Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday: House of Earth and Blood

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

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
Pub. Date: January 28, 2020 

Goodreads, "Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. By day, she works for an antiquities dealer, selling barely legal magical artifacts, and by night, she parties with her friends, savouring every pleasure Lunathion—otherwise known as Crescent City— has to offer. But it all comes crumbling down when a ruthless murder shakes the very foundations of the city—and Bryce’s world.  Two years later, her job has become a dead end, and she now seeks only blissful oblivion in the city’s most notorious nightclubs. But when the murderer attacks again, Bryce finds herself dragged into the investigation and paired with an infamous Fallen angel whose own brutal past haunts his every step.  Hunt Athalar, personal assassin for the Archangels, wants nothing to do with Bryce Quinlan, despite being ordered to protect her. She stands for everything he once rebelled against and seems more interested in partying than solving the murder, no matter how close to home it might hit. But Hunt soon realizes there’s far more to Bryce than meets the eye—and that he’s going to have to find a way to work with her if they want to solve this case.  As Bryce and Hunt race to untangle the mystery, they have no way of knowing the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents, and down to the darkest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir..."

I absolutely love Sarah J. Maas and can't wait to try this new series for adults although I still need to get caught up on her Court of Thorns and Roses series. What do you guys think? Are you excited for this one?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Two Little Golfers Being Positive by Jenn Holt

Summertime is a great time to get little ones excited about reading and I've got a new picture book to share with you guys today. I have been on the hunt for picture books that include sports and sadly, there aren't too many that include the sport of golf.  

So, when I was asked to be a part of the blog tour for the publication of Two Little Golfers Being Positive by Jenn Holt, I knew I had to! A picture book about golf? Finally! Plus, the author, Jenn Holt, is an LPGA teaching professional, so she really knows her stuff.  The overall message of Two Little Golfers Being Positive explains how a good attitude is a wonderful thing to have and how it can have a positive impact on sports as well as your life. I love this message!

About Two Little Golfers Being Positive:

Publisher’s Synopsis: "Coach Jenn takes Alice and Izzy on the golf course to show them the value of positive self talk,  a positive attitude, and to never give up, no matter how hard it gets. The story is told with some cute illustrations, and is great for all sports kids."
Ages 0-7 | Publisher: Outskirts Press | October 29, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1977201263

You can buy this book at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and IndieBound. You can also learn more about Jenn Holt by visiting her website and on Facebook.  

The Giveaway: 

I have partnered with The Children's Book Review and Jenn Holt to share with you guys a fun giveaway that's absolutely perfect for summertime.  You can enter to win a signed copy of Jenn Holt's Two Little Golfers Being Positive along with one dozen pink golf balls and pink tees. 

Also, two winners will receive a signed copy of the book. The giveaway begins June 10, 2019 and ends July 10, 2019 at 11:59 PM PST.  The giveaway is open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 17 and older. Jenn Holt is responsible for prize fulfillment. Please refer to my giveaway rules

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Good luck and thanks for visiting,

Monday, June 17, 2019

Book Review: You, Me, and the Sea by Meg Donohue

Pages: 368
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date:  May 7, 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: All the Summer Girls
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "To find her way, she must abandon everything she loves…  As a child, Merrow Shawe believes she is born of the sea: strong, joyous, and wild. Her beloved home is Horseshoe Cliff, a small farm on the coast of Northern California where she spends her days exploring fog-cloaked bluffs, swimming in the cove, and basking in the light of golden sunsets as her father entertains her with fantastical stories. It is an enchanting childhood, but it is not without hardship—the mystery of Merrow’s mother’s death haunts her, as does the increasingly senseless cruelty of her older brother, Bear.   Then, like sea glass carried from a distant land, Amir arrives in Merrow’s life. He’s been tossed about from India to New York City and now to Horseshoe Cliff, to stay with her family. Merrow is immediately drawn to his spirit, his passion, and his resilience in the face of Bear’s viciousness. Together they embrace their love of the sea, and their growing love for each other.  But the ocean holds secrets in its darkest depths. When tragedy strikes, Merrow is forced to question whether Amir is really the person she believed him to be. In order to escape the danger she finds herself in and find her own path forward, she must let go of the only home she’s ever known, and the only boy she’s ever loved.... 

Merrow lives in a remote coastal area of Northern California along with her father and her brother.  They live on a dilapidated farm and it barely yields enough crops for them to get by.  Her older brother, Bear, doesn't look out for her in the very least as he is a disturbed individual and treats her very cruelly.  One day her father brings home an orphan, Amir.  Amir is the son of his deceased wife's best friend, so he can't just let him go into foster care again.  This thrills Merrow completely as she has wanted a friend and a playmate practically her whole life.  Merrow and Amir spend blissful days exploring Horseshoe Bluff, the farm, swimming in the ocean, and avoiding Bear at all costs.  As they get older, Amir slowly changes from being her best friend to something more while they both weather the many storms of that come into their lives.  Meg Donohue's You, Me, and the Sea is a heartfelt story about family, friendship, the call of the ocean, and star-crossed love. 

Merrow is truly a memorable character in You, Me, and the Sea. Her childhood at idyllic Horseshoe Cliff should be magical, and it is at times, but there is a dark cloud that follows her wherever she goes and that ominous cloud is Bear. He is a cruel and horrible person that not only abuses Merrow physically at times, but also emotionally.  Her father doesn't always catch his misdeeds, as he has many troubles of his own and is often away, so Merrow must really learn to fend for herself.  Thankfully, Amir enters her life and she not only has a sidekick, but she also has someone to count on, which becomes even more important later in the story.  Her friendship with Amir truly tugged on my heartstrings and I was rooting for them to overcome all the obstacles in their way, especially when it came to dealing with Bear. He was infuriating!

I don't want to give too much of the plot away, but if you are familiar with Wuthering Heights, then you will enjoy this modern retelling.  A lot happens to Amir and Merrow as they get older and I was completely invested in Merrow's story and hoping for the best for both her and Amir.

The idyllic setting of Horseshoe Cliff in You, Me, and the Sea is so memorable and it made this delightful story perfect for summertime.  Morrow's love of the ocean and her appreciation of it is felt throughout the entire story. 

You, Me, and the Sea isn't your usual beach read; it is smart and has so much heart! So much so that it made me cry and I haven't cried over a book in ages. You'll want to throw in in your beach bag this summer! 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Knowing

I have joined up with The Children's Book Review and Brit Lunden to share with you guys an exciting giveaway today.  We are celebrating Brit Lunden's The Knowing, which is a young adult paranormal novel that was published in March.  It's book one from the Bulwark Anthology; it is being described as supernatural love story that takes place on a Georgia farm.  Who doesn't love to curl up with a thrilling paranormal romance, especially in the summer? 

Do you want to learn more about The Knowing?

Publisher’s Synopsis: "Bulwark- a wall or stockade that protects or sometimes hides the truth from the outside world. Bulwark, Georgia, isolated, hidden. Who knows what strange things can happen when the rest of the world can’t see you? JB Stratton is alone in the world, and all he has left are the memories of his beloved Ellie. Dirt poor JB and wealthy Ellie feel an instant connection that is as intense and primal as the blood red earth of their home. Unseen roots connect them, pulling them into an impossible relationship. Will the memories of past lives help or hinder the path of their love? Based on the original novella Bulwark, by Brit Lunden, The Knowing continues the story of a town isolated from the rest of the world where the impossible becomes plausible, and logic is determined by reality."
Ages 17+ | Publisher: Chelshire | March 13, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1947188990

You can purchase The Knowing at  Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound. Also, visit Brit Lunden at her website and on Facebook. You can also find her on Twitter.

The Giveaway

Thanks to The Children's Book Review and Brit Lunden, one lucky winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card and an autographed copy of The Knowing. Four lucky winners will receive an autographed copy of The Knowing.  The giveaway begins June 3, 2019 and ends July 3, 2019 at 11:59 PM PST.  The giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 17 and older.  Brit Lunden is responsible for prize fulfillment.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and Happy Friday,

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday: Twice in a Blue Moon

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

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren
Pub. Date: October 22, 2019

Goodreads says, "As an adventurous send-off to her childhood, eighteen-year-old Tate Jones travels with her grandmother from their small town in Northern California to London. But the vacation of a lifetime is wonderfully derailed by the appearance of two charming Vermont farmers: grandfather Luther and his handsome grandson Sam.  Sam and Tate fall hard and fast. For two glorious weeks, the couple share their hopes, dreams, and secrets. Sam admits he suspects his grandfather is dying and that this could be the last trip they take together, and Tate reveals that she is the hidden daughter of one of the biggest film stars in the world—a secret she’s never told anyone before.  But when Tate is exposed by a crush of cameras and reporters, she knows she's been betrayed by the one person she thought she could trust. She is forced to decide whether she will return to her quiet life or embrace being in the public eye. So when Sam reappears in her world more than a decade later, can Tate forgive the past and rekindle the passion they shared on their magical trip abroad? And does she even want to?"

Ahhh! A new Christina Lauren novel is hitting shelves this fall! I have absolutely loved their last two novels, The Unhoneymooners and Love and Other Words, so I can't wait to check out this one. Their books are so light, enjoyable, and funny! What do you guys think? 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Book Review: The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Pages: 400
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: June 4, 2019
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when she was ten. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges.  Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family—her grandmother and cousins she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.  When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is divided into two people as well. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.  Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well.  For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her will win out?"

Emma Saylor hasn't lived an easy life by any means despite the fact that she lives in a nice house in a good neighborhood and has many friends.  She lost her mother to addiction and her father has been busy with his career as a dentist.  Also, her Nana has helped raise her, but Emma still suffers from anxiety.  Her father has remarried and is planning on taking a honeymoon this summer.  Emma is ok with this as she will be staying at her best friend's house. But things happen and plans change and now Emma finds herself with no place to go during her dad's honeymoon.  Her Nana suggests she stay with her mother's family who lives in a resort town by North Lake.  Emma hasn't been back there since she was four years old, so this would give her an opportunity to reconnect with family, but it's, well, awkward.  Her mother's family run a motel by the lake and she has a ton of cousins, but she hasn't connected with them in years.  So, Emma agrees to go, because she doesn't want to be the reason her father can't go on a honeymoon. While she is there, Emma learns more about her past, her mother, and finds herself loving a family she never knew she had.  Sarah Dessen's The Rest of the Story tackles that one important summer in a teenager's life. It's going down as one of my favorite Dessen novels.

Emma Saylor is a memorable character and one that I think many people can relate to in The Rest of the Story.  My heart went out to her as she had a lot to deal with regarding her mother and addiction.  Even though she lives in an expensive neighborhood and in a luxurious house, she still has problems that haunt her. When she is uprooted from her cushy life to North Lake, which is a working-class neighborhood, I thought she would struggle. But she takes to family life and working at the motel easily. Once acclimated she really blossomed. I could appreciate Emma's experience as an only child and then having the opportunity to spend time with a larger extended family. I think Dessen captured the dynamics of that very well and the fact that Emma had to be reacquainted with many people from her childhood.

While there, Emma Saylor is reunited with Roo, one of her friends from childhood.  Roo's father was also good friends with Emma's mother, so there was that history too. I absolutely loved their relationship.  I loved the back story, the friendship, and how it evolved and how good Roo is. So often in YA lit, we encounter bad guys or guys who are jerks. It's so nice to come across Roo who is a down to Earth good guy.  He is definitely swoon-worthy in The Rest of the Story.

The dynamics of North Lake and Lake North (the richer resort town) are also well done. It think every lake or beach community has this type of hierarchy and Dessen captures it very well. I enjoyed Emma going on the many adventures by the lake with her cousins and friends.  It was the perfect summertime setting.

There's something that Dessen does very well that no other YA author that I have come across can do. She captures the easy summertime life as a teenager; she lets the story evolve organically. It's not that a whole lot happened in the first half of the book, but she develops the characters to the point where I feel like I know them and could be friends with them. The Rest of the Story is a quiet story that truly resonates and it's going down as not only one of my favorite books of the summer, but also one of my favorite Sarah Dessen novels and if you know me that is saying a lot.

Can we all agree that Sarah Dessen can do no wrong? If you want a summertime read that is memorable, heartwarming and real, pick up The Rest of the Story this summer.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Stacking the Shelves (99)

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Montauk
Can't Wait Wednesday: 10 Blind Dates
Book Review: The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey

I'll be sharing my thoughts on The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen. It was such a good read and I pre-ordered a copy immediately after reading my ARC. It was a classic Sarah Dessen story -- perfect for summertime! I loved it! Also, I'll also be hosting a giveaway for a YA novel this week, so keep your eyes out for it. 

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman - Thanks to Berkley and NetGalley
The Orphan Song by Lauren Kate - Thanks to Putnam

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

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