Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Want-To-Read Wednesday: Young Adult Books

Want-To-Read Wednesday is a feature on my blog, where every week I share five upcoming books I want to read based on the topic of the week. For more information about it, go here.

Hi, everyone! The topic this week is Young Adult books. I can't wait to read all of these books!

Beautiful Wild by Anna Godbersen

New Year's Kiss by Lee Matthews

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer 

A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey 

Rebel Rose (The Queen's Council #1) by Emma Theriault 

What YA books are on you TBR list? :)

Monday, October 26, 2020

Review: Love Your Life

Review: Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Owe You One, an utterly delightful novel about a woman who ditches her dating app for a writer's retreat in Italy--only to find that real love comes with its own filters

Call Ava romantic, but she thinks love should be found in the real world, not on apps that filter men by height, job, or astrological sign. She believes in feelings, not algorithms. So after a recent breakup and dating app debacle, she decides to put love on hold and escapes to a remote writers' retreat in coastal Italy. She's determined to finish writing the novel she's been fantasizing about, even though it means leaving her close-knit group of friends and her precious dog, Harold, behind.

At the retreat, she's not allowed to use her real name or reveal any personal information. When the neighboring martial arts retreat is canceled and a few of its attendees join their small writing community, Ava, now going by "Aria," meets "Dutch," a man who seems too good to be true. The two embark on a baggage-free, whirlwind love affair, cliff-jumping into gem-colored Mediterranean waters and exploring the splendor of the Italian coast. Things seem to be perfect for Aria and Dutch.

But then their real identities--Ava and Matt--must return to London. As their fantasy starts to fade, they discover just how different their personal worlds are. From food choices to annoying habits to sauna etiquette . . . are they compatible in anything? And then there's the prickly situation with Matt's ex-girlfriend, who isn't too eager to let him go. As one mishap follows another, it seems while they love each other, they just can't love each other's lives. Can they reconcile their differences to find one life together? 

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: I really liked it! The premise of Ava and Matt falling love, without really knowing anything about each other, then discovering how very different they are, was interesting! I don't want to say too much more about the plot of this one, for fear of spoiling it for people!

Characters: I liked all the characters! Ava was delightful, and I loved all her friends! The scenes with them were some of the ones that made me laugh the most. Also, I wanted to write one thing, but don't know if people would consider this a spoiler, so be warned about this next paragraph!

**SPOILER** I was really happy when I read that Nell's (Ava's friend) chronic condition is Lupus. I have Lupus, so to read a book by one of my favorite authors, that featured a character with it, was really, really nice. I also think the way she portrayed it was really accurate, because Lupus can be very different for each person who has it, with the way it affects the body. A couple of problems Nell faces, were exactly ones I've dealt with. It was also really nice that Nell got a relationship in the book, because so often the "sick friend" doesn't get to be happy, which irritates me, so I'm really happy with that! **SPOILER**

The Cover: Cute! I love illustrated covers, and I really like the ones Sophie Kinsella's book have been getting recently, including the reprints.

Overall: I expected to love this book, because it was a Sophie Kinsella book (One of my all-time favorite authors!), and I'm happy to write I did! I won't say too much here about it, for fear of spoiling it for people, but I highly recommend reading!

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Want-To-Read Wednesday: Adult Books

Want-To-Read Wednesday is a feature on my blog, where every week I share five upcoming books I want to read based on the topic of the week. For more information about it, go here.

Hi, everyone! The topic this week is Adult books. I'm really looking forward to reading all of these books!

The Dating Plan by Sara Desai

Fairy Godmothers, Inc. by Saranna DeWylde

Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon 

The Broken Spine (Beloved Bookroom Mystery #1) by Dorothy St. James

Much Ado About You by Samantha Young

What Adult books are on your TBR list? :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Want-To-Read Wednesday: Graphic Novels

Want-To-Read Wednesday is a feature on my blog, where every week I share five upcoming books I want to read based on the topic of the week. For more information about it, go here.

Hi, everyone! The topic this week is Graphic Novels. These all look and sound fantastic, and I can't wait to read them!

Oh My Gods! by Stephanie Cooke and Insha Fitzpatrick, illustrated by Juliana Moon 

Secrets of Camp Whatever Vol. 1 by Chris Grine

Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte, illustrated by Ann Xu

Chef Yasmina and the Potato Panic by Wauter Mannaert

Lemonade Code by Jarod Pratt and Jey Odin

What Graphic Novels are on your TBR list? :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Review: A Princess for Christmas

 Review: A Princess for Christmas by Jenny Holiday

From USA Today bestselling author Jenny Holiday comes a modern fairy tale just in time for Christmas about a tough New Yorker from the other side of the tracks who falls for a princess from the other side of the world.

Leo Ricci's already handling all he can, between taking care of his little sister Gabby, driving a cab, and being the super of his apartment building in the Bronx. But when Gabby spots a "princess" in a gown outside of the UN trying to hail a cab, she begs her brother to stop and help. Before he knows it, he's got a real-life damsel in distress in the backseat of his car. 

Princess Marie of Eldovia shouldn't be hailing a cab, or even be out and about. But after her mother’s death, her father has plunged into a devastating depression and the fate of her small Alpine country has fallen on Marie’s shoulders. She’s taken aback by the gruff but devastatingly handsome driver who shows her more kindness than she’s seen in a long time. 

When Marie asks Leo to be her driver for the rest of her trip, he agrees, thinking he’ll squire a rich miss around for a while and make more money than he has in months. He doesn’t expect to like and start longing for the unpredictable Marie. And when he and Gabby end up in Eldovia for Christmas, he discovers the princess who is all wrong for him is also the woman who is his perfect match.

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: The plot was really fun! Anytime royalty is mentioned in a summary, I know I have to add it to my TBR list. And I'm happy I did!

Characters: Marie and Leo were great main characters! I really, really liked all the side characters, too! (Also, I *think* I know who the next book will be about based on things that happen at the end of the story and if I'm right? I'm happy about who they are!)

The Cover: I love this cover!

Overall: This was such a fun read, that I really enjoyed! If you're looking for a fun book to read for the Christmas season this year, I would definitely recommend trying it!

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Review: A Christmas to Remember

 Review: A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale

From USA Today bestselling author Jenny Hale comes a heartwarming Christmas story about the magic of childhood memories, the strength of family, and the joy of falling in love when you least expect it.
Carrie Blake loves her job as a nanny, but while her friends are settling down, all of Carrie's time is spent with other people's families. Though it breaks her heart, her New Year's resolution is to embark on a new career and fix her lonely personal life -- but only after she finishes one last amazing job. The house is beautiful, the kids are adorable, and she's in charge of decorating the tree! There's only one problem: her boss.
Single dad Adam Fletcher might be both handsome and successful, but he's always working. Doesn't he realize he's missing out on precious moments with his son and daughter? When Adam's family arrives for Christmas, Carrie finds the perfect allies in her quest to help Adam bond with his children. But she doesn't plan on a connection forming between her and Adam -- or for his family to start feeling like the home she's always craved. With the clock counting down to the new year, Carrie resolves to give Adam and his children the best Christmas ever before leaving for good. But Christmas is the time for miracles, and happily ever after is the greatest gift of all.

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: The plot of this was cute! It felt just like a Hallmark movie, which is a big compliment!

Characters: All the characters were wonderful, and I loved how Adam's family played such a big role.

The Cover: It's really pretty! I like it a lot.

Overall: This was the first Christmas book I read this year, and it was a delightful way to begin my Christmas TBR! Turning the yule log on the TV, wrapping a blanket around myself, and reading this made me feel perfectly festive. This was the first book I've read by this author, now I want to go back and read more of her books!  If you're looking for a wonderful Christmas book to read this year, I highly recommend this one!

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Review: How to Get Away with Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries #2) by Elizabeth C. Bunce

 Review: How to Get Away with Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries #2) by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Before the train has left the station, England’s most accomplished new detective already is on a suspect’s trail, and readers will be delighted to travel along.

 Myrtle Hardcastle has no desire to go on a relaxing travel excursion with her aunt Helena when there are More Important things to be done at home, like keeping close tabs on criminals and murder trials. Unfortunately, she has no say in the matter. So off Myrtle goes—with her governess, Miss Judson, and cat, Peony, in tow—on a fabulous private railway coach headed for the English seaside.

 Myrtle is thrilled to make the acquaintance of Mrs. Bloom, a professional insurance investigator aboard to protect the priceless Northern Lights tiara. But before the train reaches its destination, both the tiara and Mrs. Bloom vanish. When Myrtle arrives, she and Peony discover a dead body in the baggage car. Someone has been murdered—with Aunt Helena’s sewing shears.

 The trip is derailed, the local police are inept, and Scotland Yard is in no rush to arrive. What’s a smart, bored Young Lady of Quality stranded in a washed-up carnival town to do but follow the evidence to find out which of her fellow travelers is a thief and a murderer?

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: Another great mystery in this series! I don't want to ruin the mystery for people, so I will just say that I thought the mystery was really well done, and while I guessed part of what had happened, I didn't figure it all out, which was nice. I always love when a mystery is able to surprise me!

Characters: I loved Myrtle, and Miss Judson again in this one! I also liked how we got a bunch of new characters, but characters from the first book were also part of it. (Sometimes in ways I didn't expect!) I liked how we got another side of Aunt Helena in this book.

The Cover: Another good cover!

Overall: This was a fantastic sequel, and I can't wait for another book in the series! (Which is mentioned at the end of the book.) Highly recommend these books if you're looking for a good mystery, no matter what age you are!

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Want-To-Read Wednesday: Middle Grade Books


Want-To-Read Wednesday is a feature on my blog, where every week I share five upcoming books I want to read based on the topic of the week. For more information about it, go here.

Hi, everyone! The topic this week is Middle Grade books. All of these books sound fabulous, and I'm looking forward to reading them all!

The Retake by Jen Calonita

The Gilded Girl by Alyssa Colman 

The Accidental Apprentice (Wilderlore #1) by Amanda Foody

Danger at the Iron Dragon by Carolyn Keene

Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca

What MG books are on your TBR list? :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Interview With Tina Athaide! And a Giveaway!


Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to present an interview with Tina Athaide, author of the MG novel, Orange for the Sunsets, which is out now!

Here's the interview! :)

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please tell us a little about Orange for the Sunsets?

This novel is my gift to all of the people effected by the expulsion of Asian Indians from Uganda. At the heart of the story is the friendship between an Asian Indian girl and an African Ugandan boy—Asha and Yesofu. That friendship is threatened when the president of Uganda announces that Indians have ninety days to leave the country.

Determined for her life to stay the same, Asha clings to her world tighter than ever before. But Yesofu is torn, pulled between his friends, his family, and a promise of a better future. Now as neighbors leave and soldiers line the streets, the two friends find that nothing seems sure—not even their friendship.

What’s your favorite thing about writing Middle Grade books?

I love this age group. I like to think of the middle grade years as golden years. It is a magical time of highs and lows, contradictions, and challenges as kids develop their own individual identities and form their own ideas. It’s the perfect opportunity to connect my love of storytelling with social and cultural awareness.

Random question! What’s your favorite color?

BLUE. Bright spring and summer blue to fall and winter grayish-blue. BLUE takes me through the whole year.

Blue is my favorite color, too! :)

If you’re able to talk about it, what are you working on now?

I am working on another historical fiction story that goes back to the early 1970s, but this time we go to London, England. At the heart of this story is a spunky, adventurous girl who makes you want to join along as she belts out tunes by the Supremes.

This sounds good! :)

What have been some of your favorite books you’ve read this year?

If you took a sneak peek at my bookshelves, you’ll find well read copies of the following books:

Clean Getaway by Nick Stone

Wink by Rob Harrell

When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

A Place At The Table by Laura Shovan and Saadia Faruqi

When Stars on Scattered is on my TBR list! :)

Thank you so much to Ms. Athaide for letting me interview her!

Now, Ms. Athaide is generously giving away TWO copies of the paperback of her book! Follow the rules below to enter via the Rafflecopter form, and good luck!

Giveaway Rules:

US Only!

TWO winners will each win a signed paperback copy of the book.

Giveaway runs from October 6th through October 20th

After the giveaway is over, I'll contact the winner and get their information for the author.

The winner will have 48 hours to reply. If they do not, I will pick a new winner.

The author is the one responsible to get the prize to the winner.

And no cheating!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Bio: Tina Athaide was born in Uganda and grew up in London and Canada. While her family left Entebbe just prior to the expulsion, she has memories of refugee family and friends staying with them in their London home. The stories and conversations she listened to through the years became the inspiration for her book Orange for the Sunsets. Tina now lives in California with her husband, Ron, and their daughter, Isabella.

Represented by Andrea Cascardi at TransAtlantic Agency.

Here Are A Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Monday, October 5, 2020

Blog Tour Review: Premeditated Myrtle

Hi, everyone! Today's post is part of the blog tour for the Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries. I am so happy to present my review of book #1, Premeditated Myrtle!

Review: Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Twelve-year-old Myrtle Hardcastle has a passion for justice and a Highly Unconventional obsession with criminal science. Armed with her father’s law books and her mum’s microscope, Myrtle studies toxicology, keeps abreast of the latest developments in crime scene analysis, and Observes her neighbors in the quiet village of Swinburne, England.

When her next-door neighbor, a wealthy spinster and eccentric breeder of rare flowers, dies under Mysterious Circumstances, Myrtle seizes her chance. With her unflappable governess, Miss Ada Judson, by her side, Myrtle takes it upon herself to prove Miss Wodehouse was murdered and find the killer, even if nobody else believes her — not even her father, the town prosecutor. 

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: The mystery in this was good! The backstory was unique, and I quite enjoyed the setting for this book. I'm happy that I guessed the culprit! I don't want to write too much about the plot, for fear of spoiling the mystery.

Characters: All of the characters were well written! I liked how your opinion of a character could change, based on how Myrtle viewed them. And her governess was an excellent character! 

The Cover: I like it! And I really love how there are nods to parts of the story on the cover, which after having read the book, are very obvious, which is fun!

Overall: I very much enjoyed reading this Middle Grade book, and I will definitely be reading the sequel! (Which according to the summary, takes place on a train, which I always love!) As an adult I found this to be very good, and I know I would have also loved it when I was a middle grader. I would definitely recommend this book! :)

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Halloween Picture Book Recommendations!


Hi, everyone! Today I thought it would be fun to share a list of Halloween Picture Books I love! I figured October 1st was a good time to post this. I hope you find a book from this list to read for Halloween! Some of these books are old favorites, some are new, but I love all of them and highly recommend them!

H Is for Halloween by Disney

Fright Club by Ethan Long

Monster Mash by David Catrow

Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane, illustrated by Jane Manning

Side Note: I love all of these books, but if I had to pick a favorite? Little Goblins Ten would be it! :)

Pick a Pumpkin by Patricia Toht, illustrated by Jarvis

Grimelda: The Very Messy Witch by Diana Murray, illustrated by Heather Ross

Peep and Egg: I'm Not Trick-or-Treating by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Joyce Wan

I Love My Fangs! by Kelly Leigh Miller

What are your favorite Halloween Picture Books? I'm always looking for new recommendations! :)