Thursday, June 30, 2016

Accidentally Married

Synopsis (from Amazon):  From the New York Times best selling author of NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS. Madison Nichols, aspiring actress, is floundering. Her rent is due and she needs a job. Desperately. After getting a tip about an open position, she rushes to Jameson Technologies and meets CEO Jared Jameson. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, she is put in the awkward position of pretending to be his girlfriend. Not the job she was applying for. And when she finds out Jared lied to her to get what he wanted, she decides to get back at him. In front of his family. 

Jared is stunned when Madison announces they are getting married. She pushed her revenge too far. How can he tell them it’s all a lie? And when his sick aunt asks them to be married before she dies, Madison comes up with a hair-brained plan to hire an actor and stage a fake wedding. 

What they both don’t know is Jared’s father has found out about the fake wedding. And he’s got his own hair-brained plan. 

This is a sweet romance, appropriate for any age.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:     Very easy read with a cute (and clean) plot.  Even though the book was pretty predictable, there were still surprises tossed in throughout the book.                                                                             

Favorite Character(s):  Madison was my favorite character.  I thought she was witty and smart.  A great combination!

Fast read/slow read:  A good read at a good pace.  

Cover:  I think it is too cute.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes.  I can't wait to read Reluctantly Married and The Truth Comes Out.

Victorine and her husband live in Nebraska where they raise their four children. They manufacture rubber stamps for the craft industry.

What, manufacture rubber stamps - how cool.  I love stamping and scrapbooking.  

Monday, June 27, 2016

Tricky Twenty-Two - Stephanie Plum book

Synopsis (from Amazon): #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Something big is brewing in Trenton, N.J., and it could blow at any minute.
Stephanie Plum might not be the world’s greatest bounty hunter, but she knows when she’s being played. Ken Globovic (aka Gobbles), hailed as the Supreme Exalted Zookeeper of the animal house known as Zeta fraternity, has been arrested for beating up the dean of students at Kiltman College. Gobbles has missed his court date and gone into hiding. People have seen him on campus, but no one will talk. Things just aren’t adding up, and Stephanie can’t shake the feeling that something funny is going on at the college—and it’s not just Zeta fraternity pranks.
As much as people love Gobbles, they hate Doug Linken. When Linken is gunned down in his backyard it’s good riddance, and the list of possible murder suspects is long. The only people who care about finding Linken’s killer are Trenton cop Joe Morelli, who has been assigned the case, security expert Ranger, who was hired to protect Linken, and Stephanie, who has her eye on a cash prize and hopefully has some tricks up her sleeve.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Another great, zany, fully of wacky people,  laugh out loud, hot Ranger and Joe, Stephanie Plum book.  Can't wait for the next one.

Favorite Character(s):  All of them.  Nothing but a crazy bunch of characters.

Fast read/slow read:  Fast....all Stephanie Plum books are fast reads.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Have read all the Stephanie Plum books and can't wait for the 23rd!

Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Fox and O’Hare series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Troublemaker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Author Interview with Katharine Britton

I am so excited to share this interview with Katharine Britton, author of Little IslandHer Sister's Shadow and Vanishing Time with you all.

Make sure you check out my reviews of Little Island and Her Sister's Shadow.  Vanishing Time review will come soon. 

Favorite color, food, drink and animal?
My favorite color is periwinkle: The color is ethereal, and the name old-fashioned and fun.

I could answer that my favorite food is any dish made by someone else. One of my guilty pleasures is reading cookbooks and food blogs (and menus). I’ve heard this referred to as “food porn,” which I think is apt. I wish I could say I get as much pleasure from cooking as I do from perusing, but I just don’t. So I like easy-to-assemble meals. Nothing beats a good grilled cheese sandwich with avocado. In summer months, I love Caprese salad made with homegrown tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and pesto.  And then there’s dark chocolate… Good all by itself.

Favorite animal is the sea otter. Who wouldn’t want to wrap themselves in kelp and eat abalone? (Baby otters are like super-buoyant corks!)

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 
In my free time I garden, watch birds, exercise, get together with friends, and read. I also volunteer at several wildlife rehabilitation clinics, feeding orphaned baby birds and taking owls out on glove to meet the public and talk with them about wildlife and conservation.

When/Why did you start writing? 
I started writing professionally about sixteen years ago. I’d dabbled for many years before that, always wanting to be an author and never knowing quite how to go about it. Finally I got tired of hearing myself whine and entered a master’s program in creative writing. That intensive exposure to other writers, assignments, and deadlines seemed to jumpstart the process for me. I got an agent shortly after graduation and we sold Her Sister’s Shadow two years later.

What is your favorite writing spot? 
That depends on where I am in the process. When I’m beginning a project (as I am now) I write long-hand, taking notes on characters and their motivations and goals, drafting scenes, drawing floor plans and timelines… This can happen anywhere, so if the weather is nice, I favor my back porch. When it comes to plotting, much of which happens in my head, the best venues are long drives or walks. Preferably with no one around as I’m apt to talk to myself. When all this pre-writing starts to feel like procrastination, I start a first draft and switch to the computer. For this I prefer my desk in my home office in Vermont.

Do you have writing routine? 
Again, it depends on where I am in the process, but I try to write something every day. Four hours is optimal when I’m working on a first draft or revising but that’s not always achievable.

Who are some of your favorite authors? 
Geraldine Brooks, Louise Erdrich, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Kate Atkinson, Emma Donahue, Richard Russo, Kate DiCamillo, Katherine Applegate, Alan Bradley, Dorothy Sayers…

What are you currently (or last read) reading now? 
I just finished Marissa Peshl’s Night Film. She’s a brilliant writer.

What is your favorite movie? 
“To Kill a Mockingbird.” I’m so happy they’ve never done a remake or colorized it.

Which would you pick:
Ocean/beach or pool: Ocean/beach. I set all three of my novels by the ocean. Her Sister’s Shadow on the south shore of Boston, Little Island in Maine, and Vanishing Time in South Carolina’s Low Country. I find being by the water very soothing and love to try to capture the sounds, smells, colors, and feel of being by the water in my stories.

Coffee or tea: Coffee in the morning, iced coffee at midday, tea in the afternoon.

A book or e-book: I love the smell, look, and feel of a physical book. I think the design (font, paper choice and layout on the page) becomes part of the reader’s experience of a book. However, when I’m traveling, e-books are really convenient. And I usually have an audio book going in my car. With the right narrator, they are a joy.

Driving or Flying: I’ve come to like long drives. Flying used to be fun but just isn’t anymore: long waits, long lines, expensive food, crowds. It’s impersonal, stressful, and sometimes demeaning. Long drives can be tedious, and one can encounter traffic, but I’ve discovered that the detours suggested by Google maps to avoid traffic delays can take you through delightful towns and countryside.

You can connect with Katharine online....

Twitter: kbrittonvt


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Little Island


By the water
Have fun!

These are Joy’s grandmother’s last words—left behind on a note. A note that Joy’s mother, Grace, has interpreted as instructions for her memorial service. And so, the far-flung clan will gather at their inn on Little Island, Maine, to honor her.

Joy can’t help dreading the weekend. Twenty years ago, a tragedy nearly destroyed the family—and still defines them. Joy, Grace, her father Gar, and twins Roger and Tamar all have their parts to play. And now Joy, facing an empty nest and a nebulous future, feels more vulnerable than ever to the dangerous currents running through her family.

But this time, Joy will discover that there is more than pain and heartbreak that binds them together, when a few simple words lift the fog and reveal what truly matters…

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I absolutely loved Little Island.  The characters make the book.  Joy, I didn't get her in the beginning but as the story is told and things are revealed to us (I am trying to not spoil it for you), her "oddness" to me in the beginning made sense.  I really grew to love her.  I thought Roger was a "loser" in the beginning of the book. Too many problems and the black sheep of the Little Family.  Boy, was I wrong.  His place in the family made so much sense once we really know him.  Tamar was the person that blew me away.  She needed so much help and in the end realizes all her past mistakes.  Of course there is Grace and Gar who I adored.  At times I thought they were both crazy, but they still really have their wits about them.  So many family dynamics (and skeletons in the closets!) that all come together so well.  Of course, I love the setting in Maine (and on an island).  My husband is from Maine and I went to graduate school in Maine.  

Favorite Character(s):  Joy is one of my favorite characters, but I also had a soft spot for Roger and Tamar.  

Setting:  An island in Maine (what a great setting....I so loved it).

Fast read/slow read:  Very fast.  I always wanted to read the next chapter...even when I was late to work.

Cover:  So, so perfect.  It makes so much sense when you read the book. It also screams summer!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes! I have read Her Sister's Shadow (click here for review) and I just received Vanishing Time!

