Saturday, July 23, 2016

Emily Giffin on Tour in Toronto!

First of all, I know that it has been a while since I last posted, and I'm sorry. I have no excuse except that time for myself (ie. reading and blogging, LOL), seems to come last after kids, work, the dog, cleaning the house, and time with the hubby. Since it's the summer I spend as little time indoors as possible anyways. We are lucky enough to live within 20 minutes of a beautiful beach (I LOVE Southern Ontario!) so I head there with the boys as much as I can. Long story short, I've been doing far more reading than reviewing!

This week I had the pleasure of heading to a Chapters just outside of Toronto to attend a book signing with the immensely gracious Emily Giffin. Authors are my rock stars, and this is the second signing of hers that I have attended. The event was very well organized and even though there were about 200 people in attendance, it went so smoothly. Even though there was a wait (almost 2 hours) to meet her and have my picture taken with her and have her sign my books, she was so sweet and patient with everyone. She laughed about trying to pronounce my name before signing my copies of First Comes Love and Something Blue. She also confirmed that a Something Blue movie is definitely happening! I'm so excited!

Emily's lovely daughter Harriet was there as well. She was so well behaved despite their jam-packed tour schedule while they were here in Toronto, and she even decorated some lovely bookmarks for those of us lucky enough to get one! Topping off the whole experience was the fact that Emily replied to one of the Instagram pictures that I posted from the tour. EEK! I can't wait to see her when she comes back again in two years!







Friday, June 3, 2016

Blog Tour: THE TURNING POINT by Freya North

The Turning Point cover

About The Turning Point

• Paperback: 480 pages
• Publisher: Harper (May 3, 2016)

"Rich, romantic, beautifully drawn and utterly compelling" Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author

Life is short. Sometimes you have to take a chance…

Two single parents, Scott and Frankie, meet by chance.

Their homes are thousands of miles apart: Frankie lives somewhat chaotically with her children on the shoreline of North Norfolk, while Scott's life is in the mountains of British Columbia. Distance divides them – but it seems that a million little things connect them. A spark ignites, one so strong that it dares them to take a risk.

But fate has one more trick in store… There are some truths about life and family we only learn when we grow up. There are some we never thought we'd have to.

My Review:

Watch this space! I will be reviewing THE TURNING POINT soon!

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Photo credit Angus Muir
Photo credit Angus Muir

About Freya North

Freya North is the author of many bestselling novels which have been translated into numerous languages. She was born in London but lives in rural Hertfordshire, where she writes from a stable in her back garden. A passionate reader since childhood, Freya was originally inspired by Mary Wesley, Rose Tremain and Barbara Trapido: fiction with strong and original characters. To hear about events, competitions and what she’s writing, join her on Facebook, Twitter and her website.


Monday, May 30, 2016

THE RIGHT DESIGN by Isabella Louise Anderson Blog Tour



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Get it while it's just 99 pennies!! For a limited time, you can get your copy of The Right Design for just 99 cents from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

***The 99 cent sale***
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Interior designer Carrie Newman could not have envisioned a more perfect life for herself. She had a great job doing what she loved, wonderful friends, and a close relationship with her sister and brother-in-law. Add in an amazing man who she’d hoped would soon become her husband, and her life was perfect. Until one devastating decision ruins her relationship and changes the course of her life.

Determined to make a new start, Carrie leaves Texas and heads to Palm Beach to pick up the pieces of her shattered and broken life. The last thing she expects is to find herself attracted to her first client at her new job—Brad Larson, who has proven himself time and time again to be cad.

But there’s something beneath the surface of Brad’s arrogant exterior that keeps her craving more of him—something almost sweet that Carrie can’t seem to resist. Is Carrie ready to take another chance on romance? And will this new design of her life prove to be the right one…?

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excerpt

“Carrie Newman?” he asked in an über-sexy Australian accent. Her toes curled at the sound of his voice. He reached out his hand and said, “I’m Oliver. Jane sent me over to help you unpack your boxes.”

Whether it was the Florida sun or the handsome man who stood in front of her that hit her like a heat wave, she blinked a few times more, and shook his masculine hand. “Thank you for coming, but I can manage. There are only a few of them anyway.” She pointed to her tightly packed car.

“I don’t mind.” Oliver smiled and clasped his hands, his voice sounding eager and more than ready to help.

