Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The Lost Ticket

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

Synopsis:  Libby Nichols arrives in London brokenhearted, unemployed, and with her dreams shattered. The first person she meets is Frank, an elderly gentleman on the number 88 bus, who tells her about another bus ride in 1962 when he met an unforgettable young woman with gorgeous red hair just like Libby’s. They made plans for a date, but Frank lost the bus ticket where the woman wrote down her phone number. He’s been riding the number 88 daily, hoping to find her ever since.


With lots of free time on her hands, Libby decides to take action and help Frank find his mystery woman. With the help of those she meets along the bus route, she hangs fliers about town and takes to social media to track down the Girl on the 88. But with Frank’s dementia progressing at a rapid pace, they must work quickly before it’s too late.


Sampson’s novels tap into the importance of our shared lived experiences – the ordinary, day-to-day outings and interactions that fill our lives with small pleasures and which may seem trivial, but which give our days purpose. The Last Chance Library celebrated the importance of libraries as community centers and safe havens during a time when libraries were closed due to funding cuts and the effects of COVID-19. Now, THE LOST TICKET recognizes the importance of chance encounters and random gestures of kindness that result from public interactions – while riding a bus, for instance – and Sampson again shines light on the world of difference that public spaces and services can make in the lives of their users. Sampson began writing the story in March 2020, just as the UK began enforcing pandemic restrictions and social interactions became more limited.


THE LOST TICKET is perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Authenticity Project.

Freya Sampson works in TV and was the executive producer of Channel 4's Four in a Bed and Gogglesprogs. She studied History at Cambridge University and in 2018 was shortlisted for the Exeter Novel Prize. She lives in London with her husband, two young children and an antisocial cat.

Freya Sampson is also the author of last year’s popular debut The Last Chance Library (August 2021), which was a great read. Click here for my review.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Would You Rather

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


Would you rather play it safe in the friend zone, or risk it all with a modern marriage of convenience?

Noah and Mia have always been best friends, and their friendship is the most important thing to them. Life is going great for Noah and he’s up for a promotion in a job he loves. But Mia’s life is on hold as she awaits a kidney transplant. She’s stuck in a dead-end job and, never wanting to be a burden, has sworn off all romance. So when the chance of a lifetime comes to go back to school and pursue her dream, it’s especially painful to pass up. She can’t quit her job or she’ll lose the medical insurance she so desperately needs.

To support her, Noah suggests they get married—in name only—so she can study full-time and still keep the insurance. It’s a risk to both of them, with jobs, health and hearts on the line, and they’ll need to convince suspicious coworkers and nosy roommates that they’re the real deal. But if they can let go of all the baggage holding them back, they might realize that they would rather be together forever.

Would You Rather

Author: Allison Ashley  

ISBN: 9780778386490

Paperback Original 

Publication Date: August 23, 2022

Publisher: MIRA/ HarperCollins 

Buy Links:

Barnes & Noble




" me all the feels, and I love every one of them!"—Ali Hazelwood, New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis  

“Ashley makes favorite rom-com tropes feel new again with a pitch-perfect friends-to-lovers story.”  —Publishers Weekly starred review

Allison Ashley is a science geek who enjoys coffee, craft beer, baking, and love stories. When she's not working at her day job as a clinical oncology pharmacist, she pens contemporary romances, usually with a medical twist. She lives in Oklahoma with her family and beloved rescue dog.

Social Links:

Author Website 

Twitter: @AllisonAuthor 

Facebook: Author Allison Ashley

Instagram: @authorallisonashley 


Excerpt:  Mia Adrian stared at her phone screen, wondering what in the hell she’d just read.

Noah: Would you rather—text message edition. Daily messages with strange animal facts OR positive affirmations?

What kind of question was that? She frowned and leaned one elbow on the arm of her chair before tapping out a one-handed response.

Mia: ???

Noah: It’s a question. Would you rather receive daily animal facts or positive affirmations?

Mia: Um.

Mia: Neither?

Noah: Both it is.

Mia: Don’t you dare.

A banner appeared at the top of her screen, alerting her to a message from an unknown number.

When I breathe, I inhale confidence and exhale timidity.

She groaned and waited, hoping for some additional message that would give her instructions to opt out of whatever service he’d just signed her up for. Her gaze darted to her computer screen for a second, then back to the phone.


Would she seriously get something like this every day? How the hell was she supposed to stop them?

The text alert dinged again. Another unfamiliar number.

Elephants are the only animal that can’t jump.

She pressed a fist to her forehead.

Mia: I’m going to kill you.

Noah: Should have done it before you taped a banana under my desk. I’ve been wondering what the smell was for days.

She couldn’t help the laugh bubbling up, and glanced around to make sure no clients were around. Noah might be her best friend, but they teased each other at the office like elementary school rivals. She liked her job, but it was still work—and their games usually helped her get through until five o’clock.

This, though? This was her personal cell phone.

He’d taken it one step too far.

Mark my words, Noah Agnew. I’ll get you back for this.

Yet another chirp sounded, but this wasn’t a text message. It was the alert reminding her she needed to leave in fifteen minutes for her weekly infusion appointment.

She smiled at the thought that followed. Thursday meant a trip to the infusion center, but more importantly, it also meant chicken wings for dinner.

She closed her eyes and leaned back in her chair. What would it be today? Louisiana Rub? Lemon Pepper? Maybe she’d go wild and try the Mango Habanero.

They all sounded good—but which sounded best?

When it came to food—chicken wings in particular—Mia didn’t mess around.

“You’re thinking about chicken wings, aren’t you?”

Mia’s eyes popped open and she lurched to a sitting position. Noah stood on the other side of her desk, arms folded across his broad chest.

He had on the baby blue dress shirt. Blue always had been her favorite color on him—she’d told him so no less than fifty times. And yet he only wore the hue once a month, maybe not even that often.

She didn’t mention the ridiculous text messages. Best to let him think they didn’t bother her that much and get him back when he least expected it.

She flicked invisible lint from her black skirt. “It’s Thursday, is it not?”

“It is. But even if it wasn’t, I’d still know. Nothing else puts that look on your face.”

“What look is that, exactly?”

He slid his hands into his pockets. “Pure, unadulterated longing. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“Only every Thursday for the last nine years.” She leaned forward and dropped her elbows to the desk. “It’s your fault, you know. You’re the one who introduced me to them.”

Noah reached out and moved her nameplate several inches to the left. It drove her crazy.

No matter, she’d rearrange the items on his desk tomorrow morning before he came in.

“I didn’t know I was creating a monster.”

Mia laughed. “Too late for hindsight. Want me to bring some over tonight?”


She didn’t have to ask what flavor he wanted. Noah was as consistent as her doctor’s appointments. When he found something he liked, he stuck with it. Long ago she’d noticed he usually ordered something he’d had before when they went out to eat, and once asked him why he never branched out.

“What if I try something new, and it’s not as good?” he’d said.

“What if it’s better?” she’d returned.

But he wouldn’t be swayed. Wasn’t worth the risk, he maintained, and she’d let it go.

She made a mental note to add a ten piece of plain wings to her order tonight, and swiveled aimlessly in her chair. “How’s your day been?”

“Boring. Full of client meetings, but you know that.”

“If not, I’d be the world’s worst administrative assistant.

Speaking of meetings, you’ve got one more in—” she checked her watch “—ten minutes.”

“I do?”

“Darcy Lane, here to discuss her new fitness center.”

“Right.” He put his palm flat on the desk and leaned in a little. His eyes brightened with excitement. “So I had lunch with my dad today.”

She smiled, ignoring the pang of jealousy at his casual mention of spending time with his dad. There was a time she and her parents got together for regular meals, too. Now, she couldn’t even remember the last time. “Yeah?”

“He’s going to announce his plans to retire. This week, probably.”


They’d been expecting it. Mr. Agnew had been dropping hints about retiring for the last three years. Mia didn’t blame him—he was in his sixties and had built an impressive architecture firm of fifty employees that had become known around Denver for modern, sustainable designs. He’d earned a break.

“Yep. Said the principals would look to promote one of the associates after he left.”

When Mia had started this job many years ago, it had taken her a while to learn the titles and hierarchy structure of architects at the firm. CEO, principal, associate, architect, intern…but eventually she’d gotten it straight.

Mia rubbed her hands together. “Which means a junior principal position will open up, and it will have your name on it.”

He shrugged. “Maybe. I don’t want them to pick me just because I’m the founder’s son.”

She snorted. “Son or not, you’re the best candidate. No contest.”

“Thanks,” he said, chewing on his lower lip. “I’d love the opportunity. And I know it would make my dad proud.”

He ran a hand through his hair, leaving an errant lock sticking straight up in the back.

“Noah,” Mia scolded. She stood and beckoned him to lean over. He obeyed and she smoothed his hair down, a ritual they performed at least twice a week. “Better.”

