Monday, December 18, 2017

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date.
Things have been crazy and I haven't gotten a Monday post up in a couple weeks! Oh, December craziness! Here's what I've been up to, reading wise.
The blog will probably be a little quiet these next couple weeks so I can enjoy having a break for a little while but I will come back strong with Bout of Books in January! Today is my last working Monday of 2017 and I am thrilled! I have December 22-January 1 off work and I am so excited!
Recently Finished
Really enjoyed this one!! Find my review here.
Currently Reading
This is Book #3 in the Mischief Bay series--I'm reviewing Book #4 for TLC Book Tours on February 7th, with an excerpt post on January 16th!
Up Next
Book #4 in Mischief Bay series!
These are also on my radar for the break! Both have review posts with TLC Book Tours coming up in early 2018!!
Happy Reading and Happy Winter Break!!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Blog Tour and Review: The Wife Between Us

Authors:   and  
Release Date: January 9, 2018
35494553Pre-Order this book today!

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

From Goodreads:

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Assume nothing.

This book keeps you guessing at every twist and turn! When the plot summary says assume nothing, they are right! You spend the first part of the book thinking you understand what's going on and then the next section flips it upside down. Then you can't stop reading because you have to figure out what the heck is going on. Then everything changes again! It's an amazingly well written psychological  suspense read not to miss!
 I did have to reread parts here and there to make sure I was keeping everything straight (especially at the end) which kept me at a 4 star rating for this one instead of 5--sometimes it was a little jumpy and hard to follow. I also had to re-read the epilogue to make sure I had figured it out. But wow! What an ending!   But the need for rereading could've been because I was reading so fast to figure out what happened! It did leave me with an unanswered question or two (if you've read it and know me, you know what I'm talking about!) but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

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

This Week's Topic:

Top Ten Books of 2017

Here they are, in no particular order! Though if I had to pick, My two co-favorites are The Alice Network and Now That You Mention It. Both a re absolutely fantastic.
What are your favorites of 2017?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Book Review: The Alice Network

Title: The Alice Network
32051912Author: Kate Quinn
503 pages, published June 6, 2017
Source: Borrowed from the  library

From Goodreads:

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth matter where it leads.

 This book was absolutely fantastic and one of the best books I've read in 2017--definitely the best historical fiction I've read in a long time. Kate Quinn effortlessly tied the two time periods--WW1 and WW2--together in a way that made it hard to stop turning the pages despite the book's 500 page length. 

Usually with books that rotate perspectives (and in this case, time) every chapter, I prefer one or the other and struggle through one chapter to get to the character I like's chapter--not so with this book! Quinn created two absolutely phenomenal female leads in this book and wrote them in such a way that you quickly became emotionally invested in their stories. I admired Eve's bravery and loved Charlie's determination, and absolutely loved supporting characters such as Lily and Finn. You will get emotionally attached to these characters!

Because this book is set in war time, parts of it are pretty violent and disturbing, as you would expect, but don't let that deter you from reading this beautifully written book. It's so emotional and intense and will cause a book hangover like you wouldn't believe! But so worth it.  Knowing the story is based on actual women make this book even better. I highly recommend adding this book to your reading list!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

TBB Asks: Holiday Themed Q and A

I saw this The Blended Blog Asks post on Brandie @ Running on Words and Wine's blog...looked fun!

  1. Real or Fake Tree? – Though I love real trees, we have an artificial one because...allergies.
  2. Favorite Christmas Cookie? – I do love classic chocolate chip! Or those peanut butter ones with the Hershey kiss in the middle. I hate baking but love cookies!
  3. Home on Christmas Morning or Travel? –We usually go over to Isaac's mom's house (20 minute drive) but this year we're hosting at our house!
  4. Clear or Colored Lights? – I like both put I prefer clear on my tree!
  5. Send Christmas Cards? – No...I did the first couple years we were married but haven't since.
  6. Favorite Christmas Present Received? – My ice skates when I was young, and my engagement ring from Isaac in 2005 :)
  7. Favorite Christmas Present Given? – That's a tough one because they're all fun! I love watching people open presents I surprise them with.
  8. Stockings or No Stockings? – Isaac's mom does stockings for all of us "kids". This year we are doing ones for the kitties and pups too :)
  9. Christmas PJ’s? – No but those family matching ones look so much fun!
  10. Favorite Christmas Carol? –  O Come All Ye Faithful
  11. Favorite Holiday Tradition? – Christmas Eve dinner, then candlelight service
  12. Early Shopper or Last Minute? – I try to go as early in December as possible!
  13. Favorite Christmas Movie or Show? – Elf! Also The Santa Clause.
  14. Favorite Holiday Beverage? Wine? Hahaha. But I do love Peppermint Mochas.
  15. Cookies and Milk for Santa? We don't now because we don't have kids but when I was little, of course! And carrots for the reindeer, duh.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday Musings 12/4

My Week: A five day workweek after 5 days off is rough. It was super busy at work, and we had an event on Friday. You know how I survived the week? Yoga. And coffee.  This weekend I started my Christmas shopping, or at least getting organized for it so I'm not leaving it all until the last minute. I do most of my shopping on line, as I can't stand shopping with huge crowds. We went to the mall on Saturday night and it was absolutely insane and I was like...nope. Thank goodness for Amazon!

Reading: I finished The Alice Network!!! Oh my goodness it was so good. I finished it on Friday after work and had a book hangover and couldn't read a thing all weekend. So, so good.  A must read. I will post a full review this week! Next up is The Wife Between Us, for a completely different change of genre!

32051912   34189556

Workouts: As I said above, yoga helped me survive the week!! Most of my yoga was done at home (other than Tuesday PiYo). I have two favorite ways to practice yoga at home and one is the Down Dog App. It's how I got started doing yoga. The app is free (you can pay for premium, but I've been successful without it). You choose the style, length, and level of your practice, and Adrienne Kimberly leads you through a relaxing, well rounded practice. It's soothing and wonderful. Another go-to home practice is Yoga With Adriene!  Different Adriene, but funny how they are both named Adriene...haha :) Adriene Mishler is an incredible yoga teacher from Austin who has a huge following on YouTube and countless videos of all types, levels, lengths, etc. This week I did a Self Love yoga class that  I think was one of my favorite Yoga With Adriene videos. I highly recommend both  of these tools for at home practice!

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Looking Forward to: My husband's work Christmas party this Saturday! It's a dressy event so I'm looking forward to dressing up! And some yummy food and wine! It's always a super fun event.

Thank you for reading! Linking this post to Hello Monday by Heather from My Glittery Heart!

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday Musings 11/27

Peyton after our run!

My Week: Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday, so this week was fantastic! I only worked Monday and Tuesday, so I had a full five days off and it was glorious. Did lots of yoga, lots of cooking, consumed lots of wine, and spent some quality time with my husband and fur kids. It was so relaxing! I didn't get as much reading done as I'd like so that's my goal for this week! Got our tree up and Christmas decorations out on Friday...a bit earlier than I would've liked but we had the extra time with the long weekend. Plus we got a new tree from Home Depot and my husband was itching to put it up and see how it fit in the new house.

Reading: Still reading The Alice Network! It's a beautiful book and I'm sad I haven't gotten through it as fast as I'd like. My goal is to finish it this week!


Workouts: I did a lot of yoga last week! Including Yoga + Wine at Eola Hills Winery  on Black Friday! My friend Debbie and I went to the event and had a fantastic time catching up and enjoying a glass of wine and a relaxing flow class.  Isaac and I did our usual walk to the coffee shop with the pups on Saturday, and on Sunday I went for a run, because it was actually nice weather outside for a bit! I did two loops around my neighborhood, each about 1.7 miles, and took each dog for one loop! They both love running with me. The picture at the top of this page is Peyton after our run. He was so happy! Though Elway behaved better on our run--Peyton always gets so distracted by smells!

Debbie and I ready for yoga class!
Wine: I posted last week about buying a case of Chardonnay at Eola Hills...the case sale was still going on when I was there for Yoga and Wine, so....I bought another case! This time, of their Classic Pinot Noir. So, we are quite stocked on wine for awhile :) Can't go wrong wit ha case of wine for $99 though--couldn't pass that up.

Cooking: I had a fantastic time cooking Thanksgiving dinner at my house with my mom! We cooked allll day which was exhausting but the results were delicious! Now I'm enjoying all the leftover turkey goodness!

I loved these flowers for the table!

Looking Forward to: Getting some reading time in this week.  After a two day week last week, a five day week is going to be tough...haha.

Thank you for reading! Linking this post to Hello Monday by Heather from My Glittery Heart!

Book Blitz: Love Notes in Christmas Falls

Author: Beth Labonte
Series: Return to Christmas Falls #6
Release Date: October 23, 2017
Genre: Holiday Romance

When Caitlin Cook left the small town of Christmas Falls, Tennessee to attend Harvard University, she left behind the burden of her parents’ slowly increasing hoard of antiques, a much younger brother, and Shane Mitchell—the boy who blindsided her with the news that he loved her on the night before she left.

Shane Mitchell spent his high school years fascinated by Caitlin Cook. The quiet flute player with her nose always in a book, he wanted desperately to find out what made her tick.

Eight years later, Caitlin returns to Christmas Falls—unemployed and newly single—after receiving a devastating letter from her beloved high school mentor. Caitlin is shocked to find her childhood home in disarray, and her little brother in desperate need of his sister. With Shane’s help—now a pillar of the community rather than the carefree teenager Caitlin once knew—she begins to rediscover her love for music, antiques, and possibly even Shane. When faced with the choice of rebuilding her life in Boston, or giving love a second chance in Christmas Falls, will Caitlin be able to decide on the true meaning of home?

Seven fabulous authors bring you this holiday romance series about a group of special friends returning to their hometown at the request of their high school mentor. Each book is a standalone, but read them all to fully enjoy the journey of these remarkable women and their emotional reunion with their mentor, an incredible woman who changes their lives and helps save a small town community forever.


Beth Labonte received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She worked as an administrative assistant for fourteen years, turning to writing as her creative outlet in an excruciatingly mundane corporate world. Beth now writes full-time and resides in Massachusetts.
Connect With Beth


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Top Ten Books I'm Thankful For

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

This Week's Topic:

Ten Books I'm Thankful For

It's no secret how much I love, value, and believe in reading and books (see my This I Believe post) so this was  fun post to compile. I have a little bit of everything here--books that are beautifully written (Moloka'i, The Shoemaker's Wife)  books I learned more from than I thought I would (Wild, Born A Crime) books that I can reread over and over and still laugh (The Devil Wears Prada) books that make me feel good (A Drop in the Ocean, Maybe in Another Life) books that got me excited about reading when I was young (The Baby Sitters Club, Matilda) and books that have gotten a whole new generation of people reading (the Harry Potter series).






What books are you thankful for? Happy Thanksgiving week!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday Musings 11/20


My Week: Last week absolutely sucked. I was so glad when it was finally over! Our kitty Audrey had been sick with cancer for awhile and we unfortunately had to say goodbye to her last Tuesday. She was 12, almost 13, and we got her not too long after we got married. She was such a sweet, cuddly cat and we were so sad to lose her.  The rest of the week was that "everything that can go wrong, will" type of week. I was so relieved when it was finally Friday. Since I had to work Saturday the 11th, I was in desperate need of a two day weekend and it was so wonderful.

Reading: I finished Renegades yesterday! Really enjoyed it! This week I'm reading The Alice Network. I've heard SO many good things from so many reader and blogger friends. Excited to read it!!


Workouts: Due to my rough week,  I didn't make it to the gym as much as I wanted to this week. I did get a good run in and make it to PiYo, and we were able to walk the pups on Saturday, so that was good. We also raked leaves on Sunday, which is more of a workout than you'd think. Haha! Trying not to beat myself up over one week of less workouts than I'd like. Back to the gym after work tonight!

Wine: There's a huge sale going on at Eola Hills Winery (same place as Yoga + Wine) . Went there on Saturday and got a case of their delicious Chardonnay for $99--just over $8 a bottle! Score! Chardonnay is my favorite white.

Cooking:  Made a "pre-Thanksgiving" meal this weekend including a small batch of this Apple Walnut Stuffing from Damn Delicious! Love her recipes. It's pretty close to the recipe I usually use and it was fun to try some extra add-ins. It was SO yummy! The stuffing is definitely my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner!

Looking Forward To: Thanksgiving this week!! I work today, tomorrow and then have FIVE DAYS OFF. I cannot wait! I did a big pre-Thanksgiving grocery shopping trip on Saturday and am so excited to host at my house!

Hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving! Linking this post to Hello Monday by Heather from My Glittery Heart!