Top Ten Tuesday: January 14th #bookish #MomsWhoRead #books #ReadMe #TTT

It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for another TTT courtesy of That Artsy Reader Girl! This week’s topic is…

Bookish Discoveries I Made In 2019

I had to ponder this one for a little bit…a few I thought I discovered last year, but really it was in 2018.  I didn’t really ramp up my reading game until 2019 so…I think I’m going to include them anyway!!

 

Netgalley

Netgalley.  Oh boy…this site gets me in TROUBLE.  I have vowed to read and review ALL the books I have from 2019 before I request a single book this year…will I be able to do it?  Who knows…if I got off here and on my Kindle, maybe!  If you are unsure what Netgalley is, it is a site where you can get your hands on advance copies of books in exchange for leaving for honest review.  It is pretty neat!  Just watch how many books you request, they stack up quick!

 

Wordpress.png

WordPress.  Now, wait a minute.  I started to blog on WordPress in 2018 on my friend’s site Book In The Bag.  It was in 2019 I decided to start *MY* blog and when I did that, I discovered the world of book bloggers and well…you all keep my TBR list stacked.  Haha.  It is crazy how HUGE the book blogging world is and that has spread across ALL of my social media!!  Thank YOU for showing me the light!  😉

 

FirstReads

Amazon First Reads.  Who knew how much EXTRA a Prime membership could get you as a reader?!  One free book every month (this month we get TWO) AND our own special library!!  It doesn’t get better than that!  What awesome perks!

 

I’m a little boring with this…that’s pretty much all I can think of.  I am sure when I go through and read all of your Top Tuesday posts I’ll be like OOOOOOO YEAH and duuuuuuuuuuh.  I can’t wait to read all of yours!  What bookish things did you discover last year?  Happy Tuesday!

Book Review: What Happens In Paradise @elinhilderbrand @littlebrown #Mystery #Trilogy #Islands #MomsWhoRead #Romance #Cliffhanger

I have had this book since the day it was released…seriously…that was October 2019.  I will say though, it has jump started my year reading FOR SURE!

WhatHappensInParadise

Here’s what kinda cool about this book…you COULD read this as a standalone.  COULD.  I don’t know what kind of monster would, but you could.  **This is book two in her Paradise trilogy. See my review for Winter In Paradise here.** Hilderbrand starts this book off nicely (too nicely, I had unanswered questions from the last book that took a few pages to get answered!!!) and gives you enough background on the characters so if you didn’t read Winter In Paradise you wouldn’t be completely lost.  How thoughtful of her.

Then she leaves us on another insane cliffhanger…the anticipation for October 2020 is KILLING me.  The second half of the book she just builds and builds and builds and then BAM…I will have to wait until the 3rd and final book in this trilogy to find my resolve.  Another plus for this book, it’s a quick read.  Very fast paced.  Easy to follow.  Fun.

I honestly am falling in love with the island and with the Steele family.  I honestly am hoping they can all find happiness in what has been their crazy life.  Quick backstory, they found out their father/husband was living a double life and had a whole different life down on the island.  We’re talking mistress and child.  Yeah.  The kicker is, no one really knew what he was doing with his job and now the FBI is involved and woooo weeee.  It is a wild ride.  Now we even get to read the diary the mistress had written…I’m telling you, this is addicting stuff.

5 stars because I love being tortured apparently, haha.  It is no secret I love Elin Hilderbrand and seriously, this trilogy is life.  What makes it more fun is there’s a group of us at work who were just given then first book to read and we had no clue it was a 3 book read…so we’re all tortured together.  And in case you’re dying to know, as soon as I can, I will have book 3 pre-ordered 😉 and maybe even schedule a “doctor appointment” on that day so I can stay home from work and just READ!

Details

Title: What Happens In Paradise

Author: Elin Hilderband

Genre(s): Fiction, Romance, Chick Lit, Mystery

Publisher: Little, Brown and Co

Release Date: October 8, 2019

Find it here on Goodreads

Book Review: Christmas In Winter Hill @AuthorCarlson @RevellBooks #Christmas #MomsWhoRead #HolidayReads

I took advice from Literary Elephant and read a book that I wanted to read…I pushed aside everything I was in the middle of and picked up this book that well, ended up being a few days overdue back to my library (sorry patron who had this on hold!!!!). 

