Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Blast Giveaway: The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby by Jenny Lundquist

The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby
by Jenny Lundquist
-Middle Grade, Christmas
Release date: September 19, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads

Violet Barnaby searches for the joy in life after losing her mother in this sweet and funny follow-up to The Charming Life of Izzy Malone.

Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they’ll share with Melanie and Melanie’s two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List—things her mom wants her to do during the holiday season. On the list are exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year, like Be Someone’s Secret Santa; Give Someone the Gift of Your Time: Volunteer; and Bake Christmas Cookies.

Violet shows the letter to her friend Izzy’s Aunt Mildred, who calls a meeting of the Charm Girls, a club Izzy and Violet belong to along with their friends, Daisy and Sophia. Aunt Mildred decides she will give them each a charm to put on their bracelet if they do all of the tasks on the Christmas Wish List, which Violet is not too happy about. She’d rather forget about the list completely, but feels compelled to honor her mother’s wishes.

And when Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too…

Praise for The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby

“[an] emotionally perceptive novel of grief and recovery.” – Kirkus

You’ll fall in love with Violet and love every minute of living in her wondrous world! – Stephanie Faris

Author the author:

Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, where she spent her time unsuccessfully learning how to surf. When she was younger, she wanted to be either a rock star or a published author. After she taped herself singing and listened to it on playback she decided she’d better opt for the writing route. Jenny is the author of multiple YA and Middle Grade titles including Seeing Cinderella, The Charming Life of Izzy Malone, The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby and the forthcoming The Carnival of Wishes and Dreams (2019).

Find out more about this book and author:

--~ Book Blast Giveaway ~--

WIN $100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 10/10/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Perfectly You by Robin Daniels

Perfectly You
by Robin Daniels

Find out more about this book and author:

Just released: August 24, 2017
Publisher: Bluefields Publishing
Genre: Romance, YA
Rating: 5

The Perfect series:
Perfectly Oblivious
Perfectly You

First sentence(s):
Blah, blah, blah, blah… I was hearing Rob's words, but they weren't registering.

Zombie sighting:
She didn't say anything else, but turned on the television and flipped through the Netflix menu before setting on episodes of "The Walking Dead". If anything could make me feel better, it was Bunny Tracks and Zombies. -chapter 23

Ivy Nixon is the student body Vice President at Franklin High School. Each year, the school holds a date auction to raise funds for the senior class graduation party, and this year, Ivy’s in charge. Planning the event is a huge task and Ivy is determined to prove she can get the job done right. Unfortunately, she’s still one participant short and her deadline is looming.

Andy Walker, her cute but socially reclusive art class table mate, is her last resort. He may not be popular, but he’s funny, talented, and full of surprises. With a makeover and some major social marketing, Ivy is sure he could fetch a decent price at the auction.

Andy reluctantly agrees to help, but the more time Ivy spends with him, the more her feelings shift from professional to romantic in nature. To top it off, she’s done her marketing so well, that other girls are starting to notice Andy too. Come auction time, will Ivy be able to let him go to the highest bidder? Or will she find a way to keep him for herself...

My two-bits:

Loved this sweet romance and how it blossoms and grows. The chemistry between the two is evident at the start and gets a kick start with a major high school event.

Like the first book in this series, the story includes some sports action. In this case golf was highlighted. But miniature golf actually comes into play.

Along with the main couple and their cute interactions is a second couple (best friends of the main couple) which is just as fun to follow.

--~ Blog Tour Giveaway ~--
signup to win this book (here)


* review copy courtesy of book tour sponsored by I Am A Reader Not A Writer

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Happy Release: Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

Best Day Ever
by Kaira Rouda
-Thriller, Mystery
Release date: September 19, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion.


An excerpt from BEST DAY EVER by Kaira Rouda

I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, sunlight bouncing off her shiny blond hair like sparklers lit for the Fourth of July, and I am bursting with confidence. Everything is at it should be.

Here we are, just the two of us, about to spend the weekend at our lake house. Today represents everything I’ve worked for, that we have built together. The sun blasts through my driver’s side window with such intensity I feel the urge to hold my hand up to the side of my face to shield my eyes, even though my sunglasses are dark and should be doing the job. Under any other circumstances, on any other day, they would be, I know. But today, something is different between us; some strange tension pulses through the air of the car’s interior. I cannot see it, but it’s here. I’d like to name it. Discover its source and eliminate it.

And now we’re getting on the road. Mia turns toward me and smiles. She has a perfect smile: half-moon-shaped, with glistening white teeth. My smile is more of a rectangle; no matter how hard I try, I appear to be smirking, I know that. But my teeth are perfect, thanks to the cosmetic dentist. I grin back.

She loves me so much, and of course the same can be said for me. We’ve been together almost ten years now. We know each other’s best qualities, and we know each other’s dark sides. Although to be quite honest about it, I’m not sure Mia has what you’d call a dastardly alter ego. Her dark side is simply grumpy, and it typically only appears when she is tired, or when one of our boys faces a rough patch. For my part, I wonder if Mia thinks I have a dark side. Most likely, as far as she knows, I am just her dear loving husband.

Today, though, this morning, right now, she is exuding energy; it oozes from her pores, from her flawless face. It’s the cause of the strange pulsing between us, I decide.

“You seem wound up, honey,” I say. I want to pat her leg and tell her to relax but I don’t. Despite her odd mood she is still beautiful, almost perfect in every way.

“Do I? I guess I’m just excited,” she says, confirming my assessment while stretching her hands toward the front windshield. The diamond from her wedding ring flashes in the overbright sunshine as if imitating her energy.

“Me, too. But we’ve got a long drive ahead of us, so try to relax. Let’s make today the best day ever.” I attempt to add the proper lilt in my voice. I need her to believe I am just as happy and carefree as she is. That driving up to our lake house for the first time this season is the most exciting thing I could ever imagine doing on any day, ever.

© 2017 Kaira Rouda, with permission from Graydon House

About the author:

Kaira Rouda is a USA TODAY bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary fiction, including Here, Home, Hope, and The Goodbye Year. Kaira is also the author of Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs and the creator of Real Living, one of the nation’s most successful real estate brands and the first national women-focused brand in real estate. She now lives in Southern California with her family, where she’s lucky enough to write full time, and enjoys the beach whenever possible. Kaira’s latest novel, Best Day Ever, is one of the major launch titles for Harlequin’s new imprint Graydon House, and will be available on September 19, 2017.

Find out more about this book and author:

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Lovely Books and Things - 9.16.17

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)


I had a bit of an uptick with reading this week. Managed to read a novel and novella. And, finished IT by Stephen King for the read along (here). There is something to be said of chunky books that are over 1,000 pages. After investing so much time reading it and getting into the novel's world, there is a craving for more at the end of the last page.

The next chunkster book I will dive into is Paul Auster's 4 3 2 1.

Gearing up to do a reading binge session with the Man Booker Prize long listed books for the rest of the month and into next. Hopefully I can read over half from the list (here) before the winner is announced. Do any of you ever read Man Booker nominees?



Solar Bones
by Mike McCormack (Ireland) (Canongate)
-Literary, Ireland
Amazon | Goodreads

FOR the Man Booker 2017 long list.

INTERESTING thing about this one is that it is one super long sentence - 265 pages worth.

Reservoir 13
by Jon McGregor (UK) (4th Estate)
-Literary, Mystery
Amazon | Goodreads

FOR the Man Booker 2017 long list.

Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) (JM Originals)
Amazon | Goodreads

FOR the Man Booker 2017 short list.

For Review:

Best Day Ever
by Kaira Rouda
-Thriller, Mystery
courtesy of publisher -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

THIS cover screams "READ ME".

Say You'll Stay
by Corinne Michaels
-New Adult, Romance
courtesy of Romance Read-of-the-Month Club -Thanks!
BarnesNoble | Amazon | Goodreads

FOR the romance fix ;-)

OTHER things (kinda book-related):

Book Blogger Hop
features a book related question
Sponsored by The Coffee Addicted Writer (details)

This week's prompt: Have you ever bought a more expensive edition of a book, when a cheaper edition was available, just because you preferred the cover of the more expensive one?
(submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

YES, but rarely - only if I really want to keep it in my library. I mostly pick out paperback editions and then give the book away.

AND watched: in theatre

It (2017)
Director: Andy Muschietti
Screenplay: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman
Based on book by: Stephen King
Starring: Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis,
Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer,
Wyatt Oleff, Bill SkarsgÄrd
-Adventure, Drama, Horror | imdb | my rating: 4

A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of clown, begins hunting children.

For Fall Film challenge: about fortitude

Gotta hand it to the kids for figuring out things. This version did not get too much into the paranormal bits found in the book. Clown creepiness cringe moments, indeed.

TO add to the creepy, we spotted this in the theatre lobby after the show. Ahhhh.

AND watched: on DVD

Lust, Caution (2007)
Se, jie (original title)
Director: Ang Lee
Screenplay: James Schamus, Hui-Ling Wang
Story by: Eileen Chang
Starring: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Wei Tang, Joan Chen
-Drama, Romance, Thriller, Taiwan | imdb | my rating: 5

During World War II era, a young woman, Wang Jiazhi, gets swept up in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue with a powerful political figure, Mr. Yee.

For Fall Film challenge: about lust

BEAUTIFULLY done with lots of sexy lust and caution thrown about. And then an inkling of love? Lovely closeups.

Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
Director: James Bobin
Screenplay: Linda Woolverton
Based on book by: Lewis Carroll
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter
-Adventure, Family, Fantasy | imdb | my rating: 3

Alice returns to the whimsical world of Wonderland and travels back in time to help the Mad Hatter.

For Fall Film challenge: starring alan rickman

COLORFUL world with lots of time related puns that got stale after awhile. Alan Rickman had such a small part compared to the first Alice film.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently


Friday, September 15, 2017

The Pursuit of Lady Harriett by Rachael Anderson

The Pursuit of Lady Harriett
by Rachael Anderson

Find out more about this book and author:
Currently on Blog Tour: Sep 11-21, 2017 (here)

Just released: August 28, 2017
Publisher: HEA Publishing
Genre: Historial, Romance
Rating: 5

Tanglewood series:
The Fall of Lord Drayson
The Rise of Miss Notley
The Pursuit of Lady Harriett

First sentence(s):
"How dreadful it would be to live on one's own permanently," Lady Harriett Cavendish said to no one in particular as she walked through a thick grove of pines in Askern, Yorkshire.

When wills clash and hearts collide, who will reign victorious?

Termed an Incomparable during her first London season, Lady Harriett Cavendish is beautiful, spirited, and confident, capturing the attention of a great many suitors. Unfortunately, they all failed to capture her attention, and she concluded the season as unattached as she’d begun it.

Only weeks prior to her second season, Harriett encounters Captain Christopher Jamison while visiting Tanglewood Manor. Recently returned from war, the captain is everything that Harriett’s previous suitors were not. He’s arrogant, ungentlemanly, irritating, and challenges her at every opportunity. When he goes too far, Harriett decides that it’s time to turn the tables on him. But as she sets out to put the captain in his place once and for all, she discovers there is more to him than meets the eye, and when it comes to matters of the heart, she is completely powerless.

My two-bits:

This third installment of the Tanglewood series is another romance set during the Regency period which turns out just as lovely as the others.

There are descriptions of estate management along with tips on the dos and don'ts of how to treat a lady.

Lot of light banter and teasing makes this couple fun to follow amidst scenes that include horseback riding, shopping and walking. I especially liked watching how each character experienced moments of growth in what it means to be a couple and most especially a couple in love.

side note: I now have an urge to eat a delicious lemon vanilla cake.

also: of the three books so far, this is my favorite

--~ Book Blast Giveaway ~--
signup to win $75 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway (here)
ends: Sep 22, 2017


* book tour sponsored by I Am A Reader Not A Writer
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu