Friday, September 21, 2018

Friday Five and a Giveaway (48)


Happy Friday! We made it to the end of the week. Finally! I'm sharing what I have been up to/thinking about/enjoying lately. Don't forget to enter the giveaway too!



1. Warm Weather = Beach Reads
Guys, I should probably be planning on some fall reads, but as long as my air conditioner is still running and the humidity is insane, I am going to read allllll the beach reads. There's so many that I haven't gotten to yet that I really want to read, like Beach House Reunion, Women of the Dunes, and The Ever After. Have your read any of these? 




 

2.  Kurt Seyit ve Sura on Netflix 
Some of my Outlander friends recommended this show to me on Netflix. It's a Turkish TV show and there's subtitles, but hear me out. It's surprisingly good. It's a bit cheesy at times and over romanticized, but it's a great story and the author of the book the show is based on wrote it about her family's history. I find this fascinating as someone who studies genealogy and my family's history.  I also like that it takes place in Russia and Eastern Europe during WWI, which is a fascinating time in history. Please tell me I'm not the only one who has heard about this show? Also, Seyit is dreamy....like Jamie Fraser dreamy.





3.  The Miniaturist on PBS 
I am a hardcore PBS fan, so I thought I would give this show a try. I haven't read the book that it's based on (cringe!), but I am liking it so far. It's a bit creepy, dark at times and a little bit edgier than I expect from PBS, but it's good. I didn't expect it to be very much like a thriller. Also, I find the setting of 17th century Amsterdam to be really compelling.  Have you read the book or watched the show?



4.  Josie Maran Argan Moonstone Drops 
This stuff is awesome. Seriously. If you have dry skin from time to time or you just want to have that glowy look like you just spent a week on an island, then check out this stuff. You can use it as a primer, a highlighter, on your hair, on your lips - it's fantastic. A little goes a long way though! I like to mix it with my Matte CC cream to not look so pale and blah. 




5.  Giveaway -  I'm kicking off the weekend with a great giveaway! Thanks to BlinkYA, I have an extra ARC of A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan to give away to one lucky US reader.  Please refer to my giveaway rules.  Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday: Carols and Chaos

Can't Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!

Carols and Chaos by Cindy Anstey
Pub. Date: October 9, 2018



Goodreads says, "A lady's maid and a valet become entangled in a yuletide counterfeiting scheme in this romantic Christmas YA adventure.  1817. The happy chaos of the Yuletide season has descended upon the country estate of Shackleford Park in full force, but lady's maid Kate Darby barely has the time to notice. Between her household duties, caring for her ailing mother, and saving up money to someday own a dress shop, her hands are quite full. Matt Harlow is also rather busy. He's performing double-duty, acting as valet for both of the Steeple brothers, two of the estate's holiday guests.   Falling in love would be a disaster for either of them. But staving off their feelings for each other becomes the least of their problems when a devious counterfeiting scheme reaches the gates of Shackleford Park, and Kate and Matt are unwittingly swept up in the intrigue. Full of sweetness, charm, and holiday shenanigans, Carols and Chaos is perfect for fans of Jane Austen and Downton Abbey."

Believe it or not, a lot of the holiday books come out next month! I always try to read at least one holiday book each season and I have my eye on this one. I have been meaning to read Anstey's other YA historical novels, but haven't gotten around to it. Have you? What do you guys think of this seasonal read? Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: My Fall TBR List

Fall is the perfect time to read, especially if you like curling up by the fire with a hot cup of tea.  I love cozying up in the fall with a good read and although I am a summer girl through and through, I do tend to read more as the weather gets colder.  Here's what I would love to read this fall season:

Review Books:



1.  Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley
2.  The Lost Queen by Signe Pike




3.  The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White
4.  The Address by Fiona Davis 


 

5.  The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher
6.  The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox




7.  The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton
8.  Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy




9.  When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen 
10.  The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory



For Pleasure:



1.  The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
2.  Cashelmara by Susan Howatch
3.  Where'd You GoBernadette by Maria Semple