ChristmasInWinterHill

This was such a CUTE read.  A mother and her daughter move to a new town in a new state to try and start a fresh life.  Going from the Arizona desert to the Washington snow is a huge change and thankfully the daughter is loving the prospect of snow!  Things aren’t going so great for Krista, the mom, who finds out her new town is obsessed with Christmas…a time she tries to avoid.

Not only is she thrown in to this small town who goes crazy for Christmas, her new apartment is small and dingy, she has no car and has to find time to buy one, and she may have to be the Grinch as the new city manager and squash some of the Christmas celebrations.

Krista is also single…and meets a single dad…will romance bloom?  Will she end up being the Grinch?  Will she be run out of town?  My only question…when is Hallmark going to turn this in to a holiday movie?!?!?  LOVED it!!!!  It is everything and more I want in a holiday read!  It was quick and I loved everything!  Truly, Krista’s daughter makes this book everything it is…that sweet, sweet girl!

5 stars because I can and because I love Christmas books.  Honestly, if you love watching Hallmark Christmas movies you will agree with me and LOVE this book.  Who knows…maybe Krista will even end up looking forward to Christmas!  Oh oh oh you’ll just have to read to find out!!

Details

Title: Christmas In Winter Hill

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre(s): Fiction, Romance, Chick Lit, Christmas

Publisher: Revell Books

Release Date: September 3, 2019

Find it here on Goodreads

Blog Tour: A Wedding In December @SarahMorgan_ @HarlequinBooks #Holiday #Romance #Winter #MomsWhoRead

Welcome to my stop on the Holiday Blog Tour for Harlequin Books! I am very pleased to bring you today…A Wedding In December by Sarah Morgan!!!
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SarahMorgan.jpgAbout the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy, contemporary romance and women’s fiction, and her trademark humor and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as “a magician with words” by RT Book Reviews, she has sold more than eleven million copies of her books. She was nominated three years in  succession for the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award three times: once in 2012 for Doukakis’s Apprentice, in 2013 for A Night of No Return and in 2017 for Miracle on 5 th Avenue. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their Top Pick slot. As a child, Sarah dreamed of being a writer, and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream. Sarah lives near London, England, with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing, she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.
About the Book:

This funny, charming and heartwarming new Christmas novel is USA TODAY bestselling
author Sarah Morgan at her festive best!

In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s
whirlwind Christmas wedding. First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret of their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.
Rosie’s older sister, Katie, is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself! If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…
Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiancé but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived—how can she tell them she’s not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget!

Thank you Harlequin for this awesome opportunity!!! Guys…I loved this book SO much, I’m going to do something I rarely do…I’m giving you an excerpt from this one…it hooked me in and had me turning page after page, I couldn’t put it down!!  So pardon the length of this blog today, but you’ll thank me after you take a peek!! ENJOY!

 

From Chapter One
 Maggie

When her phone rang at three in the morning, ripping her from a desperately needed sleep, Maggie’s first thought was bad news.

Her mind raced through the possibilities, starting with the worst-case scenario. Death, or at least life-changing injury. Police. Ambulances.

Heart pounding, brain foggy, she grabbed her phone from the summit of her teetering pile of books. The name on the screen offered no reassurance.

Trouble stalked her youngest daughter.

“Rosie?” She fumbled for the light and sat up. The book she’d fallen asleep reading thudded to the floor, scattering the pile of Christmas cards she’d started to write the night before. She’d chosen a winter scene of snow-laden trees. They hadn’t had a flake of snow in the village on Christmas Day for close to a decade. They often joked that it was a good thing their last name was White because it was the only way they were ever going to have a White Christmas.

She snuggled under the blanket with the phone. “Has something happened?” The physical distance between her and Rosie made her feel frustrated and helpless.

Everyone said global travel made the world smaller, but it didn’t seem smaller to Maggie. Why couldn’t her daughter have continued her studies closer to home? Oxford, with its famous spires and ancient colleges, was only a few miles away. Rosie had done her undergraduate degree there, followed by a master’s. Maggie had loved having her close by. They’d taken sunlit strolls along cobbled streets, past ancient honey-colored buildings and through Christchurch Meadows, golden with daffodils. They’d followed the slow meander of the river and cheered on the rowing crews. Maggie had hoped, privately, that her daughter might stay close by, but after Rosie had graduated she’d been offered a place in a US doctoral program, complete with full funding.

