Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Blog Tour: Celebration At Christmas Cove!

Celebration at Christmas Cove by Carrie Jansen

CELEBRATION AT CHRISTMAS COVE (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; October 26, 2021) tells the heartwarming story of a grieving woman who can’t wait to leave a wintry New England island, and a widower who would do anything to stay.

Travel magazine writer Celeste Bell is in a terrible mood. Not only was her flight to the Caribbean diverted to a Massachusetts island, now it looks like she’ll have to spend Christmas there. Single and still mourning the loss her mother a year earlier, Celeste is desperate to avoid any emotional entanglements and all holiday festivities. She just doesn’t feel like celebrating.

But that’s exactly what community center executive director Nathan White and his young daughter, Abigail, want to do. Nathan is entirely focused on making sure that his daughter has a happy Christmas, especially with the knowledge that if he can’t raise money for the community center soon, it will close and they’ll have to leave the island. When he meets Celeste, Nathan begins to feel a connection and wonders if he’s brave enough to risk his heart once more.

Thawing their frozen hearts and saving the community center will require a Christmas miracle. But tis the season…

-summary from publisher

Review: This was a delightful, festive read! I think anyone who loves Hallmark Christmas movies will enjoy it. I would definitely recommend trying this book!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Author Bio: Carrie Jansen earned an MFA in creative writing and published many poems and short stories before becoming a novelist. An avid bodyboarder and beach walker, she spends as much of the year as she can on Cape Cod, where she draws inspiration for her contemporary romances. She also writes Amish romance novels under her pseudonym, Carrie Lighte. Learn more online at carriejansen.com.

Blog Tour: How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino!

“A teen ponders the complexities of life, history, and humanity in this 1937 classic from Japan being animated by Hayao Miyazaki… Simple and beautiful seasonal details reflect Copper’s emotional journey. Small glimpses into prewar Japanese life and culture, including tofu making, school social hierarchies, city life, and the intricacies and symbolism of words, contribute to the atmosphere. A foreword by Neil Gaiman perfectly captures the mood and significance of this book, a childhood favorite of Miyazaki’s and one that is sure to find a select, but eager, readership outside its homeland. A quiet, introspective look at life and how to be human.” 

--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A deeply thoughtful Japanese classic…a gentle tale of self-discovery and reflection, and a compassionate guidebook on integrity punctuated by rich sensory details…Yoshino’s timeless lessons will resonate with sensitive readers young and old.”

--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A beguiling … and ruminative coming-of-age tale … to excite interest and—happily—inspire thought.”


First published in 1937, Genzaburo Yoshino’s enchanting novel HOW DO YOU LIVE? is (Publication Date: October 26, 2021; $17.95) finally available in English for the first time. Award-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle) has long referred to this coming-of-age classic beloved by millions of Japanese readers as not only a major influence on his work but also his favorite childhood book, and he has recently announced plans to base his final film on it. Brilliantly translated by Bruno Navasky and with a foreword by fantasy master Neil Gaiman, who wrote the English-language adaptation of Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, this new edition will introduce legions of new readers to Yoshino’s timeless tale. 
HOW DO YOU LIVE? begins with fifteen-year-old Copper, who has recently suffered the loss of his father, gazing out over his hometown of Tokyo, watching the thousands of people below, and beginning to ponder life’s big questions. How many people are in the world? What do their lives look like? Are humans really made of molecules? The book moves between Copper’s story and his uncle’s journal entries, in which he gives advice and helps Copper learn pivotal truths about the way the world works. Over the course of a year in his life, Copper, like his namesake Copernicus, embarks on a journey of philosophical enlightenment, and uses his discoveries about the heavens, earth and human nature to determine the best way to live. Yoshino perfectly captures the beauty and strangeness of pre-war Japan – the changing of the seasons, the fried tofu and taiyaki stands, and the lush landscapes, as Copper explores the city on his bike and learns from friends and family what really matters most in life. “It’s funny and sad in a particularly Japanese way. As I read more of the book, I discovered that it contains lessons on everything: art, science, language, history, politics and philosophy,” translator Bruno Navasky writes. “It also contains a quiet but powerful message on the value of thinking for oneself and standing up for others during troubled times.”

