Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: Written in the Stars (Backroads Book 1) by Christina Coryell


About the Book

Roundabout these parts, dirt roads don’t just get you from point A to point B. They intersect to create a maze of life often missed when outsiders drive through a sleepy town. The number on the population sign might seem insignificant, but a few short steps from the beaten path, there’s more than meets the eye.

Look a little closer… That sleek out-of-town convertible is bringing former pageant queen Brooke Langdon back into town for the first time in a decade. She’s dragging nothing with her but the hyphen in her last name. Gatlin Moore is running his tractor along the fence line, spending his days keeping up his parents’ farm instead of living out his dreams in Nashville. The sheriff is pulling into Holly Christian’s driveway, preparing to tell her that her life’s about to crumble. And Hunter Pearce, the guy everyone calls when they need something fixed? He’s racing to Holly’s place too, wondering if things are too broken to put back together.

Welcome to Hope Canyon. This is our backroads story.


My Review

Five Stars

My first introduction to Christina Coryell was her novella, Mowed Over, in the Love at First Laugh box set. I was instantly charmed and knew I had to check out her other stories. And then, when I heard about her new novel I was doubly excited! I'm a big fan of books featuring life in small towns, so I couldn't wait to dive right into WRITTEN IN THE STARS.

I was captivated from the very first page. I was transported to the small town of Hope Canyon, Arkansas, feeling like a silent observer peeking into the lives of these authentic and complex characters. At times, it really did feel as though I was reading about real people in real-life situations. There was such an authentic feel to this novel. Coryell perfectly captured life in a small town where everybody knows everybody and everybody knows everybody else's business, where gossip spreads faster than you know it.

WRITTEN IN THE STARS was one of those books that I just wanted to savor, take my time with, stay with these characters as long as possible. But at the same time, I couldn't help myself but to read as fast as possible to see where the story led to next. And then, before I knew it, I had finished the book. :sad face: It was just so good! I didn't want it to end! Time flew by while I was reading. I became completely caught up in this book! I'd look up at the clock and be shocked by how much time had passed.

I could go on and on about how awesome WRITTEN IN THE STARS was and I seriously can't recommend it highly enough! Go grab a copy for yourself, you won't be sorry! Just be ready to get completely sucked into the lives of these down-to-earth characters! Can't wait for the next one!

I received a copy of this book from the author. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

Favorite Quotes

“If someone were to break in through the back door, her dog Skittles would destroy the place with his weak bladder. Not that a person would try to pull anything roundabout her neck of the woods, where everybody and their brother packed heat.”

“Is that your uppity way of sayin' you want to gossip? 'Cause that's actually frowned upon in these parts. Unless of course you frame your question with 'he needs prayer' at the end, and then you can gossip all you like. Form a chain if need be, so it spreads quicker.”

“She said that the stars are constant,” Holly continued. “No matter what's happenin' in our world, they're still there. The bright sun may hide them, or a dark cloud, but that doesn't mean they're gone. Tomorrow they'll be in the same place, waitin' for me to find them again.”

“Her spirit lifted a little, like the first small spark of a burgeoning fire that might one day turn into a full flame. And as she wondered if she should stir the embers a little, hope settled over her like a haze of smoke.”


To learn more about Christina Coryell, visit her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I Read in School


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

This week is a Back to School Freebie and I decided to feature my favorite books that I read in school.


by Mary Shelley


by John Steinbeck


by Elie Wiesel


by Aldous Huxley


The Tell-Tale Heart
by Edgar Allan Poe


by F. Scott Fitzgerald


by William Shakespeare


Pygmalion
by George Bernard Shaw



by Nathaniel Hawthorne



Beowulf
by Unknown


Did you read any of these books during school? What did you think of them? What were some of your favorites? Leave a comment below and let me know.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Week in Review: August 14 - 18


Week in Review is where I recap posts from the previous week and preview what's to come.

