Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Before I Do

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Sophie Cousens
Expected publication date: October 11, 2022
What would you do if 'the one that got away' turned up the night before your wedding?

Head-in-the-stars Audrey is about to marry down-to-earth Josh. Though they are polar opposites, they have a healthy, stable relationship; Josh is just what Audrey needs. But romance should be unpredictable and full of fireworks, and as the big day approaches, Audrey's found herself wondering if Josh really is The One.

So, when Josh's sister shows up to the rehearsal dinner with Fred, Audrey's What If? guy--the man she met six years ago and had one amazing day with--Audrey finds herself torn. Surely Fred's appearance the night before she is due to get married can't be a coincidence. And when everything that could go wrong with the wedding starts to go wrong, Audrey has to ask herself: Is fate trying to stop her from making a huge mistake? Or does destiny just have a really twisty sense of humour? - from Goodreads


Monday, August 29, 2022

Guest Blogger: Show Some Love For Indies #1 - The OGs

My sister is back today with the first in a series of guest blogger posts about indie authors!  She has introduced me to so many amazing authors, so let's dive in!


Authors are no longer confined to traditional publishing – the number of writers self-publishing seems to have exploded over the last few years. With access to so many forms of social media and the technology to format and market their own books, authors can have successful careers without ever being accepted by a traditional publishing house. This is also great for readers, as we have access to so many more wonderful authors.

Today’s installment focuses on the OG’s – authors with a lot of indie experience, publishing for more than 5 years or with 10+ titles.


Penny Reid – author of beloved series Knitting in the City and the Winston Brothers. Has expanded her reach with Smartypants Romance, her own publishing imprint.

Melanie Harlow – Small town romance in series such as Cloverleigh Farms and Bellamy Creek. Available in Kindle Unlimited.

Adrianna Locke – Small town, family series such as the Masons, Gibsons and Landrys. Available in Kindle Unlimited.

Devney Perry – Small town romances almost exclusively set in Montana. Some have suspense elements and the Clifton Forge series revolves around a defunct motorcycle club. Also writes under the pen name Willa Nash, whose books can be found in Kindle Unlimited.

Staci Hart – Romances with settings that range from a tattoo parlor in NYC to a bee farm in Texas. Currently enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.

Kandi Steiner – Angsty romance, with her most current being a new adult, football series. Available in Kindle Unlimited.

Kathryn Nolan – Romance author with surfer, boxer and billionaire heroes and heroines. Also has a romantic suspense series that centers around a detective agency that tracks down rare stolen books. Available in Kindle Unlimited.

Lauren Blakely – Super prolific romance author, releasing almost a title per month. Fun and quick reads with lots of sporty heroes.

Sarina Bowen – Widely known for her Brooklyn hockey and True North series. Has expanded into her own publishing imprint, Heart Eyes Press.

Do you read any indie authors? If so, any favorites?

Friday, August 19, 2022

Blog Break + Quick Reviews: Amazon Short Stories

Just a quick note that I'll be taking a blog break next week and returning on August 29!  Now, onto quick reviews of two Amazon Original Stories, written by two very big names!
A Wild Rose (A Point in Time #5) by Fiona Davis (2022)

Gloria Banderas, a world-famous concert pianist, is supposed to be playing a huge show at Carnegie Hall, but she is experiencing some unsettling symptoms in her hand which force her to cancel.  She then meets the artists who live above Carnegie Hall and joins them as she heals, at the same time wondering if her life is what she really wants it to be.  I love Fiona Davis' writing, even if only in a short story like this.  She brings New York City to life through its buildings, teaching the reader about places and times.  Gloria was an incredible and well-drawn character, and I enjoyed seeing her journey, wondering if she would overcome the issues with her hand or be forced to give up the only life she's ever known - or would she be content to find a new way?  4 stars

Signal Moon by Kate Quinn (2022)

During WWII, Lily is one of the ladies trained to intercept foreign radio transmissions and then pass them along to the codebreakers at Bletchley Park.  One day, she hears an odd transmission of an American ship taking fire and ultimately sinking.  She thinks she heard the sailor Matt say the year was 2023 - can that even be right?  Can she help him?  I love time travel stories and this was a fantastic and unique take on the genre.  Lily finds a way to communicate with Matt, and I was eager to see how she would convince him that she was really speaking to him from 1943.  There's so much tension because time is of the essence, but the story is also emotional and hopeful.  Overall, just a perfect and captivating short story.  5 stars

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Can't-Wait Wednesday: So This Is Christmas

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Jenny Holiday
Expected publication date: October 4, 2022
USA Today bestselling author Jenny Holiday concludes her beloved royal Christmas series with an unforgettable romance about a confident American woman and the strait-laced royal advisor who falls hopelessly in love with her.

