Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Can't-Wait Wednesday: My Imaginary Mary

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
 
Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Expected publication date: August 2, 2022
It’s aliiiiiiiive! The bestselling authors of My Lady Jane are back with the electric, poetic, and (almost) historical tale of the one and only Mary Shelley.

Mary may have inherited the brilliant mind of her late mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, but she lives a drab life above her father’s bookstore, waiting for an extraordinary idea that’ll inspire a work worthy of her parentage—and impress her rakishly handsome (and super-secret) beau, Percy Shelley.

Ada Lovelace knows a thing or two about superstar parents, what with her dad being Lord Byron, the most famous poet on Earth. But her passions lie far beyond the arts—in mechanical engineering, to be exact. Alas, no matter how precise Ada’s calculations, there’s always a man willing to claim her ingenious ideas as his own.

Pan, a.k.a. Practical Automaton Number One, is Ada's greatest idea yet: a machine that will change the world, if only she can figure out how to make him truly autonomous . . . or how to make him work at all.

When fate connects our two masterminds, Mary and Ada learn that they are fae—magical people with the ability to make whatever they imagine become real. But when their dream team results in a living, breathing, thinking PAN, Mary and Ada find themselves hunted by a mad scientist who won't stop until he finds out how they made a real boy out of spare parts.

With comic genius and a truly electrifying sense of adventure, Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows continue their campaign to turn history on its head in this YA fantasy that’s perfect for fans of The Princess Bride and A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. - from Goodreads


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: My Summer TBR

 
 
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is our summer TBR.  I read 5 of the 6 books I chose for my spring TBR (one I found I was no longer interested in).  For this TBR, I chose a few books that I already own, to try to force myself to finally read them!


Have you read any of these?  Where should I start?

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Accomplished

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
 
Amanda Quinn
Expected publication date: July 26, 2022
Georgiana Darcy gets the Pride & Prejudice retelling she deserves in Accomplished, a sparkling contemporary YA featuring a healthy dose of marching band romance, endless banter, and Charles Bingley as a ripped frat boy.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Georgiana Darcy should have been expelled after The Incident with Wickham Foster last year – at least if you ask any of her Pemberley Academy classmates. She may have escaped expulsion because of her family name, but she didn’t escape the disappointment of her big brother Fitz, the scorn of the entire school, or, it turns out, Wickham’s influence.

But she’s back for her junior year, and she needs to prove to everyone—Fitz, Wickham, her former friends, and maybe even herself—that she’s more than just an embarrassment to the family name. How hard can it be to become the Perfect Darcy? All she has to do is:

– Rebuild her reputation with the marching band (even if it kills her)
– Forget about Wickham and his lies (no matter how tempting they still are), and
– Distract Fitz Darcy—helicopter-sibling extraordinaire—by getting him to fall in love with his classmate, Lizzie Bennet (this one might be difficult…)

Sure, it’s a complicated plan, but so is being a Darcy. With the help of her fellow bandmate, Avery, matchmaking ideas lifted straight from her favorite fanfics, and a whole lot of pancakes, Georgie is going to see every one of her plans through. But when the weight of being the Perfect Darcy comes crashing down, Georgie will have to find her own way before she loses everything permanently—including the one guy who sees her for who she really is.
  - from Goodreads
 

Monday, June 20, 2022

Quick Reviews: Cinderella Retellings

At the Stroke of Midnight by Tara Sivec (2018)

Cynthia's husband ran off with their babysitter and all their money.  When she meets two other women in the neighborhood who also have money problems, the three of them decide to start a stripping business, dressed as Disney princesses, of course.  Although a little light on the retelling part of it, this was such a fun book!  Cynthia was a great main character - she's spent years being the "perfect" wife and mother, and now that her ex is gone, she's realizing how much she changed herself in order to please him.  I loved watching her come into her own and start doing all the things she denied herself for so long, although at times she came across as really naive.  Her love interest is PJ, a local strip club owner who comes across pretty gruff at first but eventually shows he has a heart of gold underneath.  Nothing too hard to think about here, just a low-drama, entertaining, funny romance!  4 stars

Cinders Like Glass by Clarissa Kae (2021)

Lady Ada Whitworth is just trying to make it to her next birthday, when she will be of age and free to leave the home of stepfamily.  However, her stepbrother Lord Rochelle has been implicated in a plot to kill the queen.  Now, the queen's protector, the Duke of Girard, is on the hunt for Rochelle when he crosses paths with Ada.  He wonders if she is helping her brother, while simultaneously falling for her.  This one was a mixed bag for me.  I liked the spy aspect of it and Girard's hunt for traitors.  As part of a series, you won't get all the answers in this book, though.  I didn't think the characters were particularly well-drawn or consistent.  Girard is known as the Dark Duke, yet he acts like a complete sap around Ada from the beginning.  Ada, for her part, has a stutter and doesn't seem to have had much socialization in her life, yet she is able to deftly flirt and converse with the Duke.  Lord Rochelle was an interesting character and he kept me guessing as to what his true intentions were.  There was something about the writing that never made me feel completely immersed in the story and kind of kept me at arms' length, so that was a little disappointing.  3 stars


* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Release Blitz: Blind Side by Kandi Steiner

 

Blind Side by Kandi Steiner is now live!

 

Blind Side is a fake dating sports romance that early readers are calling Kandi's spiciest book yet! Add in that the heroine is a virgin and takes "lessons" from our star athlete Hero on how to please herself, and this is one hot summer release you won't want to miss!⁣

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐จ๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐จ๐ญ๐›๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐š๐Ÿ๐ž๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ฌ๐ค๐ž๐ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ ๐ข๐ซ๐ฅ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐.⁣

๐€๐ง๐ ๐ˆ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ฌ๐ค๐ž๐ ๐ก๐ข๐ฆ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฏ๐ข๐ซ๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ.⁣

Clay Johnson has the abs of Adonis and the deadly smirk of the devil, himself. There's hardly a day he's not headline material during football season, and never a day he isn't a bullseye target for every girl on campus.⁣

He used to be the easiest of all the players for me to wrangle as the Public Relations Coordinator, but after a nasty breakup with his high school sweetheart, he's a mess.⁣

And a complete pain in my ass.⁣

We meet to discuss his behavior and review media relations standards. But when he witnesses how I fall to pieces in front of my guitar-toting crush, his wheels start turning. And he cooks up this absurd plan.⁣

He helps me get noticed. ⁣
I help him make his ex jealous. ⁣
All by pretending to be in a relationship.⁣

What he doesn't realize is that this bookworm is a virgin, and far from versed in seducing a musician. So, to sweeten the deal, I convince him to help me -- not just to get my crush's attention, but to knock his socks off once I have it.⁣

But the more I come unraveled at the hands of Clay Johnson, the more trouble I have discerning what's fake and what's undoubtedly real -- particularly, the way my heart flutters every time that breathtaking man touches me.⁣

We set the rules. We put the safeguards in place.⁣

But they say rules are meant to be broken.⁣
They probably should have added that hearts are, too.⁣

 

Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3MGdayp

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/BlindSide

 Goodreads: https://bit.ly/38KRcvl

 

 

Meet Kandi


Kandi Steiner is an Amazon Top 5 bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing "emotional rollercoaster" stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you're a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she's your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women's Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her "freedom of press."

She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn't writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, planning her next adventure, or pole dancing (yes, you read that right). She enjoys live music, traveling, playing with her fur babies and soaking up the sweetness of life.

Connect with Kandi

Website: www.kandisteiner.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7319216.Kandi_Steiner

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kandi-Steiner/e/B00JDJOINE

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KandiSteiner/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kandilandks/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kandisteiner/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KandiSteiner

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kandi-steiner

Verve: https://ververomance.com/app/kandisteiner

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@authorkandisteiner

Pinterest: pinterest.com/authorkandisteiner

Kandi Steiner may be coming to a city near you! Check out her "events" tab to see all the signings she's attending in the near future: www.kandisteiner.com/events

Monday, June 13, 2022

Henry's Shelves #2

 
Henry and I have been enjoying so many books together!  Here are a couple photos of him "reading" during tummy time:
 
 
And here are some of our recent favorites!

Things That Go // You're My Little Lucky Charm // Hello, Spring!


A Forest's Seasons // Whose Feet? // Count to Sleep California

Owl Always Love You // Never Touch a Shark! // I Love You Through and Through


Have you read any of these with your littles?
 

Friday, June 10, 2022

Quick Reviews

The Start of Something Good by Jennifer Probst (2018)

Ethan returns home to his family's B&B/horse farm after a rough couple of years.  Mia, a PR guru, is staying at the inn to watch over a client's teenage daughter as she completes community service.  Although they get off to a rocky start, could Ethan and Mia find in each other what they've both been missing?  I liked parts of this book, although in some areas the execution was lacking.  Ethan's background and journey to healing were really interesting, especially when we got glimpses of his time as a Special Forces paratrooper.  I really got a good sense of how he was affected by his time in the military.  I was hoping that the initial tension and friction between Mia and Ethan would lead to some major sparks later, and I was not disappointed!  These two, when they finally admitted their feelings, were just fire.  I especially enjoyed the latter part of the book where they were trying to figure out how they could make their relationship work when their lives were so different, and I wanted more of that.  I thought the writing was a little lackluster at times and the dialogue a bit cringey, and Mia's major food issues were overwhelming and could be triggering for some readers.  3 stars

For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing (2021)
 
Teddy is a teacher at Belmont Academy, an elite private school where a series of deaths have everyone on edge - and everyone looking for a killer.  I haven't been reading many thrillers lately, but Samantha Downing is always good for a unique premise and a witty, fast-paced story, and this one delivered.  Teddy, the current Teacher of the Year at Belmont, has a really warped sense of self-importance and thinks he knows best when it comes to his students.  If he doesn't like something or someone, he'll passive-aggressively make it known.  When people start dying, Teddy takes it upon himself to manipulate the situation.  A current student, Zach, and a former student, Fallon, are onto him, though.  I can't say that any of these characters were particularly likable, but they were all massively entertaining.  So many reveals, delivered in such a matter-of-fact, nonchalant way kept the story moving from one place to the next and kept me guessing as to what would happen.  Short, punchy chapters kept me glued to the pages.  Overall, a deliciously twisted story!  4 stars


* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Booked on a Feeling

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
 
Jayci Lee
Expected publication date: July 26, 2022
Jayci Lee's romcom Booked on a Feeling features an overachieving lawyer. A failing bookstore. A childhood friend. And the chance of a lifetime…

Lizzy "Overachiever" Chung, Esq. has her life mapped out neatly:
* Become a lawyer. Check.
* Join a prestigious law firm. Check.
* Make partner. In progress.

If all goes to plan, she will check off that last box in a couple years, make her parents proud, and live a successful, fulfilled life in L.A. What was not in her plans was passing out from a panic attack during a pivotal moment in her career. A few deep breaths and a four hour drive later, Lizzy is in Weldon for three weeks to shed the burnout and figure out what went wrong. And what better place to recharge than the small California town where she spent her childhood summers with her best friend, Jack Park.

Jack Park didn't expect to see Lizzy back in Weldon, but now he's got three weeks to spend with the girl of his dreams. Except she doesn't know of his decades-long crush on her--and he intends to keep it that way. She's a high-powered attorney who lives in L.A. and he's a bookkeeper at his family's brewery who never left his hometown. He can't risk their friendship on a long shot. Can he? When Lizzy decides that the local bookstore needs a little revamp, of course, Jack is going to help her bring it back to life. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to ignore there might be more than just friendship among the dusty shelves and books...

Sometimes the path to the rest of your life has been in front of you all along. - from Goodreads

 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Units of Time in the Title

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is books with units of time in the title.  This was a fun one!  I actually found way more than I thought I would just on my own shelves and filled it in with a couple others I've read.
 
 

What titles did you find?

Friday, June 3, 2022

Quick Reviews


Peyton is a popular anchor on a morning news show; her sister Skye is a stay-at-home mom trying to start a charity.  Both sisters are keeping secrets that could derail everything.  I've enjoyed Weisberger's books for years, but this one was a bit of a miss for me.  It had a ripped-from-the-headlines plot about a college admissions scandal involving Peyton's daughter Max, and I did like that we got Max's perspective about the situation and a kind of behind-the-scenes look at how scandals like these affect public figures.  The storyline featuring Skye was much weaker, at least to me.  Eager for something more in her life, she wants to start a house/school for underprivileged girls, but funding is an issue.  I never connected to Skye, living in her wealthy bubble but constantly complaining about it.  The pacing was off in the story and it felt alternately really repetitive or like nothing was moving forward at all.  Weisberger's writing is always good, but the plot just never came together for me.  3 stars

Rushed by Aurora Rose Reynolds (2021)
 
After getting dumped by her fiancรฉ, Cybil decides to still attend the wilderness couples' retreat they were supposed to go on together.  There, she meets and is paired up with Tanner, the owner of the adventure retreat company.  Their attraction is immediate, and the two will have to decide if this is just a vacation fling or something more.  I liked the premise of this book, that Cybil does something outside her comfort zone and finds love, but the insta-love is so strong in this book that it kind of made everything very low-stakes.  The retreat aspect was fun, although one of the other women on the trip was oddly aggressive towards Cybil.  Tanner has never been a relationship guy, so the fact that he falls so hard and so quickly for Cybil was rather swoony - I could have done without all the cringey pet names, though, and the way he was willing to give up his home and business for Cybil after only knowing her for a week had me shaking my head a bit.  The author tries to inject some drama with Cybil's ex-fiancรฉ and an issue with her "found family," but overall, this was a very low-angst romance with some spicy scenes mixed in.  3 stars


* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Month in Review: May 2022

 
May was a pretty busy month!  Tom and I went to the movie theater for the first time in months to see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.  While not my favorite Marvel movie, I always enjoying seeing these on the big screen!  And all the cameos were really fun.  I celebrated my first Mother's Day, which was so special.  My cousin and his wife had a baby boy a few months before us, and we were finally able to get together to have the boys meet.  It was so cute, and really nice to catch up with my cousin's wife - it's comforting to relate to someone who's going through the exact same things as you!  We went to a birthday party for another set of niece and nephew at one of my brother's houses, and Henry got to meet a lot of family members!  We were planning to have some of my family over for a Memorial Day barbeque, but a couple days before, my stepmom texted that she tested positive for COVID.  Then my sister texted that her husband also tested positive and she was pretty sure she had it, too!  Turns out our niece and nephew also had it, so it's possible that someone at the birthday party was sick and maybe didn't know it.  It's crazy that they had all avoided it for over 2 years and were now getting it at the same time.  Aside from some allergy-like symptoms and fatigue, everyone is mostly doing ok, so we are thankful for that!  Only my mom and stepdad ended up coming over for the holiday, but we still had a good time.  Tom cooked and my mom and I planted some flowers.  Henry turned six months old at the end of the month!  I really can't believe it!  He started wearing a helmet this month to correct some asymmetry in his head shape and he's been in physical therapy for three months to help with his torticollis (basically, he was always looking to the left, so it caused a flat spot on his head).  He's doing really well with it and he's still hitting all his milestones.  He hasn't rolled over yet but is getting close (apparently there is a huge age range for rolling over, so I was a little overexcited last month!) and is also working on sitting up by himself.  We've introduced a few more foods and so far he has generally enjoyed everything (except the peas).  

The Books
 


 
 
The Posts and Reviews
 

How are you doing?


* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.