Katharine Britton teaches at the Institute of Lifelong Education at Dartmouth College, the Writer’s Barn in Shelburne and the Writer’s Center in White River, Vermont.  She has written three screenplays, one of which is a Moondance International Film Festival winner, and has a master’s degree in creative writing from Dartmouth College.  She is the author of one previous novel, Her Sister’s Shadow, and lives in Vermont. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

By the Numbers

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

Synopsis (from Amazon): The New York Times bestselling author of The Best of Enemies serves up a hilarious new novel of the “sandwich generation.” 

Actuary Penny Sinclair has a head for business, and she always makes rational decisions. Knowing that 60% of spouses cheat and 50% of marriages end in divorce, she wasn’t too surprised when her husband had an affair. (That he did so with a woman their daughter’s age? Well, that part did sting a bit.) She just made sure she got everything in the divorce, including their lovely old Victorian house. And as soon as her younger daughter has her hipster-fabulous wedding in the backyard, she’s trading it in for a condo in downtown Chicago...

Well within the average market time in her area, Penny gets an offer on the house. But then life happens. Her children, her parents and her ex come flying back to the nest, all in need of Penny’s emotional—and financial—support. Spread thin, Penny becomes the poster child for the “sandwich generation,” when all she really wanted to do was make managing director, buy a white couch, and maybe go on a date...

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Again, another summer first, since this is my first Jen Lancaster book.  By the Numbers was right up my alley.  I love numbers (I am a CPA) and could relate with Penny.  By the Numbers takes us through the journey of two very spoiled and disrespectful daughters, a wedding, an ex-husband and his much younger girl friend, aging parents, close friends, competitive job/office dynamics, and reconciliation.  

Favorite Character(s):  Patrick was just too funny.  He brought humor to the book.

Fast read/slow read:  For me, it was a fast read.

Cover:  Makes so much sense once you read the book!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes, I really liked Jen's style of writing.

Jen Lancaster is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve previous books (The Best of EnemiesI Regret NothingTwisted SistersThe Tao of MarthaHere I Go AgainJeneration XIf You Were HereMy Fair LazyPretty in PlaidSuch a Pretty FatBright Lights, Big AssBitter Is the New Black). She has appeared on TodayThe Joy Behar Show, and NPR’s All Things Considered.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sunshine Beach

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

Synopsis (from Amazon): There’s nothing that a fresh coat of paint and a few glasses of wine can’t fix
After losing their life savings in a Ponzi scheme, Maddie, Avery, and Nikki have banded together to make the most of what they have left, using their determination, ingenuity, guts, and a large dose of elbow grease. It’s Maddie’s daughter Kyra who stumbles across a once glorious beachfront hotel that has fallen into disrepair. The opportunity to renovate this seaside jewel is too good to pass up—especially when they come up with the idea of shooting their own independent television show about the restoration. What could possibly go wrong?
Everything. With the cameras rolling, Maddie’s second-chance romance with her all-too-famous new boyfriend gets complicated, Avery struggles with grief over the loss of her mother, and Nikki’s reluctance to commit to the man who loves her could leave her to face the biggest challenge of her life. Even the hotel seems to be against them, when their renovation uncovers a decades-old unsolved murder which just might bring their lives tumbling down all over again.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  This is a summer of firsts for me.  Wendy Wax is another author I have not read before.  I very much enjoyed Sunshine Beach.  I loved the whole mix of the stories in one book.  Plenty of romance, mystery, major renovation project, and coming to terms with the past.  

Favorite Character(s):  I really liked all the characters and don't really have a favorite.  I would have like to taken Nikki and shaken some sense into her.  She has a fabulous man who loves her unconditionally loves her and blows it....and subsequently finds out she is pregnant with twins....and doesn't tell him.  Come on Nikki.  

Setting:  Florida - on the Gulf of Mexico

Fast read/slow read:  Another perfect summer pace!

Cover:  I could sit on that porch all day long - it is beautiful.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Yes, even though this is part of a sequel, you don't need to read the other books to understand what is going on in Sunshine Beach.  I would however, like to go back and read them.  I would have actually preferred to have read them prior to reading Sunshine Beach.  

Wendy Wax, a former broadcaster, is the author of twelve novels, including A Week at the LakeWhile We Were Watching Downton AbbeyThe House on Mermaid PointOcean Beach, and Ten Beach Road.