Monday, August 14



Tuesday, August 15



Wednesday, August 16



Thursday, August 17



Friday, August 18




Coming Next Week

I have reviews for two awesome contemporaries coming up. Top Ten Tuesday is celebrating back to school and I'll be sharing some of my favorite books that I read in school. And, of course, I'll have my weekly Wednesday and Friday posts.


What have you read this week? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Count Me In by Mikal Dawn

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.

Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring Count Me In by Mikal Dawn


Book Beginning

The little hairs on the back of Allegra Spencer's neck stood at attention. He was behind her. She could feel his presence as sure as she could smell the beans being ground by the barista on the other side of the reclaimed-wood counter.


Friday 56 (56% on my Kindle)

Allegra's face was white as a ghost. Her mouth moved, but no sound came out.


About the Book

Allegra Spencer has been living a careful life. Her safe job as an accountant is bookended by going to church and the gym. Okay, sometimes the gym. Fine. She goes to church. And the coffee shop. She avoids risk at all cost, preferring to stay safe in her cozy condo. Until her accounting firm goes belly up and she's out of a job.

Tyler Hawk had a glorious career as a star NFL tight end. He retired on a high note and now lives a second dream of owning his own business and leading others on extreme outdoor adventures. But he needs help with his books—and his heart. When Allegra takes the job, sparks fly.

It’s a case of safety zone versus danger zone, and in their minds, never the two shall meet.


What have you been reading lately? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Review: Logan: A Life After Companion Story by Julie Hall


About the Book

Every warrior has his weakness . . .

There are two sides to ever story; it’s Logan’s turn to tell his.

Logan has it all—friends, popularity, girls—and he’s on the brink of breaking out as a professional surfer. It appears life couldn’t get any better for him, but perfection isn’t turning out to be all he imagined.

When one mistake leads to his untimely arrival in the afterlife, he finds purpose in something greater than himself—becoming a weapon against the evil that lurks on Earth. Believing he’s finally found true peace, his afterlife turns into a nightmare when he’s captured and tortured by the same monsters he hunts and the king of Hell himself.

Broken in mind and body, Logan’s time in captivity leaves him riddled with doubts, harboring guilt, and changed in ways even he doesn’t understand. Until the day he’s assigned the challenging task of training a newbie—a girl who, from the very start, breaks his preconceived notion of what a demon hunter should be.

After meeting the fainting spitfire, the only thing he’s sure of is that his afterlife will never be the same.

LOGAN is a companion novella to the Bestselling LIFE AFTER series. It can be read as a standalone, or as Book 2.5 of the series.


My Review

4.5 Stars

LOGAN is a sort of prequel to the Life After series told from the perspective of... you guessed it... Logan. It was so awesome to get to know more about Logan. He's so mysterious and keeps a lot of himself hidden in the full length books, so I loved getting this peek into his head. I really enjoyed getting a look at what Logan's life was like pre-death and then the beginning of his afterlife. And it was great to see more of his and Kaitlin's friendship.

LOGAN is a part of the Shattered Worlds Box Set and the main reason I purchased the set. It's a great read to hold me over until the release of book three, DOMINION, but it can also be enjoyed even if you haven't read the LIFE AFTER series before. It did take me just a little bit to get into, which was probably just me getting used to Logan's POV. But it really didn't take long before I was reading as fast as I could and then being super sad because it ended.

Favorite Quote

“There was a man,” I began, “ and his sacrifice for all of us is what made the difference."


For more information on Julie Hall, visit her website, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.


Logan: A Life After Companion Story is part of the Shattered Worlds Box Set


Escape into twenty-two epic worlds that will leave you breathless.

From dystopian nightmares to gorgeous steampunk and fantasy settings to fairy-tale retellings and beyond, SHATTERED WORLDS has every story you've been dying to get your hands on!

