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.

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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!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Montauk

Guys, if you know me, you know I love my historical beach reads. When I heard about the debut novel Montauk by Nicola Harrison, I knew I had to get a copy. I've had my eye on it for awhile now and I also featured it  as one of the books I plan on reading this month.   Montauk truly sounds like the perfect beach read (I mean look at that cover!) and I love the setting of Long Island in the 1930s. 

I have partnered with St. Martin's to host a giveaway as part of the Montauk blog tour.  One lucky US reader will win a copy of Montauk; please refer to my giveaway rules.  

About the book: 

"Montauk, Long Island, 1938.   For three months, this humble fishing village will serve as the playground for New York City’s wealthy elite. Beatrice Bordeaux was looking forward to a summer of reigniting the passion between her and her husband, Harry. Instead, tasked with furthering his investment interest in Montauk as a resort destination, she learns she’ll be spending twelve weeks sequestered with the high society wives at The Montauk Manor—a two-hundred room seaside hotel—while Harry pursues other interests in the city.   College educated, but raised a modest country girl in Pennsylvania, Bea has never felt fully comfortable among these privileged women, whose days are devoted not to their children but to leisure activities and charities that seemingly benefit no one but themselves. She longs to be a mother herself, as well as a loving wife, but after five years of marriage she remains childless while Harry is increasingly remote and distracted. Despite lavish parties at the Manor and the Yacht Club, Bea is lost and lonely and befriends the manor’s laundress whose work ethic and family life stir memories of who she once was.   As she drifts further from the society women and their preoccupations and closer toward Montauk’s natural beauty and community spirit, Bea finds herself drawn to a man nothing like her husband –stoic, plain spoken and enigmatic. Inspiring a strength and courage she had almost forgotten, his presence forces her to face a haunting tragedy of her past and question her future.   Desperate to embrace moments of happiness, no matter how fleeting, she soon discovers that such moments may be all she has, when fates conspire to tear her world apart…"

Do you want to learn more about Montauk? Check out Nicola Harrison's website here and you can find her on Twitter as well.  Montauk is out now, so if you want to get your hands on a copy, you can  at AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-MillionIndie Bound and Powell's.  Thanks again to St. Martin's for having me be a part of the blog tour.

What do you guys think of Montauk? Is it on your TBR list this summer? Do you love historical beach reads?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday: 10 Blind Dates

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

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
Pub. Date: October 1, 2019

Goodreads says, "Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.  Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents' house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That's when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.  When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she's started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.  This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever... or is it?"

How cute does this one sound? The producer of the movie To All the Boys I've Loved Before has already snagged the film rights to this one.  What do you guys think?

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

What I'm Reading Next (22)

My June TBR list is always full of promising beach reads. I doubt I'll be able to get to all of these books this month, but here's what at the top of my pile.  

Montauk by Nicola Harrison - I love a good historical beach read and this one sounds promising.  I'm part of the blog tour, so keep your eye out for a giveaway from me this week!

One Night on the Lake by Bethany Chase - I love stories that take place by the ocean or the lake, and I especially like when they involve some sort of mystery. This will be my first novel by this author.

The Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand  - It's Elin Hilderbrand; she is a must-read for the summertime. It's Hilderbrand's first historical novel, so I am excited to check it out.

Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews - The same goes for Mary Kay Andrews; she is a must-read author in the summer. I just started this book this past weekend and so far so good. Isn't the cover gorgeous?

The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore - I look forward to this one that involves three strangers over the summer, many secrets, and many lies.

The Royal Secret by Lucinda Riley - It involves an ambitious young journalist who uncovers a secret about the British Monarchy. I am all about the royals, so this one seems like a lot of fun!

Mine by Courtney Cole - I usually read one thriller every summer and this one sounds intense. It involves a hurricane en route to Florida.

The Orphan's Song by Lauren Kate - I enjoyed Kate's Fallen series and this is her first foray into adult historical fiction. I am intrigued by the setting of Venice in the 1700s.

What do you plan to read this summer? What's your most anticipated read of the month? Let me know in the comments. 

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