapes both geographical (Bogotá, Medellín, Anchorage) as well as psychological, ultimately revealing the indomitable spirit of the women in her family, especially her mother from whom the reader learns what it means to be a woman in Colombia.

My Mother’s Funeral describes four Colombian generations of women who struggle, love, sing and die in a country of mysterious beauty as much as it charts the daunting and transforming process of the mother’s funeral and its unexpected byproduct:  the re-acquaintance with a long lost brother, the women in the family, and with them, the whole culture.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: My Mother's Funeral will make you laugh and cry.  I absolutely loved how Carmen put her children and God before anything else.  She was an amazing woman.  There were so many stories within the book that reminded me of my own childhood and mother.  I laughed at all the "catholic-belief" stories and know so many women just like Carmen.  I like to think of it as "the good old days."  

I am extremely jealous that Adriana has written this book.  I have written a book about my mother in my head, so many times.  I would love to honor her with a book.  Adriana had a very special relationship with her mother...as I did.  

Near the end of the book, when the family goes back to the Carmen's apartment after she has been cremated.....oh the lump in my throat.  I know all my siblings and I had so many things of my mom's that we each wanted for the same and different reasons. It is so hard to lose your mother, especially when she was the only one that was there your whole life.  Adriana does a beautiful job writing this memoir and honoring her entire family.  

Favorite Character(s):  Carmen!  What a strong, independent, amazing women.  

Fast read/slow read:  Average pace....not fast, but not slow.

Cover:  I love the vintage look!  It is perfect.
What Others Are Saying:  Check out what others are saying on the TLC Book Tour.


Monday, January 6th:  Read. Write. Repeat.
Wednesday, January 8th:  Patricia’s Wisdom
Sunday, January 12th:  Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Monday, January 13th:  Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, January 14th:  BookNAround
Thursday, January 16th:  Sarah’s Bookshelves
Monday, January 20th:  Book Dilettante
Wednesday, January 22nd:  Book Lust
Friday, January 24th:  Bibliotica
Tuesday, January 28th:  Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, February 3rd:  Seaside Book Nook
Thursday, February 6th:  What She Read


Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes, but not on anthropology (sorry).



Páramo is a cultural anthropologist, writer and women’s rights advocate. Her book “Looking for Esperanza,” winner of the 2011 Social Justice and Equity Award in Creative Nonfiction (Benu Press) was one of the top ten best books by Latino authors in 2012, the best Women’s Issues Book at the 2013 International Latino Book Awards, and the recipient of a silver medal at the 2012 BOYA, Book of the Year Awards. She is also the author of “My Mother’s Funeral,” a CNF work set in Colombia released in October 2013 by Cavankerry Press.
Her work has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and her essays have been included in the Notable American Essays of 2011 and 2012.
Her work has been recently published or is forthcoming in The Sun, the CNF Southern Sin Anthology (True Stories of the Sultry South & Women Behaving Badly), Minerva Rising, Redivider, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Los Angeles Review, American Athenaeum, Consequence Magazine, Fourteen Hills, Carolina Quarterly Review, Magnolia Journal, So To Speak, 580 Split, South Loop Review, New Plains Review, and the rest.
Currently she lives in Qatar, where she divides her time between writing and everything else. Everything else includes teaching zumba/Latin dance and Spanish lessons to Qatari students, among whom, there is a prince.

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