Matteo Benz has spent his life serving at the pleasure of the Eldovian crown. His work is his life and his life, well...he doesn't have much of one. When he is tasked to aid a management consultant who has been flown in to help straighten out the king's affairs, he is instantly disturbed by her brash American manner--as well by an inconvenient attraction to the brainy beauty.

Cara Delaney is in Eldovia to help clean up the king's financial affairs, but soon finds herself at odds with the very proper Mr. Benz. As intrigued by his good looks as she is annoyed by his dedication to tradition for its own sake, she slowly begins to see the real man behind the royal throne.

As they work together to return Eldovia to its former glory during the country's magical Christmas season, Matteo discovers he is falling hopelessly in love with the unconventional American. But a man who has devoted his life to tradition doesn't change easily. Can he become the man Cara needs, or will their love be another sacrifice to the crown? - from Goodreads


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Love That Were Written Over 10 Years Ago


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is books we love that were written over 10 years ago.  This was a pretty easy topic for me - my shelves are filled with older releases that I love and have reread many times.  So, here are some of my favorites!

Outlander (1991)

What are some of your favorites?

Friday, August 12, 2022

Fiction/Nonfiction Quick Reviews: The Paris Edition

Eiffel's Tower for Young People by Jill Jonnes, Rebecca Stefoff (2019)

This nonfiction book is an adaptation for younger readers of Jill Jonnes' history of the Eiffel Tower.  It's more than just the story of the Eiffel Tower; it places it in the context of the time and purpose for which it was built, the 1889 World's Fair in Paris.  It's a great approach, but sometimes it felt like the book talked more about other things than it did about the Tower.  The Eiffel Tower faced a lot of hurdles and opposition, yet the narrative kind of glosses over a lot and things happen very quickly.  There were a few typos and the formatting was kind of odd at times - the main narrative would sometimes be interrupted by a page spread about another topic often not directly related to the Eiffel Tower or even the Fair, and instead of putting it at the end of a chapter, it would just appear when you turned a page, even if the previous page ended in the middle of a sentence, which I really don't like.  It takes the reader out of the story in the most jarring way.  I enjoyed all the pictures, although the blue tone of a lot of them blurred the images.  3 stars

The Last Dress From Paris by Jade Beer (2022)

A dual timeline historical fiction novel that takes place mostly in Paris.  In the 1950s, Alice's husband is the British ambassador to France.  Married life isn't quite what she imagined it would be, and when she meets Antoine, her heart is pulled in another direction.  In the present day, Lucille's grandmother asks her to venture to France to retrieve a Dior gown from her youth, but the trip turns into something much more than Lucille bargained for.  I really enjoyed this book!  Paris is always a wonderful setting, and I was so drawn into Alice's story.  I loved seeing the way she blossomed with Antoine and how taken he was with her.  Her closetful of Dior dresses sounded so glamorous, and I found myself Googling images of the dresses.  I wasn't as crazy about Lucille; she sounded a little innocent and clueless at times, but I liked her journey to find her grandmother's dress.  That there was such history and such memories behind the items of clothing was really interesting.  Of course, family secrets abound, but the story unfolds nicely, if not a little predictably.  4 stars

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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Once Upon A December

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Amy E. Reichert
Expected publication date: October 4, 2022
A one-of-a-kind Christmas market offers holiday magic in the new romance from the author of The Kindred Spirits Supper Club.

With a name like Astra Noel Snow, holiday spirit isn't just a seasonal specialty--it's a way of life. But after a stinging divorce, Astra's yearly trip to the Milwaukee Christmas market takes on a whole new meaning. She's ready to eat, drink, and be merry, especially with the handsome stranger who saves the best kringle for her at his family bakery.

For Jack Clausen, the Julemarked with its snowy lights and charming shops stays the same, while the world outside the joyful street changes, magically leaping from one December to the next every four weeks. He's never minded living this charmed existence until Astra shows him the life he's been missing outside of the festive red brick alley.

