Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Austen Playbook

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

Synopsis:  In which experienced West End actress Freddy Carlton takes on an Austen-inspired play, a scandal at a country estate, an enthusiastic search for a passion outside of acting…and the (some people might say icy*) heart of London’s most feared theater critic.
*if those people were being nice
Freddy Carlton knows she should be focusing on her lines for The Austen Playbook, a live-action TV event where viewers choose the outcome of each scene, but her concentration’s been blown. The palatial estate housing the endeavor is now run by the rude (brilliant) critic who’s consistently slammed her performances of late. James “Griff” Ford-Griffin has a penchant for sarcasm, a majestic nose and all the sensitivity of a sledgehammer.
She can’t take her eyes off him.
Griff can hardly focus with a contagious joy fairy flitting about near him, especially when Freddy looks at him like that. His only concern right now should be on shutting down his younger brother’s well-intentioned (disastrous) schemes—or at the very least on the production (not this one) that might save his family home from the banks.
Instead all he can think of is soft skin and vibrant curls.
As he’s reluctantly dragged into her quest to rediscover her passion for the stage and Freddy is drawn into his research on a legendary theater star, the adage about appearances being deceiving proves abundantly true. It’s the unlikely start of something enormous…but a single revelation about the past could derail it all.
“There’s more drama offstage than on, the writing is outstanding, and the bit of mystery blends well into the romance. Theater fans will devour this lovely contemporary romance.”-Publisher’s Weekly, starred review, on The Austen Playbook
“The London Celebrities series-some of the wittiest, smartest dialogue to come down the romance pike in years.”-Kirkus ReviewS of London Celebrities series.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I didn't realize this was book 4 of a series and it stood on its own.  I love books that take place in London/UK.  This was the first book that I have read that is about the theatre/acting/reviews.  I found out I know nothing about the theatre, acting or critics.  I really enjoyed the characters, even the quirky ones.  My favorite had to be Charlie even though he was not the main character.  He seemed to the one everyone always under estimated and seemed to be always in good spirits.  

Freddy surprised me and grew on me each chapter.  She became stronger and stronger every page.  Griff came across in the beginning as not a nice person and wrote harsh reviews.  Griff has written some pretty harsh reviews on Freddy'a acting.  However, Freddy and Griff end up in an unusual situation while she is staying at his families house while working on a play.  Freddy and Griff end up working together and discovered secrets which will change both their families lives forever.  Even though there are some really steamy scenes, will that be enough for their relationship to survive, once the truth is revealed?

I will have to go read the first three in the series!  
TLC Book Tour Schedule: Check out what others are saying about The Austen Playbook.
Sunday, April 21st: @tlcbooktours – giveaway
Monday, April 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Monday, April 22nd: @_ebl_inc_
Monday, April 22nd: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – spotlight
Tuesday, April 23rd: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tuesday, April 23rd: Read Love Blog – spotlight
Wednesday, April 24th: What is That Book About – spotlight
Thursday, April 25th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, April 25th: Seaside Book Nook
Friday, April 26th: @book_hangover88
Monday, April 29th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Monday, April 29th: Becky on Books
Tuesday, April 30th: @girlandherbooks
Tuesday, April 30th: Rad Babes Read
Wednesday, May 1st: Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, May 1st: A Holland Reads – spotlight
Thursday, May 2nd: The Lit Bitch
Thursday, May 2nd: Amy’s Book-et List
Thursday, May 2nd: Fuelled by Fiction
Friday, May 3rd: View from the Birdhouse
Friday, May 3rd: Books & Bindings

Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes, and vineyards. She has a degree in art history, loves museums and art galleries, and doodles unrecognizable flowers when she has writer's block. When she's not writing, working, or sleeping, she happily tackles the towering pile of to-be-read books that never gets any smaller. Thankfully, there's always another story waiting.

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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Dreams of Falling

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

Synopsis (from Amazon):  One of PureWow's "Best Beach Reads of Summer 2018"

New York Times bestselling author Karen White crafts evocative relationships in this contemporary women's fiction novel, set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, about lifelong friends who share a devastating secret.

On the banks of the North Santee River stands a moss-draped oak that was once entrusted with the dreams of three young girls. Into the tree's trunk, they placed their greatest hopes, written on ribbons, for safekeeping—including the most important one: Friends forever, come what may.

But life can waylay the best of intentions....

Nine years ago, a humiliated Larkin Lanier fled Georgetown, South Carolina, knowing she could never go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she realizes she has no choice but to return to the place she both loves and dreads—and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home.

