Friday, March 31, 2017

3 Year Blogiversary!


Today is my blog's three year anniversary! I just wanted to put a post up to thank everyone for reading my blog and your continued support! I really enjoy book blogging and am thankful for all the blogger friends I've made and new authors I've discovered thanks to this blog. I look forward to more reading and blogging in the future!

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dewey's Readathon: April 29, 2017


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  Excited to participate in the Dewey's 24 hour Readathon again this Spring! The Readathon is on Saturday, April 29 and more information, including reader and volunteer sign ups, can be found here! You should sign up too!

I will post a Dewey's Readathon TBR the week of the readathon, and will be posting most of my updates on my Twitter and Instagram pages. 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: If Not For You

Title: If Not For You
30408332Author: Debbie Macomber
368 pages, published March 21, 2017
Note: I received this book from Net Galley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:


If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved from her native Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where she s reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher. If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts. Sam is everything Beth is not and her parents worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who s rough around the edges. Reserved and smart as a whip, Beth isn t exactly Sam s usual beer-drinking, pool-playing type of woman, either. 

But if not for an awkward setup one evening, Beth might never have left early and been involved in a car crash. And if not for Sam who witnessed the terrifying ordeal, rushed to her aid, and stayed with her until help arrived Beth might have been all alone, or worse. Yet as events play out, Sam feels compelled to check on Beth almost daily at the hospital even bringing his guitar to play songs to lift her spirits. Soon their unlikely friendship evolves into an intense attraction that surprises them both. 

Before long, Beth's strong-willed mother, Ellie, blows into town spouting harsh opinions, especially about Sam, and reopening old wounds with Sunshine. When shocking secrets from Sam s past are revealed, Beth struggles to reconcile her feelings. But when Beth goes a step too far, she risks losing the man and the life she's come to love.


 
I really enjoyed this book! What drew me to it was the cover (of course) and the fact that Beth moved to Oregon. I really enjoyed both Beth and Sam as characters, and found the story quite charming. Thanks to the prologue, I was sucked in right away and couldn't stop reading. Though this book is part of Macomber's New Beginnings series (this is book #3) you don't need to have read the first two in order for this one to make sense.

The story is  predictable yet delightful,and if you're a fan of Macomber or this genre it is definitely worth the read. My only criticism: Beth moves to Oregon and gets a full time music job THAT easily?!  I have friends that are music teachers and full time music teahing jobs are NOT that easy to come by! Haha. Other than that I loved the story. Though I loved Beth and Sam, I think Beth's aunt Sunshine was my favorite character. Her story was my favorite and I rooted for her happiness throughout the book. A great relaxing weekend read!

Ovearll rating for "If Not for You": 4 stars


Happy Reading!


Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday Musings 3/27

Isaac and I at Pfeiffer Winery in Junction City, OR

My Week: This week was a pretty typical week for me,filled with work, working out at the gym, and hanging out with my husband and fur kids! This past weekend was pretty fun--went and saw Beauty and the Beast (for the second time--LOVED it!) and then on Sunday went wine tasting with friends in the southern part of the  Willamette Valley in Oregon. We live in a pretty special place--the Willamette Valley was named the 2016 wine region of the year by Wine Enthusiast. Within an hour or two of my home there are COUNTLESS amazing wineries.  We went to two gorgeous wineries-- Pfeiffer Winery (their 2007 Blue Dot Pinot Noir was selected for the Pre-Inaugural Dinner for President Obama) and Walnut Ridge Vineyard with a group of great friends. It was a fantastic day!

Reading: In addition to posting my review of Eggshells today, I also posted a review of Bridges last week (which I loved!). I just finished If Not For You, the new Debbie Macomber, yesterday as well! I really enjoyed the book and will be posting my review this week as well. Next up for me is Jodi Picoult's Small Great Things.

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Watching: Anyone else watch Fixer Upper on HGTV? I LOVE that show! We've literally had the conversation of "we could move to Waco and they could fix our house" before.  I love their work. Anyway,last week's episode was them flipping a home (how they started out) and I loved the house they picked and the work they did.