“Thanks.” He turned toward his office. “You’d better get out of here.”

“I will as soon as your three o’clock arrives.”

He started down the hall to his office just as Julia and David, both architects like Noah, came from the opposite direction.

Julia paused and flashed him a smile. “Hey, Noah.”

He offered a polite greeting but kept moving, and Mia scowled at his back. No matter how many times she brought it up, he always brushed off the suggestion Julia was interested in him.

Julia, looking poised and elegant in a gray dress and heels, veered off into the break room while David turned to where Mia sat. “I can’t find the Trodeau file.”

She blinked, disarmed by his clipped tone. She shouldn’t have been, though, because he always spoke to her like that. “Um, I thought I filed it last week. Did you check the black file cabinet?”

He looked at her like she’d just asked if he knew right from left. “Of course.”

“Oh. I’m sorry, I might have misplaced it,” Mia said, unease filling her stomach. Every time she messed up—which wasn’t often—it always seemed to involve David. The man thought she was a complete idiot. “I’ll find it.”

David just stood there and arched a sardonic brow.

Mia glanced to the side, then forced herself to regain eye contact. “I can’t do it right this minute, I’m about to leave—”

“Right,” David said disapprovingly. “It’s Thursday. Make sure it’s on my desk first thing tomorrow. It’s important.”

“Yes, I can do that. I’ll get it to you tomorrow.”

He didn’t reply and went back the way he’d come.

A subtle chime sounded, alerting Mia to a newcomer in the office. A young woman with long brown hair stepped into the foyer, and Mia stood.

“Good afternoon.” She smiled, trying her best to shake off the interaction with David.

The woman came forward. “Oh, hello. I’m Darcy Lane—I have an appointment?” It came out like a question.

“Yes, at three o’clock with Noah.” She should probably refer to Noah as Mr. Agnew to clients, but that had always been what she called Noah’s father. “I’ll just let him know you’re here. Can I get you anything? Water, coffee?” Serving and chatting with clients while they waited was one of Mia’s favorite parts of her job.

“I’m okay, thank you.” The woman sat in the chair farthest from Mia and pulled out her cell phone.

Guess she wouldn’t be one of the chatty ones, but that was probably best since Mia had to leave, anyway. She picked up her desk phone and hit number one on her speed dial.

“Client’s here?” Noah asked by way of greeting.

“Yep. Should I set her up in the conference room?”

“Not yet. I need a couple of minutes to get her stuff together. I’ll come get her when I’m ready, you need to head out.”

“Relax. I won’t be late.”

“You will be if you don’t leave now.”

“Okay, okay. See you tonight.” She hung up and locked her computer screen. Just as she was about to turn to the woman, she heard Noah’s voice and looked up to see his head poke around the corner.

“Darcy? I’m Noah. I’m just finishing something up, and I’ll be with you in a few minutes.”

The woman seemed stunned for a second as she looked at Noah, blinking several times. “Um, sure. Yes, that’s fine. I know I’m a little early.”

Mia smiled to herself. The woman had no idea how much Noah appreciated that. Tardiness drove him crazy.

“I look forward to our meeting.” Noah’s expression was polite and businesslike, and he ducked back into his office.

Mia forwarded her phone to the office manager and gathered her purse. She went around the desk and stopped in front of Darcy. “I have to head out for an appointment, are you sure there’s nothing you need before I go?”

Darcy’s cheeks were flushed. “No, thank you.”

This wasn’t the first time a woman had become flustered around Noah. The firm did mostly commercial design, and the majority of their clients were men. But occasionally women came through, and they’d had several female interns. It was quite clear the effect Noah had on women, even if the man himself was oblivious.

Despite their long-standing friendship, Mia could still admit her best friend was hot.

Really hot.

Friday, August 26, 2022

The Weekly Gratitude Project

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

 Synopsis (from Amazon):  It’s time to start a project that will grow a grateful heart. The Weekly Gratitude Project is a 52-week guided gratitude journal that offers a life-changing journey through reflection prompts and inviting questions to guide you into a deeper relationship with God. This yearly gratitude journal features beautifully illustrated journaling pages that will help you discover more intimacy and joy in your spiritual life.

The Weekly Gratitude Project is:

  • Perfect for a beginner in faith and practicing gratitude, but strong and thought provoking enough for someone who already has a solid foundation
  • An easy-to-use journaling format designed to help you focus on adding more gratefulness into your day
  • A helpful companion for individual worship, Bible studies, and small groups

Each week includes:

  • A biblical theme to focus on
  • A short but impactful Bible verse to help you reflect and meditate
  • Inspirational insight to guide your thoughts and jumpstart your gratitude project
  • Journaling prompts and lines to help you reflect and grow a grateful heart

This 12-month journal:

  • Showcases beautiful photography and calming colors
  • Has a pretty ribbon marker, so you never lose your place
  • Provides a ton of journaling space, but easily fits on your nightstand, tote bag, or a gift basket
  • Is perfect for a self-purchase, Mother’s Day, National Best Friend Day, a welcoming gift for Bible study groups, birthdays, and holidays

Check out the rest of the series, The Weekly Prayer Project and The Weekly Faith Project.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I will be the first to admit that I am no good at journaling.  I have started several (5 positive things about the day, insta-photo something every day and write about it, recap of my day, thoughts, diary like journal, bullet journaling [I don't get this-maybe that is the point], etc.) and never get past week 1.  My mom and I tried doing the Simple Abundance one year long distance (blast from the 90's).  I think we made it to the 3rd week in January. My mother journaled/kept a diary every day. I was blessed to have gotten them when she passed away.  

This project has been a challenge for me, but I have stuck with it so far.  It is a weekly journal which makes it easier for me.  At the beginning of the week I read the prompt and think about it for 2 or so days.  It is amazing to me how hard some of the questions are, but I maybe overthinking it.  For example in Week 2 "How might practicing an exercise like this regularly help your heart to heal"?  I didn't know my heart had to heal, so I start thinking maybe it does since I can't answer the question right away.  See what I mean about over thinking it!

The book is very beautiful and gives me a calming vibe. The photos and the layout really make this a beautiful book. The Weekly Gratitude Project would make a great gift for anyone, any time of the year.  I would like to check out others in the Weekly Project Series, like The Weekly Prayer Project.  I really need to get the The Weekly Self-Care Project - it is screaming my name!                                        

You can purchase The Weekly Gratitude Project on Amazon
TLC Book Tours: Make sure you check out all of the other reviews:

Monday, July 25th: @finding_joyathome

Tuesday, July 26th: @arrow_reads

Wednesday, July 27th: @randi_reads

Thursday, July 28th: @what.ems.reading

Friday, July 29th: @chill_jilland_read

Friday, July 29th: @purrfectpages

Saturday, July 30th: @sunsoakedpages

Saturday, July 30th: @classicallykait

Sunday, July 31st: @irishgirliereads

Monday, August 1st: @literannie

Monday, August 1st: @bookshelfmomma

Tuesday, August 2nd: @kristens.reading.nook

Wednesday, August 3rd: @abduliacoffeebookaddict23

Thursday, August 4th:

Thursday, August 4th: @detroitmomsonthesamepage

Friday, August 5th: @shejustlovesbooks

Friday, August 5th: @the_bookish_runner

Saturday, August 6th: @bookstasamm

Sunday, August 7th: @jenniaahava

Monday, August 8th: @sarahs.bookstack

Tuesday, August 9th: @baytownbookie

Tuesday, August 9th: @meetmeinthestacks

Wednesday, August 10th: @iowaamberreads

Wednesday, August 10th: @bookswithjams

Thursday, August 11th: @readresa

Thursday, August 11th: @stumblingintobooks

Friday, August 12th: @just_another_mother_with_books

Saturday, August 13th: @lovemybooks2020

Sunday, August 14th: @nissa_the.bookworm

Wednesday, August 17th: IG: @travelerswife4life TT: @travelerswife4life


Monday, August 15th: @busymomsreadtoo

Tuesday, August 16th: Stranded in Chaos and @sarastrand9438

Wednesday, August 17th: Traveler’s Wife 4 Life

Friday, August 19th: Tabi Thoughts

Monday, August 22nd: Lisa’s Reading

Wednesday, August 24th: @theocbookgirl

Friday, August 26th: Seaside Book Nook

Sunday, August 28th: @bookscallmyheart

Monday, August 29th: Cats in the Cradle Blog and @lizardbrooks99

Tuesday, August 30th: Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama and @musingsofasassybookishmama

Wednesday, August 31st: Reading, Writing, and Pondering and @teaandbookstoo

Thursday, September 1st: Pick a Good Book and @pickagoodbook

Wednesday, September 7th: The Calico Books and @thecalicobooks

Friday, September 9th: @bookish801

Monday, September 12th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Tuesday, September 13th: Girl Who Reads

Wednesday, September 14th: @subakka.bookstuff

Friday, September 16th: View from the Birdhouse