Ivy, Larkin's mother, is discovered badly injured and unconscious in the burned-out wreckage of her ancestral plantation home. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly fifty years—whispers of love, sacrifice, and betrayal—that lead back to three girls on the brink of womanhood who found their friendship tested in the most heartbreaking ways.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Dreams of Falling alternates between the 40's and present day. Larkin is called back home after her mother is badly injured.  She is greeted by her grandmother's two life long friends who raised her mother.  The story goes back and forth between current day and the past when Larkin's grandmother was alive.  Lots of secrets are revealed.  Larkin must decide is those secrets were kept from her and her mother to protect them or for other reasons. 

You will be pulled into the stories and fall in love with the characters. Have a box of Kleenex near by and enjoy!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I think I would enjoy other books by Karen White. I would start with On Folly Beach and The Sound of Glass.  However, they all look great.

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty previous books, including The Night the Lights Went OutFlight PatternsThe Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between, and a coauthor, with Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig, of The Forgotten Room.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Run Away

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

Synopsis (from Amazon):  A perfect family is shattered in RUN AWAY, the new thriller from the master of domestic suspense, Harlan Coben.

You've lost your daughter.

She's addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she's made it clear that she doesn't want to be found.

Then, by chance, you see her playing guitar in Central Park. But she's not the girl you remember. This woman is living on the edge, frightened, and clearly in trouble.

You don't stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home.

She runs. 

And you do the only thing a parent can do: you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Before you know it, both your family and your life are on the line. And in order to protect your daughter from the evils of that world, you must face them head on.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Wow.  That is about all I can say.  What a hard topic to write about - a parent's nightmare. Yet today, it is such a reality.  What would I do to protect and save my child from an addictive situation? Run Away so good and so real. 

The characters had me on the run through out the whole book with some really shocking events.  There was lots of unexpected things that happen and people killed off (won't spoil who) that I didn't see coming. I have no idea how someone writes a book with so much craziness but reality too.  That is the scary part! 

Again, what I really think....WOW!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  This was my first book I read by Harlan Coben. I have always wanted to read some of his books and never got around to it.  I will be reading several (if not all) of his past books!

With more than seventy million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous suspense novels, including Don't Let GoHome, and Fool Me Once, as well as the multi-award-winning Myron Bolitar series. His books are published in forty-three languages around the globe and have been number one bestsellers in more than a dozen countries. He lives in New Jersey.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Hit Your Limit

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

Synopsis:  Get lean, build muscle, and stay healthy in only ten minutes a day! A Fitness Hall of Fame inductee and world-famous exercise scientist explains the #1 new fitness trend and how to get and keep the body you’ve always wanted.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an extraordinarily effective form of training that mixes high- and low-impact activities during periods ranging from seconds to eight minutes. In HIIT Your Limit, Dr. Len Kravitz, who has been inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame and been an internationally-renowned exercise scientist for the past thirty-six years, and sold nearly 100,0000 copies of his last fitness book, explains what HIIT is, how it effects your entire body (externally and internally), gives 50 workouts and a guaranteed plan to whip you into shape fast, and presents a wealth of nutritional and other advice to further its impact.

HIIT was recently rated the #1 new fitness trend by the American College of Sports Medicine and is the key to staying fit for celebrities like David Beckham, Britney Spears, Hugh Jackman, and Scarlett Johansson. In addition to fat loss, it’s been proven to have major health benefits on blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol. Through this groundbreaking volume you’ll learn why, and see how to get fit quick, and have a fun and a truly sustainable exercise program, no expensive personal trainer required.

Book Details:  
Book Title: HIIT Your Limit: High-Intensity Interval Training For Fat Loss, Cardio, and Full Body Health by Dr. Len Kravitz
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 208 pages
Genre: Fitness and Wellness
Publisher: Apollo Publisher
Release date: October 19, 2018
Tour dates: April 15 to 26, 2019
Content Rating: G (The book is a workout manual. It contains no graphic language or images.)

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I hope you aren't like me and hate exercise, have a sweet tooth and no time to workout! However, if you are, check out HIIT Your Limit.  There are 4 sections to the book. 

Section 1 covers the basics including defining/describing what is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), steps to take for a successful workout program, mistakes to avoid and my favorite "let's get up and start moving now!"  Getting started is a big weakness for me and there were some easy suggestions to get moving.  For example, "standing up and moving for the opening segment of each TV show and getting up and moving during every commercial."  Running to the kitchen for a snack, doesn't count!

Section 2 covers weight management and strategies.  My favorite part in this section was "what is stress's effects on the body?"  I am stressed at lot and I know I don't exercise or eat properly during those times.  

Section 3 goes over a sample workout plan and includes 25 more HIIT programs. There is also a chapter on the items you will need, like proper gear including footwear.  My favorite part of each workout is the motivational message.  It think it is so important to start of each workout with a positive affirmation. The first work includes a 5 - 7 minute warm-up and only 10 minutes of HIIT and a 3- 5 minute cool down.  It is that simple....and as you progress, you lengthen the time of our HIIT portion of the program.  Once you concur that program, you can jump into workout 2!  Once you hit workout 21, HIIT-Circuit training is incorporated into the workout.  Pushing you even further.

Section 4 is a gift to us from the author.  He has dedicated this section too ways to cut calories from daily life.  There are some excellent tips included that are simple to incorporate. For example, choose the thin crust, rethink your dinner beverage, eat half of your burrito, and have some peanut butter (I love peanut butter). 

HIIT Your Limit is organized in a very logical manner, is a very easy read, and very understandable (you need a Phd in exercise to get it!).  My son just returned home after playing hockey in NY for the past 7 months.  He needs to work out hard over the summer before heading back.  He is the perfect workout partner for me since he pushes me. I had him read over HIIT Your Limit too and he is ready to be my workout partner!  

I am now ready to go....and HIIT my limit!

Dr. Len Kravitz has thirty-six years of experience as a researcher, writer, and speaker on fitness, and is the coordinator of exercise science at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of Anybody’s Guide to Total Fitness (now in its eleventh edition with nearly 100,000 copies sold), and Essentials of Eccentric Training; has published more than 300 articles in dozens of health and fitness publications; and regularly travels the country as a speaker on fitness and health. Among other awards, he was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame. Dr. Kravitz lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Ends May 3, 2019

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Everything is Just Fine

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

Synopsis (from Amazon):  In this brilliant, laugh-out-loud satire, image-conscious parents on a Beverly Hills junior soccer team struggle to keep up appearances as their private lives careen out of control.

"You'll wince, laugh out loud, relate to, and relish this unsparing satirical send up."---Wednesday Martin, New York Times bestselling author

Coach Randy is working mightily to keep it together, and not simply with his vaguely unhappy wife, distant child, and a new boss who's eliminating half the sales force. This season's soccer parents are a demanding bunch. Diane's wine-fueled group e-mails are almost unintelligible; team mom Jacqui's enthusiasm for the league verges on manic; a divorced couple can barely conceal their murderous rage at each other; and another mom is laser-focused on schooling everyone on what constitutes a healthy snack option.

All the secrets and lies bubbling below the surface of their membrane-thin civility threaten to combust when Alejandro, a young, foreign assistant coach refuses to play by the Beverly Hills code, which is to mind your own business and don't look too deeply into anyone's soul. Especially your own.

Brett Paesel brings hilarity and huge heart to a world that looks enviable and shiny on the outside but is, in truth, filled with aching for connection on the inside. In the vein of Perotta and Semple, everyday life in Paesel's deft rendering is anything but.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: My family is one of those crazy sports family. Now that my kids are all in high school, they have narrowed down their sports to two each and most of them also have a club season.  I wouldn't know what to do with my weekends if I couldn't attend a game, match or event.  My husband has coached for many, many years and continues to do so even though our kids are too old to play on his team.  Given all that, I absolutely loved Everything Is Just Fine.  Coach Randy is the best.  I couldn't get enough of his emails.  The "reply all" emails were hilarious.  Every single parent and kid, I could identify with someone on my kids teams, which made it even more funny.

The main plot of the story kept me wanting to read more and find out what happened to Randy, the kids and the other parents.  I was a little disappointed in Randy's wife, since I can't imagine being married to someone and not having a clue about your finances, etc.  Or maybe I would just love to know what this is like!!  I had to keep reminding myself that the story took place in Beverly Hills.  

Oh, how can I forget, the assistant coach, who assisted with more than just coaching.  Watch out moms.  This is were the book got steamy and really good!  Who knew juggling soccer mom's was a sport? 

I have to say... Coach Randy, your emails will be missed.  They are just too funny.  I couldn't get enough of Everything Is Just Fine.  It is on sale today!  

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I would love to read her book Mommies Who Drink.

Brett Paesel is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller, "Mommies Who Drink: Sex, Drugs, and Other Distant Memories of an Ordinary Mom (Warner Books, 2006). Her work has been published in numerous collections and national publications including the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and In Hollywood, she has been a consulting producer on Amazon's television series, "Transparent" and "I Love Dick". She has developed and written shows for HBO, ABC, Fox, Comedy Central, WB, Lifetime and Nick at Nite. As an actor, she was a cast member of "Transparent" and HBO's, "Mr. Show with Bob and David". She lives in Los Angeles, with her husband and two sons.

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