I certainly could use your help in more ways than one, she thought to herself, calculating that it had been quite a while since she’d last had sex, which was way too long in her opinion. Shaking naughty thoughts away, Carrie regained her composure. “Thank you. I’d certainly appreciate your assistance.” She turned toward her car and pressed the unlock button, and then he took the lead. Between telling him which room to put the boxes in and passing one another between entranceways, Carrie tried to ignore Oliver’s flirtatious smile and the dimples indented in his cheeks. Finally, they unpacked the last two boxes from the car, leading them to meet in the kitchen.

“Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“No, but thank you for coming.” She observed sweat beading the sides of his forehead. “Can I get you some water? I think I have another bottle in the cooler.” She pointed to the cooler Sara had packed for her.

He wiped the sweat off with his forearm. “No, I’m okay. Thanks, though.”

“Okay.” She looked around her kitchen and awkward silence filled the room.

“Would you like to come to Nick & Johnnie’s tonight? I’m working as a bartender there, and I’d love to buy you a drink.”

Carrie blushed and bowed her head. “I’d love to, but I’m kind of tired,” she lied as his face turned somber. “But maybe soon,” she added, giving him a polite grin.

Oliver beamed. “Wonderful! I look forward to seeing you again.” With one last glance in her direction, he reached into his wallet, pulled out a card, and handed it to her. “Call me if you need anything else. I work full time for Moving Waves, but call anytime—even if you need a handyman—I do it all.”

She wanted to say, “I’m sure you do,” but kept quiet. Shaking her head once again at the dirty thoughts that swam back into her mind, she took his card and smiled at him. “You’ll be hearing from me if I need anything.” She followed him out the door and watched him get into the truck.

“Goodbye,” he said after rolling down the window. “Bye,” Carrie said quietly as she waved her hand in the warm air.

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Isabella Louise Anderson grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. Isabella lives in Dallas with her husband. Her short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig's Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel.
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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Check Out My New Blog!

I've started a new blog called THE CURVY GRRL BLOG that is about making peace with my curvy body and (hopefully! eventually!) learning to love myself! It's part weight-loss blog (many of the things that I do to my body are quite destructive and not things that I would do to someone that I love) and partially my journey to self-love and acceptance. If you would like to check it out, here are the links!

The Curvy Grrl Blog: http://curvygrrl.blogspot.ca/

The Curvy Grrl Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/curvygrrl/

Thursday, May 26, 2016

DON'T YOU CRY by Mary Kubica

Synopsis:

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she's the person Quinn thought she knew. 

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.  

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl's spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

My Thoughts:

Ever since I read THE GOOD GIRL (and I only did so because people would not stop raving about it!), I have been hooked on both psychological thrillers and Mary Kubica. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read DON'T YOU CRY ahead of publication and I couldn't wait to read what she had come up with this time. I deliberately did not read the synopsis ahead of time. I wanted to be surprised at every twist and turn! There is something to be said for reading this way (reading with absolutely no prior knowledge of the book). I found myself shocked and surprised, and Kubica kept me guessing until the very end.

There were both things that I did like and things that I didn't like about DON'T YOU CRY. I love how Kubica wrote the parts of the book that were told from Esther's roommate Quinn's perspective. These chapters kept me on my toes, and painted such an interesting portrait of Esther. While Quinn's initial thoughts were that Esther was a great person who would never hurt or betray Quinn, she changed her tune as the book went on. Artfully done! I didn't know which version of Esther I believed in more. The parts of the book told from Alex's perspective were less interesting. I found those sections slow-moving, and they did not further the overall plot as much as I would have liked. I loved the conclusion, and how Kubica built up the suspense until the very end.

Even though THE GOOD GIRL remains my favourite novel by Mary Kubica, I loved DON'T YOU CRY as well and would recommend it as a great read to anyone who enjoys suspense novels or psychological thrillers. It is well worth adding this one to your beach bag this summer but pack the sunscreen- you won't want to leave the beach until the last riveting page has been read.

My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Review: SECONDHAND SOULS by Christopher Moore



Secondhand Souls cover

About Secondhand Souls

• Paperback: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 10, 2016)

In San Francisco, the souls of the dead are mysteriously disappearing—and you know that can't be good—in this delightfully weird and funny sequel to the New York Times bestseller A Dirty Job.