Yoga + Running: If you read my blog last week you saw that I completed a 5K last weekend. I'm planning on another one in June.   I've really enjoyed running lately and it's a great compliment to my yoga practice! There are countless articles like this one about how running and yoga balance each other well. Right now I've been running a couple times a week in addition to yoga and PiYo but want to step it up a bit. I'm excited that the weather is getting warmer so I can run outside more! As I found out last week, I actually don't mind running in the rain, I just don't like being cold.

Looking forward to:  A quiet week! It's spring break at the university where I work, but the Admissions Office is still open...bummed we don't get the break but I will definitely enjoy the easy parking and quiet office!

What are you up to this week?

TLC Book Tours: Eggshells

About Eggshells

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Melville House (March 14, 2017)
— Irish Book of the Year Finalist!
A whimsical, touching debut about loneliness, friendship and hope…
Vivian doesn’t feel like she fits in — and never has. As a child, she was so whimsical that her parents told her she was “left by fairies.” Now, living alone in Dublin, the neighbors treat her like she’s crazy, her older sister condescends to her, social workers seem to have registered her as troubled, and she hasn’t a friend in the world.
So, she decides it’s time to change her life: She begins by advertising for a friend. Not just any friend. She wants one named Penelope.
Meanwhile, she roams the city, mapping out a new neighborhood every day, seeking her escape route to a better world, the other world her parents told her she came from.
And then one day someone named Penelope answers her ad for a friend. And from that moment on, Vivian’s life begins to change.
Debut author Caitriona Lally offers readers an exhilaratingly fresh take on the Irish love for lyricism, humor, and inventive wordplay in a book that is, in itself, deeply charming, and deeply moving.
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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

This book was different than what I typically read--though I like quirky and different characters, and certainly liked Vivian, the character driven aspect of the book made it a slower read for me. I wanted there to be more of a plot. However, Vivian as a character was delightful, and I really enjoyed the writing style! If this type of book is one you enjoy, you'l probably love this book!

About Caitriona Lally

CAITRIONA LALLY studied English Literature in Trinity College Dublin.  She has had a colorful employment history, working as an abstract writer and a copywriter, as well as a home helper in New York and an English teacher in Japan. She has traveled extensively around Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America.  Caitriona was shortlisted for “Newcomer of the Year” in the Irish Book Awards in 2015.
Connect with Caitriona on Twitter.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Review: Bridges

Title: Bridges
34602230Author: Maria Murnane
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Note: I received this book from the author to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:

It’s a piece of news Daphne never expected to hear: Her globe-trotting friend Skylar, who vowed never to get married, is engaged! Time to celebrate in Manhattan—Skylar’s treat, of course. After years scaling the corporate ladder, she can more than afford it. 

Daphne arrives in NYC with news of her own—the novel she’s finally finished appears to be going nowhere but the trash bin of every publishing house around. She’s devastated but plans to keep her disappointment under wraps, something that becomes trickier when she sees Skylar’s spectacular apartment. Could her life have been like this if she’d chosen a different path? 

What Daphne doesn’t know is she’s not the only one with a secret. Skylar and their friend KC are also holding something back, but what? As the trip unfolds, the truth about each woman emerges, along with tears. 

And laughter. And love. 

The fun-loving trio readers fell for in Wait for the Rain is together once more. Here's to the power of friendship!


 
I absolutely loved Wait for the Rain, and was so excited to get to read more about Daphne, Skylar and KC again!! I enjoyed this book just as much and was so glad I read Wait for the Rain so I had more background on the characters. You don't have to have read Wait for the Rain, it can certainly be read as a standalone, but  I think I enjoyed Bridges more because I'd read Wait for the Rain.

Murnane does a fantastic job of showcasing female friendships and how you can still be close friends despite living in different states. When you all come back together, it's as if no time has passed!  All three of the characters are so easy to relate to, which is why I was so excited to read another book about their lives. I can't pick which one I like the best because I see bits of myself in all three. I really liked the new character in this book, Sloane. I love how Skylar, Daphne and KC helped her, and would love to read more about her in a future book!

