Tuesday, July 28, 2015

TLC Book Tours: Olivay

24507201Title: Olivay
Author: Deborah Reed
254 pages, published July 7, 2015
Genre: Fiction, Suspense

Note: I received this book from TLC Book Tours to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

Synopsis:

We don’t believe that our lives can change in an instant—until they do.

Olivay, widowed for a year and sleepwalking through life, meets Henry by chance. She takes him to her Los Angeles loft, thinking it will just be for the night. But the following morning, bombs detonate across the city; mayhem and carnage fill the streets; and her loft is covered in broken glass and her own blood. Henry is skittish, solicitous, and strangely distracted. Who is this man she’s marooned with as the city goes on lockdown? Why is she catching him in lie after lie? Is he somehow connected to her husband’s death and the terrorist attacks outside?

With eloquent and suspenseful prose, Olivay explores the wreckage of loss and the collision of grief, desire, and terror in its aftermath. As the characters get pushed outside their comfort zones, forced to walk the thin line between destruction and salvation, Olivay keeps readers guessing what will become of Olivay and Henry until the very end.


My Review:

This book is so bizarre! I'm having a hard time putting into words how I feel about it because it was so different and so crazy--but in a good way. Reed's writing was fantastic. It's what I liked most about the book! I also really liked the character development in the novel. The plot did move a bit slowly for me at times, and I kept asking myself "where is this story going?' Regardless of my questioning, the book still sucked me in and kept me reading.  The book definitely gave me enough to stay engaged in the story, but still left me confused and wondering what was really going on and where things were headed. The psychological thriller aspect of the novel was an aspect I loved as well. I couldn't figure Henry out--figuring out what was going on with him kept me reading and kept me guessing!

If you looking for a suspenseful book with beautiful writing, this is a great book for you! My rating: 3.5 stars!

About the Author:

http://tlcbooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/71KyBRWfFPL._UX250_.jpgDeborah Reed’s novel Things We Set on Fire sold more than one hundred thousand copies in its first six months, while Carry Yourself Back to Me was a Best Book of 2011 Amazon Editors’ Pick. She wrote the bestselling thriller A Small Fortune and its sequel, Fortune’s Deadly Descent, under her pen name Audrey Braun. Several of her novels have been translated or are forthcoming in German. Her nonfiction has appeared in publications such as the LiterarianMORE, and Poets & Writers. She holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing, and teaches at the UCLA Extension Writing Program. She is also codirector of the Black Forest Writing Seminar at the University of Freiburg in Germany. She resides in Los Angeles. Like her on Facebook!

View more information about this book tour here.
 
Happy Reading!



Monday, July 27, 2015

It's Monday, July 27: What are you reading?

 
This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.
 
This week I am on a business trip to San Antonio,Texas!  My first time in Texas so I'm excited to explore! Despite being super busy at the conference I will be attending, I will have some reading time on the plane and on breaks and evenings.  Even though I'll be missing my husband and my fur babies like crazy, it will be nice to have some "me" time on this trip too! Here are some of the books I'll be reading from this week:
 
24409120
 
At 480 pages, this is a long one and taking me awhile! Hoping to finish this one early this week! Thanks, NetGalley!
 
12986965
 
I saw this book on Brandie's blog and immediately requested it from the library! Just got it and bringing it on my trip!
 
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Another one from NetGalley!
 
What are you reading this week? Happy Reading, my friends! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

W...W...W...Wednesday

https://samannelizabeth.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/img_1384-0.jpg


W… W… W… Wednesday, how hosted by Taking on a World of Words, is a weekly meme showcasing what you just finished reading, what you are currently reading, and what you plan to start reading next.
 
What did you just finish reading?
 
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What are you reading now?
 
24409120
 
 
 
What are you reading next?
 
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What are you reading right now, friends?
 
Happy Reading!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Review: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

25650078Title: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake
Author:  Amy E. Reichert
336 pages, publishing date July 21, 2015
Genre: Women's Fiction

Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:

In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancĂ©…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

  My Review:

What a fun read!! I also LOVE that delicious looking cover!! Though I'm not a particularly good cook, I absolutely love reading books about chefs and food. This book hit the spot (and made me hungry)!  It reminded me a lot of several of Barbara O'Neal's books, which I absolutely love. I loved the writing style and the easy to get into pace of the book. I read 75% of the book in one sitting, so it's a quick but delightful read, perfect for a relaxing weekend.

Despite being VERY predictable,  I thoroughly enjoyed Lou's journey, and Lou and Al's romance. I also loved all the fun information about Milwaukee! I haven't been to Wisconsin but it definitely made it sound fun! The book also had the recipe for coconut cake at the end, but baking is definitely not my thing--but I'd love to hear if anyone has tried it! It sounds delicious!

I loved this book--the only reason it got four stars from me instead of five was because it was so predictable--but predictable in a comforting way. I highly recommend you read this book!

Overall rating for "The Coincidence of Coconut Cake": 4 stars

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

22840182Title: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
Author: Sarah Ockler
401 pages, published June 2015
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Purchased for myself

From Goodreads:

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them...


My Review:

I was so excited to read this book--one because it was set in Oregon (I'm an Oregonian) and two, because I'd read SO much hype and excitement for this book.  This book was definitely a mixed bag for me. What I loved about the book was Ockler's writing style--beautiful and poetic, engaging, and fun to read. She did a fantastic job of creating her characters in this book. While I loved the main characters Elyse and Christian, I absolutely adored Sebastian--Christian's younger brother. He was my favorite character in the entire book.  

I did feel at times the book was a little cheesy--Ocker played off The Little Mermaid theme (main character loses her voice, character's names, etc). However, the YA genre can be a bit cheesy like that, which is one of the reasons I enjoy it--but this one didn't totally work for me and took awhile to get into. In addition (and this is super nitpicky here, forgive me) the book was set in Oregon, and I didn't feel like Ocker captured the essence of the Oregon Coast at all--a place so dear to my heart.  However, since this is a work of fiction, and accurate portrayal of the setting isn't absolutely necessary, since it was set in a fictional town. But it still distracted me from the book a bit.

Despite the few negatives, I really did enjoy the book and was glad I read it. The charming characters are what made this book (along with the fantastic writing). Elyse's journey was real and emotional, and I really rooted for her throughout the book. A solid 2015 YA release for the summer!

Overall rating for "The Summer of Chasing Mermaids": 3.5 Stars

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Last Ten Books That Came into my Possession






Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession (bought, library, review copies, etc). Here's my list--I also included the source of each book.

12875258
Purchased
 
24612059
NetGalley
 
24338319
TLC Book Tours
 
22840182
Purchased
 
25241503
NetGalley
 
 
23014729
NetGalley
 
16056142
Library
 
Cover image for The dog lover's companion to Oregon
Library
 
22609317
Won in a Giveaway
25691557
NetGalley
 
 
Happy Reading!!
 
 

Monday, July 13, 2015

RABT Book Tour: Beach Man (GIVEAWAY!)

25257867Title: Beach Man
Author: Annabel Foxx
224 pages, published March 2015
Contemporary Romance

Note: I received this book from the publisher to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:

Kim is a former dancer, who feels trapped in a loveless marriage to a jealous wealthy older man. He blames her for crippling him in an auto accident that he himself caused. They live in a gorgeous beach house in the town of Scorpio Beach, an up-and-coming beach town on Long Island. 

Kim strives to make the marriage work, despite her husband’s blame, verbal abuse and bitterness. 

During a heat wave, Kim meets a wickedly handsome man on the beach. She fights not to want him, not to want a new life and not to fall in love. But Derek is seductive and irresistible—a former soldier who recently comes to town to start a landscaping business. Kim falls hard for him, and he becomes addicted to her. 

Although Kim wants a divorce, her husband finds out about their affair, and devises a plot to destroy them both. They must struggle to survive a web of lies, deceit and dangerous passion.


My Review:
If you're looking for a steamy romance beach read, this is the one! The writing style was a bit simplistic but the story was engaging  and kept me interested because of so many twists and turns. It's a quick read that's perfect for a long afternoon at the beach or pool!

My Rating: 3 Stars

Enter the Giveaway!!
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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

W....W...W...Wednesday

https://samannelizabeth.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/img_1384-0.jpg

W… W… W… Wednesday, how hosted by Taking on a World of Words, is a weekly meme showcasing what you just finished reading, what you are currently reading, and what you plan to start reading next.
 
What did you just finish reading?
 
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You can read my review of this one here :) I LOVED it!!!
 
 
What are you reading now?
 
22840182
 
Took me a bit to get into this one, but now I'm really enjoying it!
 
24396125
 
Just started this one...loving it so far!!
 
 
What are you reading next?
 
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Excited I got this ARC from NetGalley!
 
What are you reading this week? Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read





Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is Top Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read. I do have a few of these! Here they are, in no particular order:

13496
 
4214
 
5215
 
77203
 
15818107
 
19486412
 
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11857408
 
10964
 
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Thinking about reading Life of Pi in the near future. Any others I shouldn't miss?
 
Happy Reading!
 
 
 
 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: Maybe in Another Life

Title: Maybe in Another Life
23492661Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
352 pages, publish date July 7, 2015
Genre: Women's Fiction

Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.


My Review:

I love, love, LOVED this book!! It is hands down  one of the best book I've read so far in 2015. What grabbed my attention right off the bat was how creative this storyline is--I haven't read anything like it. I LOVED the concept of alternate lives where one decision changes your entire life, and showing through the book how life would play out. That's so relatable in real life--how many times have we all wondered "what might've been" if we would've made a different choice? I often wonder things like what would've happened if I'd gone to a different college,  or chosen a different major. But the decision that drastically changes Hannah's life is something as (seemingly) simple as leaving with Gabby or leaving with Ethan.  What other lives have I had in a parallel universe? Mind. Blown.

As with After I Do, Reid's writing style is effortless and flawless. This book is simply brilliant. I couldn't devour it fast enough. I HAD to know how things ended and what she chose. I loved the characters--especially Henry. I don't want to elaborate on his character too much without giving anything away! Also, I feel in love with Hannah and Gabby's beautiful friendship. In both avenues of her parallel universe life, their amazing friendship didn't change.  Everyone should be so lucky to have that type of friendship in their lives. It was beautiful!

I can't say enough good things about this book. It blew me away.  This book NEEDS to be at the top of your summer reading list! I haven't been able to stop thinking about this book since I finished it!

Overall rating for "Maybe in Another Life: 5 stars

Happy Reading!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Kindle Kandy #3

Kindle Kandy Plain


 Kindle Kandy is a Friday weekly bookish feature hosted by The Book Dame. We scan our shelves and eReaders to rediscover books that we own but have not read, to this point little more than shelf or Kindle Kandy.  To many books and too little time and all that jazz.

 Here's my Kindle Kandy for this week:

17844939
By S.L. Scott
286, published May 2013
Genre:  New Adult, Romance

From Goodreads:

I grab her exploring finger just as it reaches my happy trail—a trail that if I let her wander down further will lead us to do things we can’t take back. Things like three-word phrases being confessed that would end me if I was rejected. Things like selfishly wanting to own her body and doing things to her that would make my fantasies blush. And things like making her promises too soon that won’t do either of us any good. She makes me want a future that’s not possible, and one I don’t deserve.

Listening to my ego got me into this situation. Will listening to my heart get me out?

I got this one for free on Kindle....I love the cover!

Happy Friday and Happy Reading!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Blog Tour: Our Moon by Jennifer L. Allen


Title: Our Moon
Author: Jennifer L. Allen
Genre: Contemporary Romance



Ally Monroe can’t remember her name, let alone the eighteen years of her life before a car accident put her in a year-long coma. She wakes up to the reality that her parents are dead and she has amnesia.

Released from her long-term care facility to live with her twin brother, Alex, and older brother, Trevor, Ally tries to piece together what she can while attempting to live her life again. Enter Chase Baker, guitarist for her brothers’ rock band, JACT. There is something about him that Ally just can’t resist, but the mysteries of her past are looming in the back of her mind, threatening to destroy anything she tries to build with him.

Do Ally and Chase have a chance? Or is there a secret in Ally’s past that may get in the way?




“These smell delicious,” he says as he sets the cookies down on the folding tray table I pulled out from the rack beside the entertainment center.

“Thanks, I came up with the recipe myself,” I tell him. “Well, I picked apart a few different recipes to form this one recipe.”

“So this is a Frankenstein cookie?” he asks as he lifts one to his mouth. That mouth…Full lips concealing perfectly white teeth. Sigh.

“Ha ha. If you’re too afraid to try my concoction, you don’t have to,” I tease. Am I flirting with him? Stop it, Ally!

Chase grins, letting me know he was only teasing, and shoves the entire cookie in his mouth.

“Oh my gosh, that’s so gross,” I laugh.

He smiles as he chews. Then he closes his eyes and groans. And my heart. Just. Stops.

“This is so good, Ally,” he moans through his chewing.

My mind is completely in the gutter now as I stare at him, completely unabashed. I’m sure if his eyes were open, instead of closed in cookie ecstasy, he would see the pure hunger I have for him, not the cookies, in my eyes as I sit here and imagine the various other situations where I would love to hear him say those words.

I try to shake it off but not before he opens his eyes and catches me staring at him. When his eyes widen, I know he sees what I was hoping he wouldn’t. I catch a similar look in his eyes before I turn my head away and shove a cookie in my own mouth.

Not my best move, that’s for sure, especially when I start choking on a crumb. I quickly swallow down the cookie in my mouth with a chug of milk and proceed to try and cough out the crumb.

Chase pats my back. “You okay?” he asks, concern etching his voice.

I nod as I take another sip of milk. “Wrong pipe,” I rasp out.

Out of the corner of my eye, I swear I see a small grin on his face. I’m so embarrassed. If I thought it was embarrassing having Chase witness my anxiety attack, this is so much worse. First, he catches me looking like I want to eat him. Then, he watches me stuff a whole cookie into my mouth and proceed to choke on it. This is just great. Why can’t I just be normal?




#FREE on Kindle Unlimited!!!!

Just $0.99 cents from June 30-July 3!!!



I live in South Carolina with my husband and our fur-kids. By day I’m an office manager, and by night I am a student, starting my final semester towards my BA in Psychology. I’ll be starting grad school in the fall. When I’m not at work or taking classes, I am either reading or writing. Books have always been a passion! I also enjoy spending time with my family, traveling to new places, and music.

My Reading and Writing History
I started reading when I was young, I loved Golden Books, especially the mini-ones you’d get in a kid’s meal! As a preteen I read lots of R.L. Stine, and even some Stephen King! I hated the assigned readings in school because I didn’t like being told what to read, so I never read those.  As a young adult, I found interest in James Patterson – I love his crime dramas! I took a break from reading for fun for a bit when I decided to get my college degree and had to read loads of text books. But it was all over once I read Hopeless by Colleen Hoover, as recommended by my sister. New Adult/Contemporary Romance is my genre of choice, to read and to write. I probably average reading a book or more a day. It’s a great addiction.

I’ve always enjoyed writing to an extent. I always liked to journal and blog. Since I’ve been reading new adult romance novels, I have been having ideas for what might be a great story line for a book. I fought with myself for a long time before finally starting my first book. I have no idea where it’s going to lead me, but you’ll never know unless you try.


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Author Website:

Author page on Goodreads: 
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13941116.Jennifer_L_Allen

Author page on Amazon: 
http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-L.-Allen/e/B0106HGVV8/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

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Mailing List:
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