Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Royal We

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

Synopsis (from Amazon):  An American girl finds her prince in this "fun and dishy" (People) royal romance inspired by Prince William and Kate Middleton.

American Bex Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess. But it's adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall - and Bex who finds herself accidentally in love with the heir to the British throne. 

Nick is wonderful, but he comes with unimaginable baggage: a complicated family, hysterical tabloids tracking his every move, and a public that expected its future king to marry a Brit. On the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex looks back on how much she's had to give up for true love... and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: LOVED IT!  If you are any type of royal fan, you will love The Royal We.  The book mirrors Prince William and Kate.  Similarities with all the England royals is sprinkled all through the book with little twists. I love anything that takes place in England too!  The ending was completely unexpected.  Quick read and super enjoyable.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I can't wait to crack open The Heir Affair, the next book! 

Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan are the creators of the Internet's wittiest, longest-standing celebrity fashion blog, Go Fug Yourself, which made Entertainment Weekly's Must List and the Guardian's list of 50 Most Powerful Blogs. They are the authors of The Royal We as well as two young adult novels, Spoiled and Messy, and have written for publications ranging from New York magazine to Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the Washington PostCosmopolitanW magazine, and Glamour.

Facebook: @gofugyourself
Instagram: @fuggirls
Twitter: @fuggirls

Say Yes To What's Next

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

Synopsis:  From the star of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, now filming its eleventh season for TLC, comes a book and a life-makeover movement for women approaching fifty and beyond.

Move over, girlfriend, Lori Allen is here to help you say yes to what’s next! Star of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, Lori Allen uses her confidence, wisdom, and signature humor not only to help young brides on their most important day ever but also to model to them and their mothers how to live out the coming years as the best of their lives.
Lori Allen is owner/operator of one of the biggest and busiest bridal mega-salons in the country, Atlanta’s Bridals by Lori. But she’s also a wife, mother, grandmother, and breast cancer survivor.
Whether you’re feeling invisible, disappearing into the fabric of your couch a little more every year, or simply being indecisive about what’s next, Lori offers herself as the poster child of what to do, not do, and how to see your way through the unexpected.
In Say Yes to What’s Next she addresses essential issues, such as
  • don’t let yourself go,
  • marriage is awesome, but it’s no fairytale,
  • keep your mouth shut and your heart open to your kids (and they’ll bring you grandkids),
  • make time to parent your parents,
  • maintain a close circle of girlfriends,
  • get off the couch and live your passion,
  • take charge of your money, and
  • what to do when life gives you a faceplant.
Say Yes to What’s Next is a life makeover and therapy session from a relatable you-can-and-you-should-do-this straight-shooter as Lori helps women shape their own futures with confidence, style, and sass.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: The first disclaimer I want to make is I do not watch Say Yes to the Dress.  I know the show. The second disclaimer I want to make is you do not have know who Lori Allen is to love this book.

I was at the beach last weekend in Grand Haven, Michigan and read Say Yes to What's Next.  The beach wasn't crowd like it normally is and I had two different ladies ask me what I was reading.  Both were fans of the show. I told them how much I was enjoying the book and couldn't read it fast enough.

Lori had me hooked from chapter one. She has a very unique way of telling a story that includes a lesson and you don't even know it.  She is humorous with a touch of sass.  Say Yes to What's Next really hit home with me.  I am starting to enter the next phase of life and I am fighting with everything I got.  I realized I need to embrace it and make it the best of phase of my life.  

Absolutely love the Girlfriend's Guide at the end of each chapter.  They are quick summaries of what to keep in mind. Last night while visiting with my (older) sister, I pulled out the book and was discussing some chapters.  I am letting her borrow it as this is a book I think I will open often and re-read the Girlfriend's Guide, if not the whole chapter depending on what I am struggling with at the time.

Very fast read, tons of humor and sass, extremely valuable information us women don't talk about.  LOVED it.
TLC Book Tour:  Check out all the other TLC Book reviews:

Review tour:

Monday, July 13th: Bibliotica – excerpt
Tuesday, July 14th: Lesa’s Book Critiques – author guest post
Wednesday, July 15th: Leighellen Landskov and @mommaleighellensbooknook
Friday, July 17th: Novel Gossip – author guest post
Saturday, July 18th: Nurse Bookie and @nurse_bookie
Monday, July 20th: Well Read Traveler
Tuesday, July 21st: Living My Best Book Life
Wednesday, July 22nd: Running Through the Storms
Thursday, July 23rd: @bookscoffeephotography
Thursday, July 23rd: From the TBR Pile – author guest post
Monday, July 27th: Tabi Thoughts
Tuesday, July 28th: Blooming with Books
Wednesday, July 29th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, July 30th: Seaside Book Nook
Friday, July 31st: Bewitched Bookworms – excerpt
Monday, August 3rd: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – excerpt
Friday, August 7th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Friday, August 14th: What is That Book About