“Books like this are important,” writes Neil Gaiman in the book’s foreword. “I’m so glad Mr. Miyazaki is making his film because it means that eighty-four years after it was written, Yoshino’s novel can be read in English, in Bruno Navasky’s gentle and winning translation, and that I got to read it.” Perfect for fans of The Little Prince and the Alchemist, as well as Miyazaki fans eager to understand some of his most important influences, HOW DO YOU LIVE? is a whimsical and wise novel that will forever change the way readers think about their place in the world.

-promo from the publisher

Review: An excellent book, that I would definitely recommend trying!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.


Genzaburō Yoshino (1899-1981) was a Japanese writer and publisher. In 1935, he became director of a collection of educational books for young people. Yoshino stepped in to write How Do You Live? when Yūzō Yamamoto, the expected writer, fell ill. Since its debut as a novel and guide to philosophy for young people, How Do You Live? has been re-edited and republished more than eighty times, a reflection of the changing times and culture in Japan.


Bruno Navasky is a teacher and writer, whose work as a translator and editor includes Festival in My Heart: Poems by Japanese Children and Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets. He was the founding editor of American Poet, the journal of The Academy of American Poets, where he now serves on the board of directors. He lives and works in New York City.

Review: The Lady Gets Lucky (The Fifth Avenue Rebels #2)!

USA Today Bestselling Author

Following the book called “an alluring blend of love and playfulness” (PW) The Heiress Hunt, beloved author Joanna Shupe continues her new Fifth Avenue Rebels series with a scandalous romance about a good girl desperate to rebel and the rebel desperate to corrupt her.

A first-rate scoundrel.

A desperate wallflower.

Lessons in seduction.

The woman no one notices . . .

Shy heiress Alice Lusk is tired of being overlooked by every bachelor. Something has to change, else she’ll be forced to marry a man whose only desire is her fortune. She needs to become a siren, a woman who causes a man’s blood to run hot . . .and she’s just met the perfect rogue to help teach her.

He’s the life of every party . . .

Christopher “Kit” Ward plans to open a not-so-reputable supper club in New York City, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to hire the best chef in the city to guarantee its success. Even if it requires giving carnal lessons to a serious-minded spinster who has an in with the chef.

Their bedroom instruction grows passionate, and Alice is a much better pupil than Kit had ever anticipated. When the Society gentlemen start to take notice, Kit has to try to win Alice in other ways . . . but is he too late to win her heart? 

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: I loved this book! Reading about Alice and Kit falling in love, while also dealing with their own insecurities, was so nice, and I absolutely love them as a couple! I also loved that Alice loves to cook! That was really unique for a historical romance. Plus, I loved the ending!

Characters: All of the characters were fantastic, really well developed, with great personalities!

The Cover: It's good!

Overall: I loved this book so much! It was a fantastic historical romance, that I highly recommend reading!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Mini Review: Rules for Heiresses!

Amalie Howard whisks you away with a historical romance full of drama, true love, and the perfect happily ever after.

Sometimes, finding love means flouting the rules...

Born to a life of privilege, Lady Ravenna Huntley rues the day that she must marry. She's refused dozens of suitors and cried off multiple betrothals, but running away—even if brash and foolhardy—is the only option left to secure her independence.

Lord Courtland Chase, grandson of the Duke of Ashton, was driven from England at the behest of his cruel stepmother. Scorned and shunned, he swore never to return to the land of his birth. But when a twist of bad luck throws a rebellious heiress into his arms, at the very moment he finds out he's the new Duke, marriage is the only alternative to massive scandal.

Both are quick to deny it, but a wedding might be the only way out for both of them. And the attraction that burns between them makes Ravenna and Courtland wonder if it'll truly only be a marriage of convenience after all...