This book was so well written and hard to put down. I was sad when it ended (though I loved the ending!).  I loved how real the story was, as it showcased a wide range of feelings and emotions from all three characters who are at different stages in their lives despite being the same age. I hope Murnane writes more books about this trio!

Overall rating for "Bridges": 4.5 stars

Happy Reading! 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday Musings


My Week: What a busy week! The exciting part of my week was running the Cherry Blossom 5K on Saturday in Salem, Oregon!  The goal of the Cherry Blossom festival was for the cherry blossoms at the Oregon State Capital to be blooming and gorgeous an wonderful, but thanks to our crappy winter, the blossoms weren't fully open yet....and it was pouring rain at race time. So instead of having a lovely morning run amongst the cherry blossoms, we had a very wet, puddle jumping run! That's Oregon in a nutshell! If you stay inside and wait for the rain to stop....you'll be inside a lot! My 5K time was 30 minutes and 35 seconds, and I was super happy with that!

Reading: Just finished Wait for the Rain by Maria Murnane. I loved it! The author reached out to me for a review copy of her new book Bridges, and offered me the first in the series so I could read more about the awesome characters!  Awesome authors like this finding me and helping me discover their awesome books is why I love book blogging!! I'm also reading Eggshells, which I will be reviewing for TLC Book Tours next Monday!

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Watching; We saw Beauty and the Beast this weekend!!! It's my all time favorite Disney movie and I absolutely loved this new version!! It's definitely a must watch!!!

My office also is super into March Madness, so I've been watching a lot of that. I'm not super into basketball, but it gives us something to get excited about! My bracket is doing OK--not as good now that Duke lost last night!

Yoga: Just did this video from Five Parks Yoga this morning. It was a perfect short (15 minute) practice that got me moving this morning. It's an easier intermediate level that's a great stretch and a pretty fast paced flow. Great start to the day!

Looking forward to:  Hubby and I booked a trip to Hawaii (the Big Island) awhile back and we are now under 100 days until our trip! We haven't had a long vacation (more than a weekend) in five years and we are so ready to soak up some Aloha in Kona! 

What are you up to this week?  Enjoy your week!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Blog Tour: To Rome, With Love


Title: To Rome, with Love
Author: T.A. Williams
Release Date: February 17, 2017
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: HQ Digital

About TO ROME, WITH LOVE


It’s a summer of second chances…

Just a week before her big day, Sarah returns home to find a note from her husband-to-be – the wedding’s off! So when her boss decides to send her on an epic cycling trip, from Venice to Rome, it seems like the perfect distraction…

Although she never expected the distraction to come in the form of her oh-so-handsome, but slightly serious, cycling companion, Miles. And with still 600 miles of beautiful scenery, mouthwatering food and delicious wine yet to cover, anything could happen!


Where to find TO ROME, WITH LOVE


Goodreads  ||  Amazon  ||  iTunes  ||  Barnes & Noble

I really enjoy Trevor's books, and this one was no exception! This story was absolutely delightful! It involved romance, Italy, cycling, good food...all enjoyable elements of a great read! I really enjoyed following Sarah's journey, both emotionally and on the bike! I loved both her and Miles as characters. 

This book takes you on a 600 mile cycling journey throughout Italy without having to leave your couch. (Isn't that why we love reading??). Also: I totally want Sarah's job! How awesome would working for a cycling travel company be?!

 If you like lighthearted books about travel with a bit of romance, this book is for you. It's a perfect weekend read, or beach read for summer.  I read this book during cold and dreary February and it definitely raised my spirits! This has been one of my favorites by the author so far. If you're a fan of Trevor's books--you won't be disappointed. As always in his books, black Labradors DO make an appearance!

Enter the Giveaway!


About T.A. Williams

Firstly, my name isn't T A. It's Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, "Dirty Minds", one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn't possibly comment. Ask my wife...

I've written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I'm enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.

I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.  

I've been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she's right.