It seems like only yesterday that Charlie Asher took on a very dirty job—collecting souls and keeping the Forces of Darkness at bay. The new gig came with the Big Book of the Dead and a host of other oddities: creatures under the streets, an evil trinity of ravenlike Celtic death goddesses, and one very bad Underworld dude attempting to conquer humanity. Along with a cohort of other oddballs, Charlie faced off against these denizens of darkness—and met his own end. But thanks to Audrey, his Buddhist-nun boo, his soul is still alive . . . inside a fourteen-inch-high body made from lunch meat and spare animal parts. Waiting for Audrey to find him a suitable new body to play host, Charlie has squirreled himself away from everyone, including his adorable seven-year-old daughter, Sophie, who enjoys dressing up like a princess, playing with her glitter ponies, and—being the Luminatus—spouting off about her power over the Underworld and her dominion over Death. 

Just when Charlie and company thought the world was safe, some really freaky stuff hits San Francisco. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone—or something—is stealing them and no one knows where they are going, or why, but it has something to do with that big orange bridge. Then there's the Taser-wielding banshee keening about doom who's suddenly appeared while Sophie's guardian hellhounds, Alvin and Mohammed, have mysteriously vanished. Charlie is just as flummoxed as everyone else. To get to the bottom of this abomination, he and a motley crew of heroes will band together: the seven-foot-tall, two-hundred-and-seventy-five-pounds-of-lean-heartache Death Merchant Minty Fresh; the retired policeman-turned-bookseller Alphonse Rivera; the lunatic Emperor of San Francisco and his dogs, Bummer and Lazarus; Mike Sullivan, a bridge painter in love with a ghost; a gentle French-speaking janitor named Jean-Pierre Baptiste; and former Goth girl Lily Darquewillow Elventhing Severo, now a part-time suicide hotline counselor. With little Sophie babbling about the coming battle for the very soul of humankind, time is definitely not on their side. . . . Irresistibly zany, rich in humor, heart, and spirit, Secondhand Souls is vintage Christopher Moore.

My Review:

A Dirty Job was the first book that I read by Christopher Moore, and it was the book that made me fall in love with this talented author. Despite the fact that I've read several other books that he has written since then, A Dirty Job holds a special place in my heart. I was thrilled to discover that he had come out with a sequel, and I read it from the first page to the last in nearly a single sitting. It is that good!

I loved revisiting characters from the previous book, and I enjoyed getting to know some new ones. The humour is unrivaled, and the wackiness of the plot and characters will keep the reader both laughing and guessing. The ending was unexpected and satisfying. I would recommend reading A Dirty Job before reading Secondhand Souls, but I would hazard to say that it is not absolutely necessary to enjoy this book without reading the other one first.

Moore is a truly unique author with something fresh and different to bring to the table. No matter what he writes, he keeps me guessing. I can only hope that he will bring these characters to life once more with a third installment to this series! My thanks to TLC book tours for inviting me along on this tour.

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Christopher Moore photo by Charlee MooreAbout Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore is the author of fourteen previous novels, including Lamb, The Stupidest Angel, Fool, Sacré Bleu, A Dirty Job, and The Serpent of Venice. Find out more about Christopher at his website, connect with him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

THE YEAR WE TURNED FORTY by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

From the Publisher's Website:

If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also get the opportunity to change their future.

Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he's getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.


Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.


Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two year old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she's recently gotten engaged, with the two carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.


But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…

My Review:

I always look forward to Liz and Lisa's latest release- no matter what they write it goes immediately on my wish list as soon as I learn about it. Although time travel and re-living your past is a theme that I've read before I was looking forward to seeing how Liz and Lisa would add their unique twist to it, and I wasn't disappointed!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book about three women who are given the chance to re-live their past in order to make (hopefully) better decisions. What I especially enjoyed is the fact that I had no idea what the ending would be! Predictable endings certainly have their place ( I enjoy a good predictable ending now and again!) but sometimes it's nice to not know what is going to happen, and I can truly say that I didn't know what would happen this time until it actually happened. It was nice to be left guessing!

Complex and well-written, The Year We Turned Forty is a worthy addition to your beach bag for this summer (if you can wait that long to read it!). My favourite author duo has done it again- creating a story so seamless that you will be amazed that it was written by two authors instead of one. At times the story had me laughing, other times it saddened me, and at the end it kept me guessing. I enjoyed it and I can't wait to see what these authors come out with next!

My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest review.