This unique Young Adult/New Adult collection, inspired by the creative minds of today's New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors, promises to satisfy your cravings for action and adventure as you experience rune magic and time-travel, overthrow corrupt governments, meet reapers and aliens, battle dragons, fall hopelessly in love, and break ancient curses, right alongside some of the bravest characters in fantasy fiction!

Each book within this collection is exclusive to the set and can't be found anywhere else!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that highlights upcoming eagerly anticipated releases.

This week I'm featuring A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden releasing October 3, 2017


About the Book

Page-Turning Romance and Intrigue in Award-Winning Author's Next Historical NovelLucy Drake's mastery of Morse code has made her a valuable asset to the American news agencies as a telegrapher. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Newly arrived from London, Colin is talented, handsome, and insufferably charming.

Despite their rivalry, Lucy realizes Colin's connections could be just what her family needs to turn the tide of their long legal battle over the fortune they were swindled out of forty years ago. When she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, neither of them realizes how far the web of treachery they're wading into will take them.


Why I Need It

Elizabeth Camden always writes about interesting little known facts/moments in history and I can't wait to read A Dangerous Legacy. It sounds so interesting!


What book are you eagerly anticipating? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Recommendations for People Who Love Fairy Tales



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

The Broke and Bookish are back this week! The topic for this week is: Ten book recommendations for ______________. Okay, so I'm gonna admit that I struggled a bit coming up with something for this. When something is so open-ended like that, there's so many options and I kinda freeze with indecision. Apparently I do better with structured topics, lol. But finally I decided to go with Recommendations for People Who Love Fairy Tales. Who doesn't love a good fairy tale? Some of these are well-known, others not so much. Some are based on well-known fairy tales, a couple are a bit more obscure. (And okay, a couple are Edgar Allan Poe retellings, which are definitely not fairy tales, but they are so stellar, I thought I'd include them, too.)


(Melanie Dickerson is a master at fairy tale retellings! I'm featuring two of my favorites from her, but she has, I believe, ten out now and more on the way. The Merchant's Daughter is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, while The Golden Braid is a retelling of Rapunzel.)


by
Melanie Dickerson


by
Melanie Dickerson


(I couldn't make this list and not mention the Lunar Chronicles. These are SO good and SO unique!)

by
Marissa Meyer


(I've never been a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland, but I've found that I LOVE retellings! The whole Splintered Series is amazing! A.G. Howard never disappoints!)

by
A.G. Howard


(Princess of the Midnight Ball was a charming retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. The sequel, Princess of Glass, a Cinderella retelling, is just as good as the first!)


Princess of the Midnight Ball
by
Jessica Day George


(These next two are retellings of EAST OF THE SUN AND WEST OF THE MOON which is a Norwegian fairy tale. I absolutely love this tale and wish there were more retellings for it.)

by
Jessica Day George

by
Sarah Beth Durst


(The Ice Child is a unique and meaningful novelette that I really enjoyed. If you're looking for a quick read, this would be perfect.)

by
Evangeline Denmark


(I'm reluctant to admit this because I'm in the minority with this opinion, but I've never been a fan of The Wizard of Oz. So, when I heard about WICKED, which is the 'untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West', I was hesitant to try it. But oh my goodness, I loved getting the "real" story behind the misunderstood character. I know this book is not for everyone, but it's one of my all-time faves.)

by
Gregory Maguire


(I was super excited when I first heard about DOROTHY MUST DIE. Dorothy is the bad guy in this series and I completely love that! I've only read the prequel NO PLACE LIKE OZ and the first two books, but enjoyed them all.)

by
Danielle Paige


(I'm a big fan of Poe and these retellings by Bethany Griffin are fantastic!)

by
Bethany Griffin

by
Bethany Griffin


(If you're interested in a more mature read, Indexing by Seanan McGuire gives an interesting and unique take on fairy tales. Just a word of warning though, this book does contain strong language.)

by
Seanan McGuire


What's your favorite fairy tale? Do you have a favorite retelling?