After a swoon-worthy series of dates, some Yuletide magic, and the unexpected glow of new love, Astra and Jack must decide whether this relationship can weather all seasons, or if what they're feeling is as ephemeral as marshmallows in a mug of hot cocoa. - from Goodreads


Monday, August 8, 2022

Guest Blogger: Book Bonanza 2022

Today, my sister Michele is back to talk about a recent bookish event she attended, Book Bonanza 2022!


When Book Bonanza 2021 was cancelled due to Covid, the organizers instead held a raffle to raise money for the chosen charities. One of the prizes up for grabs was two tickets to Book Bonanza 2022 and since these tickets are apparently harder to get than Super Bowl tickets, you can imagine my shock when I actually won them!  For a weekend this past July, over 2,000 book lovers descended on Dallas, TX for the book signing and it was the most incredible event.

The Gaylord Texan


Held at the Gaylord Texan (which is itself a destination), Book Bonanza is the brainchild of author Colleen Hoover.  This year was the biggest event they have held so far, with well over 100 authors.   Thursday was registration for the event as well as the opening festivities.  Also held Thursday night was the Smartypants Romance party, hosted by author Penny Reid. This was such a fun event with author interviews, meet and greets, and photos with Penny herself.

Friday and Saturday both started with a few hours of author panels, with topics ranging from Small Town Romance and Writing During Covid to Meet the Narrators and Adaptations of Books to Film.   These were all very interesting and another way to interact with the authors.  The afternoons were then each devoted to a 5 hour signing block.  Despite there being almost 2,000 attendees, the signings actually went incredibly smoothly and lines were not nearly as bad as I worried they would be.  I got to meet every author and narrator on my list. My hubby was a great sport, standing in every line with me, taking all the photos and carrying all my swag.

So lucky to have met:

Penny Reid

Melanie Harlow

Adriana Locke

April White

Chris Brinkley (narrator)

Piper Sheldon

Catherine Cowles

Heidi Hutchinson

Staci Hart

KA Tucker

Emma Lee Jayne

Juliette Cross

Karla Sorenson

Susannah Nix

Nora Everly

Devney Perry

Emma Scott

Aly Stiles

Jiffy Kate

Rebecca Yarros

Helena Hunting

Sarina Bowen

Elle Kennedy

Penny Reid

KA Tucker

Staci Hart

I am so grateful I had the opportunity to take part in such a wonderful event – it was so incredible to be surrounded by so many book lovers and the authors were so enthusiastic, gracious, and friendly!

Have you ever been to Book Bonanza or another book signing? Who is your dream author to meet?

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Can't-Wait Wednesday: All I Want For Christmas

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Maggie Knox
Expected publication date: October 4, 2022
True love wasn't on their holiday wish list.

When Sadie and Max are selected as contestants on the famed reality singing show Starmaker, each thinks they've finally gotten their big Nashville break. But then they're paired up for duet week and stun the world with their romantic onstage chemistry. With fans going wild for #Saxie the network demands that they remain a duo on and offstage, or exit the competition. Faking a relationship until their final performance in the Starmaker holiday special shouldn't be too hard, except for one small problem--Sadie and Max can't stand each other.

But with their dreams just within reach, they agree to the ruse. Will their fake relationship be exposed before they can win? Or will an unexpected trip to Banff spark real feelings by the Christmas finale? - from Goodreads


Monday, August 1, 2022

Month in Review: July 2022

July was a pretty fun month!  We had some family over for the 4th of July and everyone had a good time.  Tom and I went to see Thor: Love and Thunder, and we enjoyed it!  A little scattered, but I love me some Chris Hemsworth.  Two of my aunts that live out of state came to New Jersey, so my dad had a get-together at his house.  I was so happy that they got to meet Henry for the first time.  One of the ladies I work with is having a baby in September, so the firm hosted a shower for her, which meant I went to the office for the first time in about 11 months - crazy!  The shower was fun and I got to meet a few new staff members who started recently.

Obligatory Henry update:  He's doing great!  He got over the illness he had at the end of last month, but he has sniffles that come and go.  Our pediatrician told us that it's not uncommon for babies who are in daycare to get sick almost every two weeks, which seems crazy but true at this point.  It's good, though, that he's around other people and building up his immune system.  He has basically mastered sitting up and now we're working on kneeling.  Two firsts this month: first time at a restaurant and first tooth coming in!

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