So, what books do you plan to read this fall? Let me know in the comments below. Have you read any of the books on my TBR list? Let me know your thoughts.  This meme is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


Monday, September 17, 2018

Book Review: The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand


Pages: 481
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: June 19, 2018
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: Beautiful Day
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "From New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand, comes a novel about the many ways family can fill our lives with love...if they don't kill us first.  It's wedding season on Nantucket. The beautiful island is overrun with summer people--an annual source of aggravation for year-round residents. And that's not the only tension brewing offshore. When one lavish wedding ends in disaster before it can even begin everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash digs into the best man, the maid of honor, the groom's famous mystery novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, the chief discovers that every wedding is a minefield--and no couple is perfect. Featuring beloved characters from THE CASTAWAYS and A SUMMER AFFAIR, THE PERFECT COUPLE proves once again that Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read."


Greer Garrison, a famous mystery author, has spent the past year helping to plan her son's perfect Nantucket wedding.  Things aren't going that well for her writing career currently as she has a deadline looming, but the wedding is going to be spectacular.  Her son, Benji, is marrying the woman of his dreams, Celeste, so what could go wrong?  Well, things go spectacularly wrong when Celeste's best friend and maid of honor turns up dead the morning of the wedding. Celeste finds her and is unable to recover; she is sent to the hospital to be treated.  Enter stage left, the Nantucket police and as they uncover what exactly happened that night, more and more secrets float to the surface.  Maybe Benji's wealthy family isn't as perfect as they appear? Elin Hilderbrand has long been known as writing fantastic beach reads featuring family drama.  Well, The Perfect Couple delivers that and more with a side of a murder mystery.

Celeste is an interesting character in The Perfect Couple. You would assume she would be extremely happy since she is getting married, but she is hiding some major secrets. As readers slowly find out the truth, it gets harder and harder to always agree with her choices.  Nonetheless, Celeste isn't your typical rich, spoiled woman that Benji would date. She comes from a modest background, has a job with a zoo, and is close with her humble parents. Despite my hesitations, I really liked her and felt for her once I figured out her "problem."

On the other hand, her best friend and maid of honor, Merritt, is a hot mess in The Perfect Couple.  Although she may be a good friend to Celeste, she likes playing with fire and is also is hiding some MAJOR secrets. I don't want to give anything away, but it's a bit of a disaster.  Just when you think Merritt has it figured out and maybe, just maybe she might be able to get out of her latest mess, things go south for her in a major way.

The cast of characters at the wedding were all interesting in The Perfect Couple.  Whether the chapter was from Greer's point of view, the police chief's, Merritt's or any of the other characters, it was all very entertaining. I liked trying to piece together the puzzle with tidbits from each character's point of view.  You know how weddings always bring out drama...well, Hilderbrand brought it alllll out this time with a side of foul play. And oh, the secrets!!!!!

Speaking of secrets.....what I liked most about The Perfect Couple was the multi-layered secrets. Not only was it a fun novel in that it's about a wedding set in Nantucket, but it was also a whodunit.  I have to say, I didn't see all the twists coming!  Hilderbrand out did herself!

So, if you are looking for a mystery that is also a beach read, look no further. I didn't enjoy Hilderbrand's last novel, but this one is back on track and a sure winner.



Sunday, September 16, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (77)


Can't Wait Wednesday: Famous in a Small Town 
Audio Book Review: The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley



It's technically still summer, right? So, I'll be sharing a few more beach reads this month. Next up on the list is The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand. It is a beach read meets a murder mystery meets family drama.  So much fun!





The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves - Thanks to St. Martin's and NetGalley
Bright Ruin by Vic James - Thanks to Del Ray


Have you read any of these books? Are they on your TBR list? Let me know your thoughts. Thanks for visiting! This meme is hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Children's Book Round-up (9)



I love reading year round with my kids, but there's something special about reading a book together and cozying up in the fall. I look forward to getting back to reading more chapter books with my oldest and introducing my youngest to some more sophisticated picture books. Here's what we have been reading lately: 



Peep and Egg: I'm Not Using the Potty by Laura Gehl - I thought this book would be cute for potty training, but it's not. It almost makes it funny to resist using the potty and in turn, it has become some sort of game. I was greatly disappointed by this book and I felt like the message was over my toddler's head as reverse psychology is used. That's not exactly a concept that most toddlers can wrap their heads around.



Bigger! Bigger! by Leslie Patricelli - I was also greatly disappointed by this picture book. Whenever I read picture books with only one or two words, I think to myself. That's it? I expected there to be a little more substance. 




Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin - Who doesn't love Pete the Cat? My son is started to really like him and I love the overall message of this book about how we should go with the flow. Plus, the story is very whimsical, which makes it fun to read.




*10 Ten Minute Stories by Lesley Sims - I love anthologies that include a lot of different stories with a lot of variety. This is the perfect book for bedtime, because not only are the stories 10 minutes or less, but they are also very entertaining and there's something for everyone, such as Beauty and the Beast, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Pinocchio and more.




5 Minute Halloween Stories by Disney Press - If you have a Halloween loving kid at home, this is the perfect spooky read. Plus, I am a sucker for  any stories that are 5-10 minutes as they are the perfect stories to share before bed. There are many Disney stories in here with a spooky twist, but just spooky enough, which I really appreciate.




Trucks by Sarah Powell  - My truck loving son adores this book and how it goes over the various types of trucks. It's a board book with tabs, so it's easy for him to "read"  on his own. This book is definitely a winner for toddlers, especially ones that are truck crazy.




*Lift-the-Flap My Busy Day by Holly Bathie - This book takes young ones through the schedule of a "busy day," which school, errands, dinner, bath time, etc. It's a great way to introduce toddlers to a schedule and it's fun to read as there are over 70 flaps!




Summer of the Sea Serpent by Mary Pope Osborne - We jumped right back into this series and didn't miss a beat. I love this series, because reading it aloud to my son isn't boring; in fact, I actually enjoy these books as well. This book kept us in suspense. There's selkies, mysterious islands, and a sea serpent! A lot of the books in this series are a great introduction to the fantasy genre.




Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve by Mary Pope Osborne - This book is the perfect fall read-aloud or independent read for kids who love a scary story. We loved the spooky vibe, the ghosts, and the mystery.  



*Invisible Brother by Pete Johnson - What kid hasn't wondered what it would be like to be invisible? This is a fun adventure with a wish-granting cape, a jealous little brother, and a lot of magic.




I Am Walt Disney by Grace Norwich - Before we took our trip to Disney, I was excited to read this book with my oldest. It was just an ok biography of Walt; we were hoping for more information regarding how he came up with the idea of Disney World and Disney Land as well as the process of bringing it to life. I think there may be better biographies out there on Walt for young kids.

*A few of these books are Usborne and Kane Miller books, which can be purchased at my website.

Are you familiar with any of these books? What children's books have you been reading? Leave me some recommendations! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday: Famous in a Small Town

Can't Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!

Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills
Pub. Date: January 15, 2019


Goodreads says, "For Sophie, small-town life has never felt small. She has the Yum Yum Shoppe, with its famous fourteen flavors of ice cream; her beloved marching band, the pride and joy of Acadia High (even if the football team disagrees); and her four best friends, loving and infuriating, wonderfully weird and all she could ever ask for.  Then August moves in next door. A quiet guy with a magnetic smile, August seems determined to keep everyone at arm's length. Sophie in particular.  Country stars, revenge plots, and a few fake kisses (along with some excellent real ones) await Sophie in this hilarious, heartfelt story."

Emma Mills is one of those authors that doesn't get enough attention or praise. I absolutely loved First & Then as well as This Adventure Ends.  I love the way she writes dialogue...some of the best in the past few years.  So, needless to say, I am looking forward to her latest read.  What do you guys think?

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