Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Summer My Life Began

From the Publisher:
A fabulous romance with a very unexpected guy . . . The opportunity to explore her love of cooking . . . The freedom to be whomever she wants . . .

This is what seventeen-year-old Em gets when she goes to spend a month at her aunt’s island resort. It’s a dream come true—and exactly the break Em needed from her strict family and their high expectations of her.
But when Em uncovers a long-buried secret about her family, everything changes. And suddenly, Em finds herself making some big choices about her future—choices she never dreamed she’d have the chance to make . . .

What I thought:

Yes, another "coming of age" story that I have recently read.  And, yes, I loved it!  I originally requested this book from NetGalley.com and was then contacted by JKS Communications to participate in their book tour for "The Summery My Life Began."  

I requested this book because:  1) I wanted to read a summery-book; 2) the cover is pretty catching; 3) it is set in the idyllic Outer Banks (one of my favorite places!) and 4) giving an author I've never heard of, let alone read before, a spin.

It was definitely worth it!  The characters are well developed and easy to relate to.  I was unsure at first what was going on with the main character, Em.  Truthfully, I wasn't sure that I would be able to relate to the rich kid, life laid out for her kind of existence that she had.

When she set off for the summer in order to meet an aunt that she never even knew she had - who knew the fun she'd have, the secrets she'd uncover and the ability to find and be herself - not who everyone else wanted her to be.

The scenery is beautiful.  I could totally picture everything in my head.  It made me want to have a room at their bed and breakfast at the beach!

The Summer My Life Began is a wonderful book for any age group from teenagers through centenarians!  Who doesn't love a great book of  teen and family angst and love set at the beach?  This story will fill you with hope, inspiration and goodness.  It was a great, easy read!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thankful Thursday - May Edition

This title pretty much sums it up.  I'm thankful.  Period. 

I'm thankful that we're able to take the family to Disney this year for Thanksgiving.  I'm thankful that this morning, on my 180 day mark (you Disney peeps know what I'm talking about) I was able to get all of the advance dining reservations on my wish list.  I'm thankful that the kids are healthy and happy in our new home.  I'm thankful, although it's a lot of work, the construction progress outside of the new home is coming along.  Thankful that we've got nice neighbors and loads of little kids.  Thankful for the drama free environment (wait - insert my kids here -- we brought the drama? lol) of the neighborhood.  Thankful for my varsity swim coach at school who is going to teach the Piper to swim this summer and give refresher courses to the other two.  Thankful for our son making the District select baseball team for summer play this year.  Thankful for our gymnastics coach who wants to work with Twink through some of her fears of tumbling passes which include back handspring, back tuck combos.  Thankful for the summer golf league which keeps hubs happy on Wednesday nights.  Thankful that author Heather Muzik wants to give away her chick flick 2 Days books soon!  Thankful that people on Etsy make diapers for dogs.  Thankful that my mom was able to stay at our house for a long weekend while we escaped to Disney for our anniversary.  Thankful that it is almost time to make our annual trek to the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Thankful that the hubs loves me even though I am overwhelmed and crabby by the time he gets home from work. 

Like I said before:  Thankful.  Just thankful. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Give Away

Happy Mother's Day!!  I know mine has been fabulous so far.  Slept in.  Twink brought me coffee upstairs ... I did have show her how to put Splenda and half/half in it.  :-)  A nice dnner at The Pub - our own Mother's Day tradition and now we're just relaxing at home. 

One of my favorite authors, Heather Muzik, is celebrating this Mother's Day too ... I'm sure she is celebrating with her two sons and family but she is also celebrating the re-release of Celia's Journey both in paperback and for Kindle!  Celia's is back with a redesigned cover and a price that is easier on your wallet. For the full review of Celia's, head over to my original review from December, 2010.

Speaking of easier on your wallet, how does FREE sound?  Heather is graciously offering an autographed copy of Celia's Journey to one lucky reader in honor of Mother's Day!  There are many, many ways to gain entries to the contest!!!  The contest is open now and will run through next Sunday.  The winner will be drawn using random.org.  All winners will be verified and have 48 hours to respond.

Ready?  Set?   GO!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Baroness by Susan May Warren

As you guessed from my last post about the Baroness Roaring Twenties Kindle Fire give away, I received a review copy of Baroness by Susan May Warren to review. Unlike my last two reviews, this one I am happy about. (Really, who loves to give a less than stellar review?) This is the second book in the Daughters of Fortune series but the first one I have had a chance to read and review. I must say it is an excellent stand alone book! I am sure if I have the chance, I will go back to read Heiress as it will give me even more insight to the characters that had a smaller role in this book and how they developed. Baroness is set in Paris, New York City and Montana in the "roaring twenties" (which I don't know much about.) I loved reading about the settings --- about how excited people were about air planes, motor cars, blimps, prohibition, smoking, baseball ... my list could go on and on. Yet, at the heart of the matter are two girls - rich girls, I might add - who are coming of age in this time. Finding themselves, finding love - and bittersweet heartache - trying to get away from their past and finding the true meaning of family. It was an excellent read! I have already highly recommended it to a few of my colleagues (who may find it out of their genre but that is how much I loved it!) You can pick up your own copy of Baroness by Susan May Warren wherever books are sold: Amazon, Barnes and Noble included as this is available for Kindle and Nook as well. Speaking of Kindle - you have until May 7th to enter to win a Kindle Fire from Susan May Warren. Check out the sidebar button at the top of my blog to take you to the entering points. Good luck - everyone needs a Kindle Fire, just ask Piper!! DISCLAIMER:  This book was provided to me on behalf of the publisher by Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.  I received no compensation for this review. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Roaring 20's Give Away #Baroness by Susan May Warren

Baroness by Susan May Warren -- come back on Saturday, 5/5/12 to see what I thought of this book!   

Lilly and Rose, daughters of an empire coming of age in the roaring twenties, can have anything they want ... except freedom.

  Expected to marry well and to take the reins of the empire, they have their lives planned out for them. But, Lily, Esme's daughter longs to return home to Montana, to adventure outside the confines of New York City. And Jinx's daughter Rosie dreams of the bright lights of the newly emerging silver screen. But following their dreams - from avant garde France, to Broadway, to the skies in the world of barnstormers and wing-walkers will take all their courage.
  And if they find love, will they choose freedom or happily ever after?

Celebrate with Susan May Warren by entering her Roaring 20's Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Signed copies of Baroness and Heiress by Susan May Warren
Hurry, the giveaway ends on 5/7/12. The winner will be announced on 5/9/12 on Susan’s blog, Scribbles
Just click one of the icons below to enter. Tell your friends about Susan's giveaway on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

See what all the hype is about --- check out what other reviewers have to say HERE.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Callahan Wedding by Tina Leonard

From the Publisher:
 “Holy Smokes. I’m A Father.”
Sabrina McKinley broke Jonas’s heart when she left him for another man. Then the eldest Callahan brother gets the surprise of his life when he sees her again…holding his son. Even at six months, his bouncing baby boy was wearing the legendary Callahan smile Which means Sabrina has got to marry him, even if Jonas has to drag her to the altar.
Sabrina’s been head over heels for the hunky cowboy doctor since the day she first came to Rancho Diablo; it’s always been Jonas keeping her at arm’s length. She won’t settle for anything less than the real deal—the love and happiness that Jonas’s five brothers have found. But when a revelation about a family secret comes out, Sabrina can see Jonas is ready to look toward the future. He won’t be the last bachelor on the ranch. After all, he’s a Callahan!

What I thought:

Not my favorite read of the year.  I was optimistic upon starting the book and still think maybe if I would have read all of the other Callahan brother books, I might have enjoyed this one a little more.  I think the author sold herself short in this book ... there were places the book just made no sense to me at all.  I found myself thinking I had an easy, fun filled romance to read last week.  I found myself putting it down more than I picked it up just because I didn't "feel it" with this book.

If reviews slow down this summer, maybe I will give one of the previous Callahan books a spin.  I really wanted to like this book - maybe I will like another by this author.

This book released on 5/1/12.  You can get it for Kindle, Nook and in paperback from both Amazon and barnesandnoble.com.

DISCLAIMER:  This book was provided to me on behalf of the publisher by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.  I received no compensation for this review. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The River Witch by Kimberly Brock

From the Publisher:

Can the river heal her?
Roslyn Byrne is twenty-four years old, broken in body, heart and soul. Her career as a professional ballet dancer ended with a car wreck and a miscarriage, leaving her lost and grieving. She needs a new path, but she doesn't have the least idea how or where to start. With some shoving from her very Southern mama, she immures herself for the summer on
Manny's Island, Georgia, one of the Sea Isles, to recover.

There Roslyn finds a ten-year-old girl, Damascus, who brings alligators, pumpkins and hoodoo into her sorry life.

Roslyn rents a house from Damascus's family, the Trezevants, a strange bunch. One of the cousins, Nonnie, who works in the family's market, sees things Roslyn is pretty sure she shouldn't, and knows things regular people don't. Between the Trezevant secrets and Damascus's blatant snooping and meddling, Roslyn finds herself caught in a mysterious stew of the past and present, the music of the river, the dead and the dying who haunt the riverbank, and a passion for living her new life.

What I thought:

I'd give 3 out of 5 stars.  The River Witch is another book in which I was drawn into the story by the author.  I did find myself rereading certain sections to see if I had skipped over important details of the story because I kind of felt that there was something missing.  There were scenes in which I got teary eyed.  It was definitely a touching story of growing and moving on, as well as connecting with the past.  I was surprised with the ending ~~ as I think most will be!

You can get your copy of the River Witch for your Kindle, Nook or in paperback from Amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

DISCLAIMER:  This book was provided to me on behalf of the publisher by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.  I received no compensation for this review.