Can you believe it, Mum? The day she’d had the news she’d danced across the living room, hair flying around her face, twirling until she was dizzy and Maggie was dizzy watching her. Are you proud of me?

Maggie had been proud and dismayed in equal measure, although she’d hidden the dismayed part of course. That was what you did when you were a parent.

Even she could see it was too good an opportunity to turn down, but still a small part of her had wished Rosie had turned it down. That transatlantic flight from the nest left Maggie with email, Skype and social media, none of which felt entirely satisfactory. Even less so in the middle of the night. Had Rosie only been gone for four months? It felt like a lifetime since they’d delivered her to the airport on that sweltering summer’s day.

“Is it your asthma? Are you in hospital?” What could she do if Rosie was in the hospital? Nothing. Anxiety was a constant companion, never more so than now.

If it had been her eldest daughter, Katie, who had moved to a different country she might have felt more relaxed. Katie was reliable and sensible, but Rosie? Rosie had always been impulsive and adventurous.

“I’m not in hospital. Don’t fuss!”

Only now did Maggie hear the noise in the background. Cheering, whooping.

“Do you have your inhaler with you? You sound breathless.” The sound woke the memories. Rosie, eyes bulging, lips stained blue. The whistling sound as air struggled to squeeze through narrowed airways. Maggie making emergency calls with hands that shook almost too hard to hold the phone, the terror raw and brutal although she kept that hidden from her child. Calm, she’d learned, was important even if it was faked.

Even when Rosie had moved from child to adult there had been no reprieve.

Some children grew out of asthma. Not Rosie.

There had been a couple of occasions when Rosie was in college when she’d gone to parties without her inhaler. A few hours of dancing later and she’d been rushed to the emergency department. That had been a 3:00 a.m. phone call, too, and Maggie had raced through the night to be by her side. Those were the episodes Maggie knew about. She was sure there were plenty more that Rosie had kept to herself.

“I’m breathless because I’m excited. I’m twenty-two, Mum. When are you going to stop worrying?”

“That would be never. Your child is always your child, no matter how many candles are on the birthday cake. Where are you?”

“I’m with Dan’s family in Aspen for Thanksgiving, and I have news.” She broke off and Maggie heard the clink of glasses and Rosie’s infectious laugh. It was impossible to hear that laugh and not want to smile, too. The sound contrasted with the silence of Maggie’s bedroom.

A waft of cold air chilled her skin and she stood up and grabbed her robe from the back of the chair. Honeysuckle Cottage looked idyllic from the outside, but it was impossibly drafty. The ventilation was a relief in August but froze you to the bone in November. She really needed to do something about the insulation before she even thought about selling the place. Historic charm, climbing roses and a view of the village green couldn’t compensate for frostbite.

Or maybe it wasn’t the house that was cold. Maybe it was her.

Knocked flat by a wave of sadness and she struggled to right herself.

“What’s happening? What news? It sounds like you’re having a party.”

“Dan proposed. Literally out of the blue. We were taking it in turns to say what we’re thankful for and when it was his turn he gave me a funny look and then he got down on one knee and—Mum, we’re getting married.”

Maggie sat down hard on the edge of the bed, the freezing air forgotten. “Married? But you and Dan have only been together for a few weeks—”

“Eleven weeks, four days, six hours and fifteen minutes—oh wait, now it’s sixteen, I mean seventeen—” She was laughing, and Maggie tried to laugh with her.

How should she handle this? “That’s not very long, sweetheart.” But completely in character for Rosie, who bounced from one impulse to another, powered by enthusiasm.

“It feels so right, I can’t even tell you. And you’ll understand because it was like that for you and Dad.”

Maggie stared at the damp patch on the wall.

Tell her the truth.

Her mouth moved but she couldn’t push the words out. This was the wrong time. She should have done it months ago, but she’d been too much of a coward.

And now it was too late. She didn’t want to be the slayer of happy moments.

She couldn’t even say you’re too young, because she’d been the same age when she’d had Katie. Which basically made her a hypocrite. Or did it make her someone with experience?

“You just started your postgrad—”

“I’m not giving it up. I can be married and study. Plenty do it.”

Maggie couldn’t argue with that. “I’m happy for you.” Did she sound happy? She tried harder. “Woohoo!”

She’d thought she’d white-knuckled her way through all the toughest parts of parenting, but it turned out there were still some surprises waiting for her. Rosie wasn’t a child anymore. She had to be allowed to make her own decisions. And her own mistakes.