Review: The Case of the Clobbered Cad (Nosy Parkers Mysteries Book 2) by Debra E. Marvin


About the Book

Inspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy Heights Girls' Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more sensible careers. Until...

Heather Munro’s youthful devotion to The Girl Detective led to a passion for digging around in history. Now pursuing her Master's Degree in Celtic Studies, Heather must balance exploring Edinburgh with her determination to excel in her all–male classes at the University. Unfortunately, on her first night working in the Archives room, she discovers the dead body of a visiting professor, the same would-be lothario she’d hoped never to see again.

As clues come to light, it’s clear someone hopes to frame Heather for the murder. Besides her quirky landlady, whom can she trust? How can she clear her name? The police and the American Consul have plenty of suspects, but only two seem to have both motive and opportunity: Heather and the quiet Scottish historian she longs to trust.


My Review

There were so many elements that I love featured in this book, an inquisitive girl detective, the beautiful setting of Scotland, a look at college life, interesting characters, and an intriguing mystery that left me guessing until the end. All of this combined into an exciting and fun cozy mystery that I couldn't put down.

Mrs. Kintyre was my favorite character. Mrs. K and Heather were quite the entertaining crime-solving duo. The murder victim wasn't very well liked, so there were quite a few suspects with strong motives. I thought I had it figured out, but then the reveal came and I was shocked.

THE CASE OF THE CLOBBERED CAD was the first book I've read by Marvin and I loved every second of it! I highly recommend it for people who love cozy mysteries!

I received a copy of this book from the author. All thoughts and comments are my own honest opinion.


To learn more about Debra E. Marvin, visit her website, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Week in Review: August 7 - 11, 2017


Week in Review is where I recap posts from the previous week and preview what's to come.

Monday, August 7




Tuesday, August 8




Wednesday, August 9




Thursday, August 10




Friday, August 11




Coming Next Week

I've got two reviews coming up, a fun cozy mystery set in Scotland in the 1950's and a prequel novella to one of my favorite series I've read this year. The Broke and Bookish are back this week with topics for Top Ten Tuesday and this week it's Book Recommendations for _______. So be sure to come by Tuesday and see what type of books I'm recommending and to who. And as always, I'll have my weekly Waiting On and Book Beginnings/Friday56.


What have you read this week? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.

Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase


Book Beginning

I squinted through my freshly cleaned shop window at a lively group of women snapping selfies with the Magazine Street sign in front of a New Orleans police car and broken-in storefront. Humidity had twisted their hair to Albert Einstein proportions.


Friday 56 (56% on my Kindle)

He pulled his phone from his pocket and frowned at the screen. He pressed his lips into a tight line and groaned. "I've got to go."


About the Book

Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true--until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.

Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?

Witty and whimsical, Cat Got Your Diamonds, the first in a new cozy series by Julie Chase, will be the cat's meow for fans of Rita Mae Brown and Miranda James.


What have you been reading lately? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Review: The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin


About the Book

Heartwarming and Touching New Contemporary Romance from Victoria Bylin
After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she's focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who's pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia's plans.

Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He's poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who's asked him to be his best man at his wedding.

Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn't expecting Jake. And Jake, who can't help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he'll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake's courage and Mia's caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . .


My Review

Five Stars

The Two of Us was the first book I've read by Bylin and I completely loved it! I couldn't read it fast enough, it was just that good!

After a failed engagement, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is wanting a new start in life. Hoping to get a job with an international aid organization, Mission Medical, she'd be helping people and seeing the world at the same time. But when she gets a phone call from her teenage sister Lucy informing her that she's eloping in Las Vegas, Mia adjusts her plans a bit. After Jake Tanner's partner Connie Waters was killed in the line of duty, his dream is to open a camp for kids of fallen officers. Having helped and mentored Connie's adult son Sam, Jake finds himself in Vegas for Sam's hasty wedding. Coming together to be there for their loved ones, could Jake and Mia find their own chance at love?

