Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Villa by Nora Roberts

The Villa by Nora Roberts
Published by Jove in March 2002
All Time Favorite

"Sophia Giambelli has never worried about competition. For three generations, the Giambelli wines have been renowned for their quality-- from Napa Valley to Italy, and throughout the world. The pride of the Giambelli family and a top PR executive, Sophia loves her job-- and excels at it. But things are about to change at Villa Giambelli. Tereza, the matriarch, has announced a merger with the MacMillan family's winery-- and Sophia will be assuming a new role. As a savvy businesswoman, she knows she must be prepared for anything . . . but she isn't prepared for Tyler MacMillan. They've been ordered to work together very closely, to facilitate the merger. Sophia must teach Ty the finer points of marketing-- and Ty, in turn, shows her how to get down and dirty, to use the sun, rain, and earth to coax the sweetest grapes from the vineyard.

As they toil together, both in and out of the fields, Sophia is torn between a powerful attraction and a professional rivalry. At the end of the season, the course of the company's future-- and the legacy of the villa-- may take an entirely new direction. And when acts of sabotage threaten both the family business and the family itself, Sophia's quest will be not only for dominance, but also for survival." -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
There's a reason this book is one of my all time favorites.  It has everything you could want: love, money, greed, betrayal, and sabotage.  And when the ending is finally revealed, your jaw can't help but hit the floor.

Disclosure: I purchased by own copy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: The Long Game

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which shines a light on eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.  This week, my pick is:

The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Date: June 7, 2016

From Goodreads: "For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate's campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.

Meanwhile, Tess's guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can--and cannot--be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she's about to discover first-hand that power always comes with a price."

What's better than one book about a teenage Olivia Pope?  A second book!  I can't wait for more adventures of Tess Kendrick.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books in March 2016

"Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?" -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
Fans of Cassandra Clare's other series set in the Shadowhunter world will love this one.  It features characters that have appeared in her other two series. I can't wait to see where this series takes us!  I also listened to the audiobook.  I really liked the narrator, and it's always helpful to hear how the more interesting words are supposed to be pronounced.

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library using Overdrive.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian

The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on April 26, 2016.

"What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together?

While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together.

And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever.  There’s a weird sort of bravery that comes from knowing there’s nothing left to lose. You might do things you normally wouldn’t. Or say things you shouldn’t. The reward almost always outweighs the risk.

Almost.

It’s the end of Aberdeen, but the beginning of Keeley’s first love story. It just might not turn out the way she thought. Because it’s not always clear what’s worth fighting for and what you should let become a memory." -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
I really liked this book.  The town of Aberdeen is going underwater and everyone is dealing with it in different ways.  I really liked that the main character, Keeley, had to grow up a lot.  She started out the story very immature, and then when people started to leave she needed to deal with that.  Honestly, this story felt very true and not forced at all.

Disclosure: I received a digital galley of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts
Published by Berkley Books in October 2009
Bride Quartet #2
All Time Favorite

"In Bed of Roses, florist Emma Grant is finding career success with her friends at Vows wedding planning company, and her love life appears to be thriving. Though men swarm around her, she still hasn’t found Mr. Right. And the last place she’s looking is right under her nose.

But that’s just where Jack Cooke is. He’s so close to the women of Vows that he’s practically family, but the architect has begun to admit to himself that his feelings for Emma have developed into much more than friendship. When Emma returns his passion—kiss for blistering kiss—they must trust in their history…and in their hearts." -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
If you love weddings and romance this series is for you.  The audiobook is great!  When I don't know what else to listen to, I know I can always pull one book from this series and I will enjoy it.

Disclosure: I own the physical book, but I borrowed the audiobook from my local library.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Moo! by David LaRochelle


Moo! by David LaRochelle
Illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
Published by Walker Books for Young Readers in October 2013.

Why do I love it?
The story has one word.  Moo.  All you have to do is change your inflection to suit the picture.  Plus, it's one of those books that your kid can read to themselves!

Age Range
I think the younger the better with this book.  It's one word.  You can't go wrong.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Before the Fall

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which shines a light on eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.  This week, my pick is:

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Date: May 31, 2016

From Goodreads: "On a foggy summer night, eleven people-ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter-depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs-the painter-and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family. 

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members-including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot-the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage. "

This book appeared in my Goodreads news feed awhile ago, and after reading the synopsis I knew I had to read it.  It's different from what I've been currently reading.  I can't wait to know the mystery!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
Published by Simon Pulse in February 2016
Debut Author, 2016

"Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to CuraƧao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay." -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
Normally I am not the biggest fan of historical fiction.  But this book was AWESOME.  I was drawn in with the first chapter.  While the synopsis refers to Teach Drummond as Blackbeard, when we begin our story he is just a merchant's son.  I loved the way that his and Anne's relationship grew- slowly and steadily- rather than a quick dive.  This book is going to be a series, and I am super PUMPED.

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Vision in White by Nora Roberts

Vision in White by Nora Roberts
Published by Berkley Books in April 2009.
Bride Quartet #1
All Time Favorite

"Wedding photographer Mackensie "Mac" Elliot is most at home behind the camera, but her focus is shattered moments before an important wedding rehearsal when she bumps into the bride-to-be's brother...an encounter that has them both seeing stars.