Lori Allen opened Bridals by Lori just two weeks after graduating from the all-female Columbia College in South Carolina. Four decades later she is one of the world’s foremost experts on bridal couture and the central figure of TLC’s reality show Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, filmed on-site at Lori’s bridal salon and shown in more than 120 countries.
Lori’s role as a bridal expert, successful female business entrepreneur, TV personality, and breast cancer survivor has led her to interviews by top-tier media outlets, including CNN, ABC’sGood Morning America, NBC’sToday, and theWall Street Journal. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, Eddie, and, thankfully, not far from their daughter and her husband, son and his wife, and three grandchildren.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Lori

Facebook | Instagram

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Musical Chairs

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

Synopsis (from Amazon):  The “quick-witted and razor-sharp” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six) author of Limelight and Small Admissions returns with a hilarious and heartfelt new novel about a perfectly imperfect summer of love, secrets, and second chances.

Bridget and Will have the kind of relationship that people envy: they’re loving, compatible, and completely devoted to each other. The fact that they’re strictly friends seems to get lost on nearly everyone; after all, they’re as good as married in (almost) every way. For three decades, they’ve nurtured their baby, the Forsyth Trio—a chamber group they created as students with their Juilliard classmate Gavin Glantz. In the intervening years, Gavin has gone on to become one of the classical music world’s reigning stars, while Bridget and Will have learned to embrace the warm reviews and smaller venues that accompany modest success.

Bridget has been dreaming of spending the summer at her well-worn Connecticut country home with her boyfriend Sterling. But her plans are upended when Sterling, dutifully following his ex-wife’s advice, breaks up with her over email and her twin twenty-somethings arrive unannounced, filling her empty nest with their big dogs, dirty laundry, and respective crises.

Bridget has problems of her own: her elderly father announces he’s getting married, and the Forsyth Trio is once again missing its violinist. She concocts a plan to host her dad’s wedding on her ramshackle property, while putting the Forsyth Trio back into the spotlight. But to catch the attention of the music world, she and Will place their bets on luring back Gavin, whom they’ve both avoided ever since their stormy parting.

With her trademark humor, pitch-perfect voice, and sly perspective on the human heart, Amy Poeppel crafts a love letter to modern family life with all of its discord and harmony. In the tradition of novels by Maria Semple and Stephen McCauley, Musical Chairs is an irresistibly romantic story of role reversals, reinvention, and sweet synchronicity.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Let me just say Musical Chairs was much more than I anticipated. The opening chapter is a great hook! In fact, I had to read the first page twice to make sure I read it correctly (no spoiler here).  The characters were wonderful and altogether made the book.  Each one of them is on their own journey of self-discovery and their next chapter in life.  Very entertaining.

P.S.  You don't need to have an understanding of music to enjoy the book. I imagine it would only enhance the story and make it even better.  

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I would love to read her other books, Small Admissions and Limelight.

Amy Poeppel is the author of the novels Small Admissions and Limelight. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe RumpusLiterary HubWorking Mother, and The Belladonna. She and her husband have three sons and split their time between New York City, Germany, and the wilds of Connecticut.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Lies, Lies, Lies

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

Synopsis:  LIES LIES LIES (MIRA Trade Paperback; August 4, 2020; $17.99) centers on the story of Simon and Daisy Barnes. To the outside world, Simon and Daisy look like they have a perfect life. They have jobs they love, an angelic, talented daughter, a tight group of friends... and they have secrets too. Secrets that will find their way to the light, one way or the other.
Daisy and Simon spent almost a decade hoping for the child that fate cruelly seemed to keep from them. It wasn’t until, with their marriage nearly in shambles and Daisy driven to desperation, little Millie was born. Perfect in every way, healing the Barnes family into a happy unit of three. Ever indulgent Simon hopes for one more miracle, one more baby. But his doctor’s visit shatters the illusion of the family he holds so dear.
Now, Simon has turned to the bottle to deal with his revelation and Daisy is trying to keep both of their secrets from spilling outside of their home. But Daisy’s silence and Simon’s habit begin to build until they set off a catastrophic chain of events that will destroy life as they know it. 