Rosie was talking again. “I know it’s all a bit fast, but you’re going to love Dan as much as I do. You said you thought he was great when you spoke to him.”

But speaking to someone on a video call wasn’t the same as meeting them in person, was it?

Maggie swallowed down all the words of warning that rose up inside her. She was not going to turn into her own mother and send clouds to darken every bright moment. “He seemed charming, and I’m thrilled for you. If I don’t sound it, it’s because it’s the middle of the night here, and you know what I’m like when I’ve just woken up. When I saw your name pop up on the screen, I was worried it was your asthma.”

“Haven’t had an attack in ages. I’m sorry I woke you, but I wanted to share my news.”

“I’m glad you woke me. Tell me everything.” She closed her eyes and tried to pretend her daughter was in the room with her, and not thousands of miles away.

There was no reason to panic. It was an engagement, that was all. There was plenty of time for them to decide if this was the right thing for them. “We’ll have a big celebration when you and your sister are here for Christmas. Would Dan like to join us? I can’t wait to meet him. Maybe we’ll throw a party. Invite the Baxters, and all your friends from college and school.” Planning lifted Maggie’s mood. Christmas was her favorite time of year, the one occasion the whole family gathered together. Even Katie, with her busy life as a doctor, usually managed to beg and barter a few days at Christmas in exchange for covering the busy New Year shift. Maggie was looking forward to spending time with her. She had a niggling suspicion her eldest daughter was avoiding her. Every time Maggie suggested meeting up, Katie made an excuse, which was unlike her because she rarely refused a free lunch.

Christmas would give her a chance to dig a little deeper.

In her opinion, Oxford was the perfect place to spend the festive season. True, there was unlikely to be snow, but what was better than a postlunch walk listening to the peal of bells on a crisp, cold winter’s day?

It promised to be perfect, apart from one complication.

Nick.

Maggie still hadn’t figured out how she was going to handle that side of things.

Maybe an engagement was exactly what they needed to shift the focus of attention.

“Christmas is one of the things I need to talk to you about.” Rosie sounded hesitant. “I planned to come home, but since Dan proposed—well, we don’t see the point in waiting. We’ve chosen the day. We’re getting married on Christmas Eve.”

Maggie frowned. “You mean next year?”

“No, this year.”

She counted the days and her brain almost exploded. “You want to get married in less than four weeks? To a man you barely know?” Rosie had always been impulsive, but this wasn’t a soft toy that would be abandoned after a few days, or a dress that would turn out to be not quite the right color. Marriage wasn’t something that could be rectified with a refund. There was no reason for haste, unless—“Sweetie—”

“I know what you’re thinking, and it isn’t that. I’m not pregnant! We’re getting married because we’re in love. I adore him. I’ve never felt this way about anyone before.”

You barely know him.

Maggie shifted, uncomfortably aware that knowing someone well didn’t inoculate you against problems.

“I’m excited for you!” Turned out she could fake excitement as convincingly as she could fake calm. 
Excerpted from A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan. Copyright © 2019 by Sarah Morgan. Published by HQN Books.

Blog Tour: The Glittering Hour @Iona_Grey @StMartinsPress #BlogTour #HistoricalFiction #MomsWhoRead

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Glittering Hour, a historical British fiction read!  I’m going to change up my usual blog tour format and start with a little background on Iona Grey!
IonaGrey
About the Author:
IONA GREY is the author of the award winning Letters to the Lost. She has a degree in English Literature and Language from Manchester University, an obsession with history and an enduring fascination with the lives of women in the twentieth century. She lives in rural Cheshire with her husband and three daughters.
TheGlitteringHour
About the Book:
An unforgettable historical about true love found and lost and the secrets we keep from one another from an award-winning author

Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing. Her life is a whirl of parties and drinking, pursued by the press and staying on just the right side of scandal, all while running from the life her parents would choose for her.

Lawrence Weston is a penniless painter who stumbles into Selina’s orbit one night and can never let her go even while knowing someone of her stature could never end up with someone of his. Except Selina falls hard for Lawrence, envisioning a life of true happiness. But when tragedy strikes, Selina finds herself choosing what’s safe over what’s right.

Spanning two decades and a seismic shift in British history as World War II approaches, Iona Grey’s The Glittering Hour is an epic novel of passion, heartache and loss.