A stable, safe English teacher, Carter Maguire is definitely not Mac's type. But a casual fling might be just what she needs to take her mind off bridezillas. Of course, casual flings can turn into something more when you least expect it. And Mac will have to turn to her three best friends-and business partners-to see her way to her own happy ending." -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
Honestly, if you like weddings, friendships, and romance this series is for you.  I read this series every year (the audiobooks are great!).  It's like revisiting old friends.  I would recommend x10 this series.

Disclosure: I own the physical book, but I borrowed the audiobook from my local library.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Favorite Fonts // 1

Today I'm taking a complete detour from what I normally talk about.  
Today I'm going to talk about fonts.  I download fonts to provide some variety from the standard Microsoft fonts.  Here are some of my favorites:


As always, please be careful with where you download fonts from.  I really like dafont.com.  I always choose fonts that have really high ratings and download numbers.

Any fonts that you really like?
Leave a list or link in the comments!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Summer Days and Summer Nights

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which shines a light on eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.  This week, my pick is:

Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Date: May 17, 2016

From Goodreads: "Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love."
I can't wait for this one!  I loved the winter collection that was published in late 2014.  It'll be the perfect thing to throw in my bag when we go to the beach.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

TTT: Ten Books For Any Chick-Lit Lover


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's theme are 10 books I'd recommend for any chick-lit lover.  Here we go!


The Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts
I love weddings.  Who can go wrong with a good wedding?


Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
Girl falls in love with her best friend's man.

Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Amnesia victim finds love.

Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl
Romance author and hot hunky policeman.

 

Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery
The first book in the Fool's Gold series.  A must read for any romance lover.

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis
First book in the Lucky Harbor series.  Another must read.

Silver Thaw by Catherine Anderson
A distant man helps a mother and child find a new life.


The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Kate Middleton fan fiction.

Part Time Cowboy by Maisey Yates
Another troublemaker and hunky policeman combo.

Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot
Mystery and romance combined!

Anything that you think is a must read for a Chick-lit lover?
Leave a list or link in the comments!

Monday, April 11, 2016

[April 2016] What I'm Watching


"When Calls the Heart tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher, a young teacher accustomed to her high-society life. She receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coal-mining town in Western Canada. There, life is simple—but often fraught with challenges. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Royal North West Mounted Police Constable Jack Thornton. He believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman's career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter.  Living in this 1910 coal town, Elizabeth must learn the ways of the Canadian frontier movement if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own." -- From Wikipedia

Will you like it?
I was surprised at how much I liked this period dramedy.  There are a lot of funny parts (like when Elizabeth burns down the teacher's cottage) interspersed with the more serious parts of the show.  Overall, if you're a fan of Downton Abbey, I would wholeheartedly recommend this show for you.

News about the show:

  • Season 3 is currently airing on the Hallmark channel!

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin
Published by Simon Pulse in January 2016.
Debut Author, 2016

"Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all."

Will you like it?
I had a hard time with this book.  It was messy, but almost too messy.  I was also underwhelmed.  It felt like another book where the girl is having a hard time and turns to drugs and alcohol.  The parents in this one.  Sheesh.  They should have seen that their child was struggling.  Overall, this book reminds me that life is messy, and everyone needs to heal at their own pace.

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

New Lately // 1

Have you added any new books to your TBR pile lately?  
Here are two books that I'm really excited to dive into...

Boys of Summer by Jessica Brody
Publication date: April 5, 2016

"Best friends since they were kids, Grayson, Mike, and Ian were hoping for another epic summer on “The Locks”, filled with clam bakes, bonfires, and late-night swims in the ocean.

But that was before Ian’s dad never returned home from his last deployment. Before Mike had to take on more responsibility in order to help provide for his family. Before Grayson’s accident left him with an injured throwing arm and an uncertain future.

It’s clear this summer on the island is shaping up to be very different from those Grayson, Mike, and Ian have come to rely on. And when the sacred code of dating a friend’s sister or ex is broken, it will push their friendship to the absolute limit, testing their loyalties in a way that could either break them—or save them." -- From Goodreads

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
Publication Date: June 28, 2016

"Growing up, opposites Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.  Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first." -- Goodreads

Anything you've added lately?  
Leave a list or link in the comments!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: The Crown

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which shines a light on eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.  This week, my pick is:

The Crown by Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date: May 3, 2016

From Goodreads: "Twenty years have passed since the events of The One, and America and Maxon’s daughter is the first princess to hold a Selection of her own. Princess Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you...and now Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected."

The ending of the last book crushed my soul.  I need to know how the series ends.  Like now.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Max the Brave by Ed Vere


Max the Brave written and illustrated by Ed Vere
Published by Puffin Books in June 2014

Why do I love it?
I have a weird soft spot with books that feature cats as main characters (my family calls me a crazy cat lady).  I also have a family member named Max, and that makes this book special as well.  Plus it's really funny to watch Max figure out what a mouse is.

Age Range
This book lends itself well for ages 2 and up.  There is not a lot of writing per page, and the vivid color illustrations will keep your child's interest.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Published by HarperTeen in February 2016.
Red Queen #2

"Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?" -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
This book was very good, but not as great as the first book in the series.  It had classic second book syndrome.  A lot of stuff happened, but the real firepower was saved for the third book.  Of course it ended on a cliffhanger (what second books don't?).  Mare and Cal's characters grew a lot, and I am truly excited to read the last book.

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.