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Mini Review: This was a good historical romance, with a unique beginning! I liked the book, and I would definitely recommend trying it!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher

Mini Review: Getaway With Murder (Mountain Lodge Mystery #1)!

Review: Getaway With Murder (Mountain Lodge Mystery #1) by Diane Kelly

Getaway With Murder is the first in a brand new cozy series from Diane Kelly set in a lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where secrets hide behind every hill.

As if hitting the half-century mark wasn’t enough, Misty Murphy celebrated her landmark birthday by amicably ending her marriage and investing her settlement in a dilapidated mountain lodge at the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With the old inn teetering on both a bluff and bankruptcy, she must have lost her ever-loving mind.

Luckily, handyman Rocky Crowder has a knack for rehabbing virtual ruins and for doing it on a dime, and to Misty’s delight, the lodge is fully booked on opening night, every room filled with flexible folks who’d slipped into spandex and ascended the peak for a yoga retreat with plans to namastay for a full week. Misty and her guests are feeling zen—at least until the yoga instructor is found dead.

With a killer on the loose and the lodge’s reputation hanging in the balance, Misty must put her detective-skills to the test. Only one thing is as clear as a sunny mountain morning—she must solve the crime before the lodge ends up, once again, on the brink.

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Mini Review: I thought this was a good beginning to a new cozy mystery series! I liked the location and descriptions of it. I think a lodge has excellent potential for cozy series. Overall, I would definitely recommend trying it!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Review: In the Company of Witches (Evenfall Witches B&B #1)

Review: In the Company of Witches (Evenfall Witches B&B #1) by Auralee Wallace

When a guest dies in the B&B she helps her aunts run, a young witch must rely on some good old-fashioned investigating to clear her aunt's name in this magical and charming new cozy mystery.

For four hundred years, the Warren witches have used their magic to quietly help the citizens of the sleepy New England town of Evenfall thrive. There's never been a problem they couldn't handle. But then Constance Graves--a local known for being argumentative and demanding--dies while staying at the bed and breakfast Brynn Warren maintains with her aunts. At first, it seems like an accident...but it soon becomes clear that there's something more sinister at work, and Aunt Nora is shaping up to be the prime suspect.

There's nothing Brynn wants more than to prove Nora's innocence, and it hurts her to know that even two years ago that might have been easier. Brynn, after all, is a witch of the dead--a witch who can commune with ghosts. Ghosts never remember much about their deaths, but Constance might remember something about her life that would help crack the case. But Brynn hasn't used her powers since her husband died, and isn't even sure she still can. Brynn will just have to hope that her aunts' magic and her own investigative skills will lead her to answers--and maybe back to the gift she once thought herself ready to give up forever.

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: I thought the mystery was really well done in this book! (AND I didn't figure out who the culprit was until the end, which is rare for me now, so that's a good surprise!) I also liked the side plots going on as well. The fantasy element was a unique addition to the story, which I really enjoyed.

Characters: Brynn was a great character, and reading abut her rejoining the world and dealing with her grief (I cried at the end!), and her finding her gift again was a good part of the book. Her aunts and her uncle were great! And I loved the quirky cast of characters this book had!

The Cover: I like it! Perfectly spooky, and I love the house in the background!

Overall: This was a fantastic start to a new cozy mystery series! I loved reading it, and I will definitely make sure to check out the next book in the series, too! Overall, I definitely recommend it!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Review: Cold-Blooded Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries #3)

Review: Cold-Blooded Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries #3) by Elizabeth C. Bunce

An Edgar Award–winning series!

Twelve-year-old Young Lady of Quality and Victorian amateur detective Myrtle Hardcastle returns, and now she’s on the trail of a serial killer in her hometown of Swinburne.