Buy Links: 

May 1976

Simon was six years old when he first tasted beer.
He was bathed and ready for bed wearing soft pyjamas, even though it was light outside; still early. Other kids were in the street, playing on their bikes, kicking a football. He could hear them through the open window, although he couldn’t see them because the blinds were closed. His daddy didn’t like the evening light glaring on the TV screen, his mummy didn’t like the neighbours looking in; keeping the room dark was something they agreed on.
His mummy didn’t like a lot of things: wasted food, messy bedrooms, Daddy driving too fast, his sister throwing a tantrum in public. Mummy liked ‘having standards’. He didn’t know what that meant, exactly. There was a standard-bearer at Cubs; he was a big boy and got to wave the flag at the front of the parade, but his mummy didn’t have a flag, so it was unclear. What was clear was that she didn’t like him to be in the street after six o’clock. She thought it was common. He wasn’t sure what common was either, something to do with having fun. She bathed him straight after tea and made him put on pyjamas, so that he couldn’t sneak outside.
He didn’t know what his daddy didn’t like, just what he did like. His daddy was always thirsty and liked a drink. When he was thirsty he was grumpy and when he had a drink, he laughed a lot. His daddy was an accountant and like to count in lots of different ways: “a swift one’, “a cold one’, and ‘one more for the road’. Sometimes Simon though his daddy was lying when he said he was an accountant; most likely, he was a pirate or a wizard. He said to people, “Pick your poison’, which sounded like something pirates might say, and he liked to drink, “the hair of a dog’ in the morning at the weekends, which was definitely a spell. Simon asked his mummy about it once and she told him to stop being silly and never to say those silly things outside the house.
He had been playing with his Etch A Sketch, which was only two months old and was a birthday present. Having seen it advertised on TV, Simon had begged for it, but it was disappointing. Just two silly knobs making lines that went up and down, side to side. Limited. Boring. He was bored. The furniture in the room was organised so all of it was pointing at the TV which was blaring but not interesting. The news. His parents liked watching the news, but he didn’t. His father was nursing a can of the grown ups’ pop that Simon was never allowed. The pop that smelt like nothing else, fruity and dark and tempting.
“Can I have a sip?” he asked.
“Don’t be silly, Simon,” his mother interjected. “You’re far too young. Beer is for daddies.” He thought she said ‘daddies’, but she might have said ‘baddies’.
His father put the can to his lips, glared at his mother, cold. A look that said, “Shut up woman, this is man’s business.” His mother had blushed, looked away as though she couldn’t stand to watch, but she held her tongue. Perhaps she thought the bitterness wouldn’t be to his taste, that one sip would put him off. He didn’t like the taste. But he enjoyed the collusion. He didn’t know that word then, but he instinctively understood the thrill. He and his daddy drinking grown ups’ pop! His father had looked satisfied when he swallowed back the first mouthful, then pushed for a second. He looked almost proud. Simon tasted the aluminium can, the snappy biting bitter bubbles and it lit a fuse.
After that, in the mornings, Simon would sometimes get up early, before Mummy or Daddy or his little sister, and he’d dash around the house before school, tidying up. He’d open the curtains, empty the ashtrays, clear away the discarded cans. Invariably his mother went to bed before his father. Perhaps she didn’t want to have to watch him drink himself into a stupor every night, perhaps she hoped denying him an audience might take away some of the fun for him, some of the need. She never saw just how bad the place looked by the time his father staggered upstairs to bed. Simon knew it was important that she didn’t see that particular brand of chaos.
Occasionally there would be a small amount of beer left in one of the cans. Simon would slurp it back. He found he liked the flat, forbidden, taste just as much as the fizzy hit of fresh beer. He’d throw open a window, so the cigarette smoke and the secrets could drift away. When his mother came downstairs, she would smile at him and thank him for tidying up.
“You’re a good boy, Simon,” she’d say with some relief. And no idea.
When there weren’t dregs to be slugged, he sometimes opened a new can. Threw half of it down his throat before eating his breakfast. His father never kept count.
Some people say their favourite smell is freshly baked bread, others say coffee or a campfire. From a very young age, few scents could pop Simon’s nerve endings like the scent of beer.
The promise of it.
Excerpted from Lies Lies Lies by Adele Parks, Copyright © 2020 by Adele Parks. 
Published by MIRA Books

Author: Adele Parks
ISBN: 9780778360889
Publication Date: August 4, 2020

Publisher: MIRA Books

Adele Parks was born in Teesside, North-East England. Her first novel, Playing Away, was published in 2000 and since then she's had seventeen international bestsellers, translated into twenty-six languages, including I Invited Her In. She's been an Ambassador for The Reading Agency and a judge for the Costa. She's lived in Italy, Botswana and London, and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband, teenage son and cat.

Social Links:
Twitter: @AdeleParks
Instagram: @adele_parks

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Lost Girls of Devon

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

Synopsis:  One of Travel + Leisure’s most anticipated books of summer 2020.