Where to find Trevor


Website  ||  Facebook  ||  Twitter  ||  Goodreads  ||  Amazon

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: Wait for the Rain

Title: Wait for the Rain
23744207Author: Maria Murnane
281 pages, published February 2015

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

From Goodreads:


Daphne White is staring down the barrel of forty—and is distraught at what she sees. Her ex-husband is getting remarried, her teenage daughter hardly needs her anymore, and the career she once dreamed about has somehow slipped from her grasp. She’s almost lost sight of the spirited and optimistic young woman she used to be.

As she heads off to a Caribbean island to mark the new decade with her best friends from college, Daphne’s in anything but the mood to celebrate. But when she meets Clay Hanson, a much younger man, she ignores her inner voice warning her that she’s too old for a fling. In fact, this tropical getaway might be the perfect opportunity to picture her future in a new sun-drenched light.

With the help of her friends, Daphne rediscovers her enthusiasm for life, as well as her love for herself—and realizes that her best years are still ahead.



What a fantastic read! After reading my review of The Year We Turned Forty, Maria reached out to me to read this book and her upcoming novel Bridges, which features the same characters. Boy am I glad she did! I thoroughly enjoyed the book from beginning to end and was hooked right from the beginning.

I loved the characters! I want to be friends with Daphne, Skylar and KC in real life!  I related to all three of them in one way or another.  How fun to take a tropical vacation with your best friends! As someone who hates being cold, I adore reading books set in tropical locations so I can picture myself there and virtually feel the warmth. This book was perfect for that!

This book had a good balance of girl time, character development, and romance (Clay Hanson--swoon!), all with the perfect beach setting. I definitely recommend it for your next vacation read, or when you're desperately wishing winter was over and need something to read to feel better about the fact that it's not over yet. You'll love this read!

Overall rating for "Wait for the Rain": 4.5 stars

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mailbox Monday 3/13


Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!



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Every year for work I get to go to a conference for our online CRM, as I am the communications manager for our office. This year the Hobsons University conference is in Indianapolis, Indiana!I'm pretty excited about it because I grew up a HUGE Indy Car Racing fan, so go get to go to Indy is a bucket list item for me! Anyway, they recently announced the keynote speaker for the event, Jane McGonigal. I purchased her book  on Amazon last week because 1) it looks super interesting and 2) she will be doing a signing at the conference! I'm a pretty big psychology nerd so this one looks super interesting to me!





Newly received from NetGalley:


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Any great new books in your mailbox this week?

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Audiobook Review: Yes Please

20910157Title: Yes Please
Author: Amy Poehler
329 pages, published October 2014
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook (read by the author)

From Goodreads:

In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.


 
 

I listened to the audio version of this book and I'm SO GLAD I did! Seriously--don't read this book, LISTEN to it!! Amy narrates it herself with special guests including Seth Meyers and her parents (and more!), and does an absolutely FABULOUS job. This book makes you laugh from beginning to end. When I listened to the first couple chapters, I was running on the treadmill and literally laughing out loud. I'm sure the other people at the gym thought I was nuts.

Though the book was absolutely hilarious, it had serious parts, too. Amy covers everything from relationships to pregnancy to motherhood to career life (My favorite chapter was "Treat Your Career Like You Would a Bad Boyfriend").  She was so brutally honest in her book. She even talked about how hard writing a book is in her book.  I loved how she read the last chapter of the audiobook to a live audience. She talks extensively about her time on SNL and Parks and Recreation, and real life in between. She talks a lot about her divorce, but never speaks badly about her husband (classy lady right there).  This book impressed me on so many levels. I always enjoyed Amy and this book made me respect her even more. This book is a must listen!

Ovearll rating of "Yes Please": 5 stars

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 6, 2017

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

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This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date.

It snowed here in my part of Oregon today. Snow rarely happens this late in my part of Oregon...it needs to melt...NOW! I am not a fan of winter :) So this post is up a bit late today!

What I Just Finished Reading

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Loved these two!

What I'm Currently Reading

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What I Plan To Read Next

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Look for my review with TLC Book Tours March 27th! 

What are you reading this week?