When Mr. Leighton, proprietor of Leighton’s Mercantile, is found dead on the evening his annual Christmas shop display is to be unveiled, it’s clear a killer had revenge in mind. But who would want to kill the local dry-goods merchant? Perhaps someone who remembers the unresolved, long-ago scandal that occurred when he was a professor and archaeologist. When the killer strikes again, ­­­each time manipulating the figures in the display to foretell the crime, Myrtle finds herself racing to uncover the long-buried facts of a historical scandal—and the motivations of a modern murderer. 

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: It was so good! Elizabeth C. Bunce writes out such well done mysteries, with plenty of twists and turns. I think I've become pretty good at solving mysteries in books, but I was pleasantly surprised when I was stumped for the majority of this one! I ended up figuring out the culprit, but it took me nearly the entire book to do so, which is great. I love being surprised in books! I also loved that this book took place during the Christmas season, I love books with that time as the backdrop!

Characters: I love all the characters in these books! And I love how they're able to evolve. Aunt Helena began the series firmly against Myrtle investigating, but I was pleasantly surprised by how her attitude has changed as the series goes on. Miss Judson continues to be a favorite. And I love the introduction of new characters we met in this book!

The Cover: Excellent!

Overall: I was so happy when I opened a package and found an ARC of this book, I may have screamed a little! This series has quickly become a favorite, and I was so looking forward to reading what would happen to Myrtle, (and her family and friends!) next. I ended up reading this book the same day I received it, because I just could not wait. I had high expectations, and I am thrilled to say they were exceeded with this book! As an adult, I love these books, but I know I would have loved them when I was Myrtle's age, as well. (This is a series I would have reread multiple times!) Overall, this is a series I can't recommend highly enough, for anyone who loves a good mystery, or an excellent MG novel (or both!)! I can't wait to read the next book! 

I received an ARC of the book from the publisher.

Review: The Holiday Swap!

Review: The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

A feel-good, holiday-themed romantic comedy about identical twins who switch lives in the days leading up to Christmas--perfect for fans of Christina Lauren's In a Holidaze and Josie Silver's One Day in December.

All they want for Christmas is a different life.

When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell--both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie's identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family's bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won't get the memo that they're over.

With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven't done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician's assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins' identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: The plot reminded me so much of a Hallmark Channel movie, which is a big compliment because I love Hallmark! I loved reading about both of the twins journeys, and them finding out where (and with whom) they belong.

Characters: I loved all the characters! Both of the twins were fantastic leads, but I will say that I enjoyed reading about Cass and Miguel a little more than Charlie and Jake, but both were fun and I enjoyed their romances! I also liked all the side characters, from family to friends.

The Cover: It's really cute! I love the colors on it!

Overall: This was a fantastic Christmas book that I loved reading, and will be recommending to everyone who enjoys a sweet holiday read! Overall, I highly recommend reading it!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Review: A Case of Grave Danger (The Violet Veil Mysteries)!

Review: A Case of Grave Danger (The Violet Veil Mysteries) by Sophie Cleverly

A breakout new detective series, from the author of the spine-tingling SCARLET AND IVY series, beautifully illustrated by Hannah Peck.

Violet Veil wants nothing more than to prove her worth and become her father’s apprentice at Veil Sons Undertakers. And one rain-soaked night she gets her chance when she meets a boy, Oliver, who is wandering around the graveyard. Only, the last time Violet saw Oliver, he was indoors and very much dead, waiting to be buried. Violet has just found her first case, and it doesn’t get bigger than this: can she, with the help of her dog, Bones, help Oliver solve his own ‘murder’? 

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: Historical Mysteries are something I'm always drawn to, so when I saw this MG book on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it! And I'm happy I did! This was a wonderful mystery, with a truly difficult to figure out culprit. The book had a hint of the paranormal (No spoilers for people who haven't read it!), but was otherwise a regular mystery, that I really enjoyed reading!

Characters: Violet was a great main character! And I liked all the supporting characters, as well.

The Cover: I really like it!

Overall: This was an excellent beginning to a new MG series, that I will eagerly anticipate reading more books from! I definitely recommend reading it!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.