From the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids comes a story of four generations of women grappling with family betrayals and long-buried secrets.
It’s been years since Zoe Fairchild has been to the small Devon village of her birth, but the wounds she suffered there still ache. When she learns that her old friend and grandmother’s caretaker has gone missing, Zoe and her fifteen-year-old daughter return to England to help.
Zoe dreads seeing her estranged mother, who left when Zoe was seven to travel the world. As the four generations of women reunite, the emotional pain of the past is awakened. And to complicate matters further, Zoe must also confront the ex-boyfriend she betrayed many years before.
Anxieties spike when tragedy befalls another woman in the village. As the mystery turns more sinister, new grief melds with old betrayal. Now the four Fairchild women will be tested in ways they couldn’t imagine as they contend with dangers within and without, desperate to heal themselves and their relationships with each other.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Just what I needed... an escape to a quaint village in England!  I enjoyed The Lost Girls of Devon and the characters (what's not to like about Sage!).  It did bother me that Zoe kept such a grudge toward her mother, Poppy.  Maybe that is because I am a believer in forgiveness.  In real life, I would love to spend a day with Poppy.  She was such an interesting person to me.

As the story unfolds, we learn more about the lack of a relationship between mother and daughter, Poppy and Zoe.  Zoe's own relationship with her daughter Isabella I believed was so strong due to Zoe's lack of a mother growing up.  However, Isabella went through a tragic event and wouldn't tell her mother.  This was disturbing to me and that Zoe didn't force the issue (because in real life I would have!).  Relationships continued to mend and grow throughout the book, which told a great story.

Of course there was a mystery to solve with Diane and Jenny missing.  With the help from each of the main character, they piece together what was going on in Devon and why Diane and Jenny have gone missing.  It took awhile to solve the mystery but everything came together in the end.

TLC Book Tour Schedule:


Monday, July 13th: @thebookend.diner
Tuesday, July 14th: @tbretc
Tuesday, July 14th: @girlsinbooks
Wednesday, July 15th: @books_with_bethany
Thursday, July 16th: @my_book_journey
Friday, July 17th: @basicbsguide
Sunday, July 19th: @wherethereadergrows
Monday, July 20th: @createexploreread
Tuesday, July 21st: @hothanjama_
Wednesday, July 22nd: @inquisitivebookworm
Thursday, July 23rd: @love_my_dane_dolly_
Friday, July 24th: @readwithjamie
Monday, July 27th: @somekindofalibrary
Tuesday, July 28th: @booklanguage
Wednesday, July 29th: @thebookishglow
Thursday, July 30th: @nurse_bookie 


Monday, July 13th: The Bookend Diner
Tuesday, July 14th: Drink. Read. Repeat and
Wednesday, July 15th: Seaside Book Nook
Wednesday, July 15th: @the.caffeinated.reader
Thursday, July 16th: Books and Cats and Coffee and @bookncatsncoffee
Thursday, July 16th: @readinggirlreviews
Saturday, July 18th: @honeynougats.reads
Monday, July 20th: Erin Evelyn Reads and @erinevelynreads
Monday, July 20th: Books Cooks Looks
Tuesday, July 21st: @biblio.jojo
Tuesday, July 21st: Blunt Scissors Book Reviews and @bluntscissorsbookreviews
Wednesday, July 22nd: Read With Wine and @readwithwine
Thursday, July 23rd: Really Into This and @reallyintothis
Friday, July 24th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, July 24th: The Unread Shelf
Monday, July 27th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, July 28th: Eliot’s Eats
Wednesday, July 29th: 5 Minutes for Books
Wednesday, July 29th: @welovebigbooksandwecannotlie
Wednesday, July 29th: The OC Book Girl and @theocbookgirl
Thursday, July 30th: Nurse Bookie
Thursday, July 30th: Barks Beaches Books and @barksbeachesbooks
Friday, July 31st: @my_read_feed
Monday, August 3rd: Audio Killed the Bookmark and @beritaudiokilledthebookmark
Monday, August 3rd: Booked on a Feeling
Tuesday, August 4th: @bookgoalswithkate
Wednesday, August 5th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Thursday, August 6th: Books with Jams and @bookswithjams
Friday, August 7th: What is That Book About
Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I would love to read When We Believed in Mermaids.

Barbara O’Neal is the Wall Street JournalWashington Post, and Amazon Charts bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including When We Believed in MermaidsThe Art of Inheriting Secrets, and How to Bake a Perfect Life. She lives in the beautiful city of Colorado Springs with her beloved—a British endurance athlete who vows he’ll never lose his accent.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Barbara

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram