Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Top Ten Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Week's Topic:  

Top Ten Beach Reads!

Not gonna lie, I LOVE a good beach read! Here are some recommendations for this summer! Some classic "beach read" authors right here!











Now, excuse me while I go to the beach and read....(I wish!)

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 30, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. You should join in, too! 

Recently Finished:

Loved this one!!

Currently Reading:


Up Next:


What are you reading this week? 

Friday, May 27, 2016

#FitReaders 2016: Just joined in and Friday update!

#FitReaders co-hosted by Felicia @ Geeky Bloggers Book Blog and Jen @ That’s What I’m Talking About. I have several blogger friends participating, but thought I couldn't join this far into the year...well, I asked Felicia and she and Jen said I could join anytime, so, here I am!! :) Excited to have lots of blogger friends as workout/step goal accountability partners! Here are my stats for the last week:

Fitbit Steps:

Fri: 12,731
Sat: 12,792
Sun: 8,242
Mon: 10,171
Tue: 13,447
Wed: 11, 666
Thur: 12, 062
Total: 81, 111

I had a great week!! Now that the weather is nicer and daylight is longer, I've been able to take my black lab on nice long walks in the evenings! He loves it and I love getting in all these steps!

Happy Friday, #FitReaders !

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Review: The Island House

Title: The Island House
26895163Author: Nancy Thayer
304 pages, publish date May 31, 2016
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:

The charms of Nantucket tempt a woman to leave her established life in Kansas City—but with a piece of her heart, and a love interest, in each world, she discovers she must look within to choose the right path.

Every summer since college, twenty-nine-year-old Courtney has traded the familiarity of the Midwest for the allure of Nantucket. Now an established university professor in Kansas City, she finds herself caught between two lifestyles and two very different men. She chooses Nantucket and the glamorous life she associates with it, unaware that the summer will take an unexpected turn, and she will have to let her heart decide what it truly wants. 

This is the second Nancy Thayer book I've read and I really enjoyed it! I love the classic summer beach read setting of Nantucket--it made me want to be there. I fell in love with the Vickerey family, and Courtney, one of their "summer children." The story flowed well with the use of flashbacks, telling the stories of eleven summers of Courtney's life and how this summer was most important.

I loved the roommate/best friend relationship between Courtney and Robin--they were my two favorite characters in the book. Though the ending was predictable, I had to keep reading because I didn't know how it would happen and how Courtney would end up where she needed to be. This is what kept me reading, and there were a few surprises along the way--Robin's love interests to name one, as well as others I don't want to give away! Nearly everyone in the family has some sort of secret or back story, but it centers mostly around Courtney and her choosing between Monty and James.

If you need a classic beach read, look no further than The Island House! I loved reading about this family, and honestly would love to read more stories about this family!

Overall rating for "The Island House": 5 stars

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 23, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. You should join in, too! 

Recently Finished:


Loved both of these!

Currently Reading:

Up Next:


What are you reading this week? Happy Reading!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Review: Tell Me Three Things

Title: Tell Me Three Things
25893582Author: Julie Buxbaum
336 pages, published April 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Purchased for myself

From Goodreads:

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

This one one of my favorite YA books I've read since Everything, Everything. I loved everything about this book! I loved Jessie as the main character.  Despite definitely not being a young adult myself anymore, I still really related to her. I know how it feels to lose a parent, and I'm sure it's even worse losing a parent when you're an adolescent. I wanted good things for her so badly throughout the whole book. 

I loved the style of the book--I love how YA books these days involve typed out IM conversations, emails, etc. It' s so real and an accurate portrayal of how young adults communicate these days. I loved the anticipation of not knowing who SN was--I had my guess (and I was thrilled when I was right) but there were so many possibilities. It was so wonderfully written that you were drawn in immediately. I had a hard time putting this one down, and yet I didn't want it to end. 

This is a MUST READ for 2016!!  Especially if you like YA. It's creative, entertaining, keeps you guessing, and warms your heart. My favorite YA of 2016 so far!

Rating for "Tell Me Three Things": 5 stars

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Little Antique Shope under the Eiffel Tower



Book Information

Title: The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower
Author: Rebecca Raisin
Series: The Little Paris Collection, Book 2
Standalone?: Yes
Release Date: July 1, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Don’t miss the exciting new title The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin available on July 1, 2016 - pre-order your copy today!

Watch for more in The Little Paris Collection

  • The Little Bookshop on the Seine (available now)

  • The Little Antique Shop under the Eiffel Tower

  • The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Élysées

  • What reviewers are saying about The Little Bookshop on the Seine

    ‘ This novel is a love letter to Paris, and even more so a love letter to books; it is absolutely a must-read book for book lovers.’ – Rather Too Fond of Books

    ‘easy to read and devoured quickly, I literally could not get enough and I was so sad to finish it. It was a truly captivating, spellbinding tale of taking chances and living life to the full that I am sure will ring true with many readers.’ – Compelling Reads

    ‘I love love love this author, and this book cements the fact that this series is a winner!’ – Fiona (Goodreads)

    ‘I loved every second of The Little Bookshop on the Seine, easy to read, with words oozing charm and good feeling, that just made me feel warm and cosy.’ – Rachel’s Random Reads

    ‘a beautifully written novel’ – Hilda (Goodreads)

    ‘A delightful story that's perfect for reading in your favorite cozy chair. … Such a good book to lose yourself in.’ – Janet Robel (Goodreads)

    ‘It really brought Paris to life … extremely romantic, love is most definitely on the menu’ – Elaine (Goodreads)

    ‘a great escape to Paris and I’m looking forward to the other books in the Little Paris Collection.’ – French Village Diaries

    Book Links

    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25371094-the-little-antique-shop-under-the-eiffel-tower

    About Rebecca Raisin

    Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance.

    Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.

    Come and say hello to Rebecca on her Facebook page or Twitter.

    Follow Rebecca


    Tuesday, May 17, 2016

    Review: The Weekenders

    Title: The Weekenders
    26114516Author: Mary Kay Andrews
    464 pages, publish date May 17, 2016
    Genre: Women's Fiction

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

    From Goodreads:

    Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Others come only for the weekends-and the mix between the regulars and “the weekenders” can sometimes make the sparks fly. Riley Griggs has a season of good times with friends and family ahead of her on Belle Isle when things take an unexpected turn. While waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry one Friday afternoon, Riley is confronted by a process server who thrusts papers into her hand. And her husband is nowhere to be found.

    So she turns to her island friends for help and support, but it turns out that each of them has their own secrets, and the clock is ticking as the mystery deepens...in a murderous way. Cocktail parties aside, Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything.

    Told with Mary Kay Andrews’ trademark blend of humor and warmth, and with characters and a setting that you can’t help but fall for, The Weekenders is the perfect summer escape.

    What a great read!  I've had trouble getting into other books by Mary Kay Andrews before, but not this one! I was hooked from the beginning. Though it was a longer book (464 pages) I read it quickly because I HAD to know what had happened to Riley's husband! It's a perfect summer beach read, but it's not as predictable as a classic beach read--it does have many twists, turns and surprises to keep you reading and keep you entertained, but light enough for a weekend or vacation read.  I read this book during the week I was on vacation in Hawaii, and it was a perfect book for relaxing on the lanai  and watching the ocean.

    My favorite character was Maggie, Riley's twelve year old daughter.  Recently diagnosed with diabetes and dealing with the disappearance (don't worry, I'm not giving any details away here) of her father, Maggie acts out the way any teenager would, and my heart broke for her.

    If you're looking for a great women's fiction beach read that has a mix of mystery and suspense woven in, this book is  a great choice! I definitely recommend you add it to your summer TBR!

    Overall rating for "The Weekenders": 4.5 stars

    Happy Reading!

    Monday, May 16, 2016

    It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


    This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. You should join in, too! 

    Since it was Bout of Books week, I got a lot of reading done and read some outstanding books!

    Recently Finished:


    LOVED both of these! Full review to come soon!

    Currently Reading:

    Halfway through this one and LOVING it!

    Up Next:


    What are you reading this week? Happy Reading!

    Bout of Books: Wrap Up

    Bout of Books

    Bout of Books 16 has come to a close! It was a fun week, despite being super tired/jet lagged from my trip. I didn't read nearly the amount of pages I normally do for Bout of Books (usually I'm well over the 1000 page mark). Being tired combined with a six day work week made that hard. But I still finished two books and started on a third! I met all my goals, including participating in one of the twitter chats (love those!)

    Grand Total:

    Pages Read:732

    Books Completed: 2


    I absolutely LOVED both of these books! Reviews to come in the near future!

    The next Bout of Books (Bout of Books 17) will be August 22nd-August 28th. Super excited for this one because August is usually a super quiet month for me, so I should be able to get a lot of reading done!

    Happy Reading!

    Friday, May 13, 2016

    TLC Book Tours: The Girl Who Stayed

    About The Girl Who Stayed

    The Girl Who Stayed cover• Hardcover: 292 pages • Publisher: Story Plant (April 19, 2016) Zoe Rutherford wasn't sure what she was expecting when she returned to Sullivan's Island. The house on Sullivan's hadn't represented home to her in decades. It was the place where she endured her father's cruelty. It was the place where her mother closed herself off from the world. It was the place where her sister disappeared. But now that her parents are gone, Zoe needs to return to the house, to close it down and prepare it for sale. She intends to get this done as quickly as possible and get on with her life, even though that life seems clouded by her past, both distant and recent. But what she discovers when she gets there is far beyond her imagining and will change her in profound ways. The Girl Who Stayed is a remarkable exploration of the soul by a writer with a rare talent for reaching into the hearts of her characters and her readers, a novel of transformation that will leave you moved and breathless. Praise “A beautifully written, page-turning novel packed with emotion.” – #1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Freethy “The Girl Who Stayed is a deeply moving story. I am fascinated by the concept and by Tanya Crosby's stunning storytelling.” - Stella Cameron, New York Times
    bestselling author

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     This book was intense! It dealt with some pretty heavy themes and situations, so if you're expecting a light and easy read, this is not the one! That being said, this was an excellent book! What stood out to me the most was the beautiful, eloquent writing. I'll admit there were times when I didn't feel as invested in the story, but the writing was so eloquent I couldn't stop reading it. Because of this, I read 2/3 of the book in a 24 hour period. 

    I did have a bit of a tough time relating to Zoe, in the beginning of the book, but after sticking with it and getting a third of the way through the book, I was hooked. I love how well Crosby structured the book--the storytelling was amazing. There were several flash backs that were woven perfectly into the story and didn't feel awkward. The ending surprised me and made the book memorable for me. If you enjoy suspenseful novels with a lot of depth, this is the book for you!

    Overall rating: 3.5 stars

    Tanya Anne CrosbyAbout Tanya Anne Crosby

    Tanya Anne Crosby is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-five novels. She has been featured in magazines, such as People, Romantic Times and Publisher's Weekly, and her books have been translated into eight languages. Her first novel was published in 1992 by Avon Books, where Tanya was hailed as "one of Avon's fastest rising stars." Her fourth book was chosen to launch the company's Avon Romantic Treasure imprint. Known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, Tanya is an award-winning author, journalist, and editor, and her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. In 2013, she penned her first romantic suspense novel, Speak No Evil, which appeared on the USA Today list. The Girl Who Stayed brings her full circle to work with Lou Aronica, President and Publisher of The Story Plant, who first published Tanya at Avon Books. Tanya and her writer husband split their time between Charleston, SC, where she was raised, and northern Michigan, where the couple make their home. Find out more about Tanya at her website and on her blog, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

    Thursday, May 12, 2016

    Bout of Books 16: Goals and Updates

    Bout of Books

    Next week is Bout of Books 16 (read my sign up post here!)  Excited to start reading on Monday. Here is where I will post my goals for the week, as well as my updates! Still figuring out my TBR--working on that this weekend.

     I've been selected by the Bout of Books team to serve as an expert!  Thank you, Bout of Books! This means I'm an experienced Bout of Books participant and you can ask me questions if needed!!

    Daily Progress

    Monday 5/9:

    Reading time today:  70 pages

    Books read from today:  The Island House

    Number of books completed so far:  0

    Challenge: Introduce Yourself #insixwords

    #boutofbooks #insixwords Bookworm, Yogi, Animals, coffee, wine, Oregonian
    — Lori Palmer (@palmerspageturn) 

    Tuesday 5/10:

    Reading time today:  158 pages in The Island House, 25 pages in Tell Me Three Things

    Total pages this week: 253

    Books read from today:  The Island House, Tell Me Three Things

    Number of books completed today: 1 The Island House

    Number of books completed so far: 1

    Wednesday 5/11:

    Reading time today:  65 pages

    Total pages this week:  318

    Books read from today:  Tell Me Three Things

    Number of books completed so far: 1 

    Thursday 5/12

    Reading time today:  90 pages

    Total pages this week: 408

    Books read from today: Tell Me Three Things

    Number of books completed today:  0

    Books completed so far: 1

    Friday 5/13:

    Reading time today: 54 pages

    Total pages this week: 462

    Books read from today: Tell Me Three Things

    Number of books completed so far: 1

    Saturday 5/14:

    Reading time today: 94

    Total pages this week: 556

    Books read from today:  Tell Me Three Things

    Number of books completed today: 1, Tell Me Three Things

    Books completed so far: 2

    Sunday 5/15:
    Reading time today:  176 pages

    Total pages this week: 732

    Books read from today: One True Loves 

    Number of books completed today: 0

    Number of books completed so far: 2 

    Grand Total:

    Pages Read:732

    Books Completed: 2


    Here's the deal: I'm returning from my Hawaii trip May 8th. I'm gonna be tired this week, so I'm not anticipating as much reading getting done as a normal Bout of Books...but I'm still gonna have fun!

    1. Read as much as possible (but not stress out about it). Read on lunch break, evenings, etc. The hard this is that I have to work on Saturday, but I will still read during the day after work.

    2.Participate in Twitter Chats/challenges/other events to connect with other bloggers/readers

    3. Finish at least one book

    4. As in the last Bout of Books...I'm not caring about a page goal....all I care about is to HAVE FUN!

     I've been selected by the Bout of Books team to serve as an expert!  Thank you, Bout of Books! This means I'm an experienced Bout of Books participant and you can ask me questions if needed!!

    TBR List:



    Armchair BEA: Aesthetic Concerns - Books & Blogs

    Armchair BEA

    Day 2 of Armchair BEA! Today's topic is Aesthetics--specifically to book covers and book blogs. Here are my thoughts!

    Book Covers: I'll admit it. I am a HUGE cover snob. I love pretty covers. I read books with pretty covers. I try not to judge the books by their covers, but the cover art absolutely influences whether I'll pick up the book to read the blurb or not. The absence of a pretty cover won't keep me from reading the book if I like the content or subject matter, but  a pretty cover certainly makes it catch my attention. I also like it when the covers match the content--pretty sure I've commented on several reviews I've written that it's bugged me that the cover didn't make sense with the story.  Here are some covers I absolutely LOVE:


    Another thing I love is when a series has similarly themed covers that make them look so pretty together. The Ceruleans series by Megan Tayte is a great example. Below are the newly release covers for the paperback editions of the books, which have the essence of the ebook covers. Thanks to Megan's Facebook for this image.

    And of course, The Lunar Chronicles covers...

    And we can't forget these...

    Every once in awhile, I read a book because of the cover and end up NOT liking it (I know I'm in the minority here on this one though, but we can at least agree the cover is pretty??)


    Blog aesthetics: Branding is definitely something I thought about with this young blog (only two years old) but si something that is so hard to create. It literally took me months to figure out what I was doing, let alone worry about branding. But earlier this year my awesome hubby helped me design this awesome layout for my blog, and it was at that point that I became concerned about branding consistency.  Is it required for a book blog to have consistent branding? Absolutely not. Does it help? Yes, I think so.   I'm still working through those kinds of things but I do think about them.

    What about you? Are you a cover snob like me? What covers do you love? If you have a blog, do you think about branding? Any tips for me?

    Happy Reading!