Mia's reserved, organized, and always thoroughly thinks things through before making a decision which is the complete opposite of her younger sister Lucy. Lucy has a good heart, but is very impulsive. Mia's very protective of Lucy, having raised her since she was ten. Sam's a guy who takes his responsibilities seriously and though he's made mistakes, owns up to them. And Jake... oh... Jake! From the very first scene, he stole my heart! He has a lot that he's dealing with, but he's a wonderful guy who's doing his best to help others. Pirate, Jake's service dog, was awesome! It's amazing everything that service dogs can do and I loved reading about him!

This book deals with some tough but realistic issues. One of which was Alzheimer's Disease. Alzheimer's is a cruel and terrible disease. As someone who's watched a loved one (my Grandma) struggle with it, I could feel the character's heartache in dealing with the disease. It's gut-wrenching at times, but a sad reality many people face.

The Two of Us is a fantastic contemporary novel that I highly recommend! It left me with so many emotions. I laughed, I shed some tears. It was a special book that I hope many people will check out! I can't wait to read Bylin's other books!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts and comments are my own honest opinion.


To learn more about Victoria Bylin, visit her website, Facebook page, and Twitter.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Written in the Stars (Backroads Book 1) by Christina Coryell

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that highlights upcoming eagerly anticipated releases.

This week I'm featuring Written in the Stars (Backroads Book 1) by Christina Coryell, releasing August 22.


Summary

Roundabout these parts, dirt roads don’t just get you from point A to point B. They intersect to create a maze of life often missed when outsiders drive through a sleepy town. The number on the population sign might seem insignificant, but a few short steps from the beaten path, there’s more than meets the eye.

Look a little closer… That sleek out-of-town convertible is bringing former pageant queen Brooke Langdon back into town for the first time in a decade. She’s dragging nothing with her but the hyphen in her last name. Gatlin Moore is running his tractor along the fence line, spending his days keeping up his parents’ farm instead of living out his dreams in Nashville. The sheriff is pulling into Holly Christian’s driveway, preparing to tell her that her life’s about to crumble. And Hunter Pearce, the guy everyone calls when they need something fixed? He’s racing to Holly’s place too, wondering if things are too broken to put back together.

Welcome to Hope Canyon. This is our backroads story.


Why I Need It

I read Christina Coryell's novella that was a part of the Love at First Laugh Boxed Set and completely loved it! It was one of my faves in the set. So when I first heard about her new book, I got super excited. I'm a big lover of books that take place in small towns. So, this book's screaming at me to read it!



As an added bonus, you can grab your copy now at the special preorder price of .99! ! You can't beat that!


Do you like books that feature small towns? What book are you eagerly anticipating? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read in 2016



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

The Broke and the Bookish will be back next week (August 15), so this is the last week of coming up with my own topics. I thought I'd spotlight the Best Books I Read in 2016.
(I was going to put them in order, but after the top three, I couldn't figure out where to place the others, lol.)

(Historical Fiction)
by
Joanne Bischof

(Mystery/Suspense)
by
Mike Nappa

(Dystopia)
by
Nadine Brandes

(Historical Fiction)
by
Elizabeth Camden

(Mystery/Suspense/Thriller)
by
Ronie Kendig

(Contemporary Romance)
by
Amy Matayo

(WWII Historical Fiction)
by
Sarah Sundin

(WWII Historical Fiction)
by
Terri Wangard

(Contemporary Romance)
by
Melissa Tagg

(Fantasy)
by
Maria V. Snyder

(Urban Fantasy)
by
Lisa Shearin

(Urban Fantasy)
by
Seanan McGuire
(Note: This book contains strong language.)

(Urban Fantasy)
by
Seanan McGuire
(Note: This book contains strong language.)

Have you read any of these books? What were some of your favorite books from 2016? Leave a comment below and let me know.