If you’re looking for a historical read that has a treasure hunt, drama, family secrets, and even more secrets, this is the read for you!  It is truly an emotionally strong read that some of you may need tissues for.  For someone like myself who isn’t the biggest fan of historical fiction, this was such a lovely tale it has left me a little empty since finishing.  It is out soon and will be available to buy at these places:
Thank you again to St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour!  Now everyone, get to reading!! 🙂

Hello! Where Did I Go? #blogging #reading #MIA

Well…I have mentioned it in previous posts that I have been out of work since July with a thumb injury.  I went back right at the end of October/beginning of November and things have been cr-a-zy.

As soon as I got back to work I was immediately behind. I was met with a wall of paperwork and a list of things that I *HOPE* I can get done before we go on Winter Break!!

Since I have been back at work…I have not read a single book. Not a one. I have numerous late fines for books from the library I thought I would read and nope. I have been working on How To Hack A Heartbreak and Anything For You for the past month. Not that they are bad…I’m in to them, I’m just so overwhelmed!!!!!

I’m also going to physical therapy two times a week so I don’t make it home until late and when I do get home, it’s time for dinner and I need some unwind time. I just need to find my mojo back. I thought I would get a little more done over this Thanksgiving break…but, I’m still not sure I will get back on track. I am going to TRY my best to write the SEVEN book reviews I’m behind on. Ugh. I just can’t believe how behind I am!

If you have any tips for how I can get my reading mojo back, I’m all ears. I think I’m going to forgo all my library books and work on the stacks I have at home. The library stacks staring at me aren’t helping. I have plenty to read in my physical library and Netgalley so…there isn’t a lack of books there! Hopefully I can get through that Elin Hilderbrand Winter Street series I said I would this season!!! I promise to be back in a more consistent manner soon!! I miss you all! *muah*

Blog Tour: Death Among Us @StephenBentley8 @Shalini_G26 #Murder #MurderMystery #BookWorm #MomsWhoRead #Anthology #ReadMe

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Welcome to my stop on the Death Among Us Blog Tour!!!! This was such a fun and unique book to read!
Ten authors made this anthology of murder mysteries.  I will admit, some I skipped over and some I read with such intensity.  It has a great mix for everyone who enjoys lovely, quick reads.  Keep in mind there is not as much detail involved because these are…SHORT stories…and they wrap up quickly.  If you don’t enjoy down to business reads, skip this one (but you’re crazy).
If you enjoy the nitty gritty, get right to the point, don’t drag it on mystery, pick this book up ASAP!  I will admit, I’m not huge into certain genres, like scifi, but it’s OK.  There’s a smorgasbord of fun still to be had!  This would be a great book to read with a friend and just enjoy the quick tales.  I honestly read this as I was reading multiple other books at once.  It was a great filler for me because of the super quick reads.  Sometimes short stories are well…long…these are not, finally…TRUE short stories!  Enough blabber from me…here’s more about the book!

Book Blurb
Who knew death could be so eclectic? Relish this mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up of short stories.
Murder and mystery have been the staple of literature and films for years. This anthology of short stories will thrill and entertain you. Some will also make you laugh out loud. Others will stop and make you think. Think of this murder mystery short story anthology as a book version of appetizers or starters, hors d’oeuvre, meze, or antipasti. It can be read as fillers between books or, as is the case in some countries, as a bookish meze- in its own right.
There’s murder mystery styles and locations to suit all tastes: detective fiction, serial killers, scifi, histfic, England, Los Angeles, San Francisco, The Great Lakes, Las Vegas, the Nevada desert, Mexico and more in an exquisite exposition of the art of short story telling.
These stories come from an international cast of authors; some with bestselling books, others are emerging or new talents. Their roots, cultures, and life experiences are as diverse as their writing styles. But one thing binds them together: they know how to tell a story. The ten authors (each linked to their own twitter pages) who have contributed to the anthology are:

Stephen Bentley

Stephen Bentley is a f ormer UK Detective Sergeant, barrister, and author of a bestselling undercover cop memoir. He also writes crime fiction.

Greg Alldredge

Greg Alldredge grew up in the United States reading all the excellent Science Fiction and Fantasy of the past decades. He hopes to add his voice, in a small way, to the giants of the genres. He wants to write stories he himself would want to read and hopes to be successful as a storyteller first.

Kelly Artieri

Kelly Artieri is a professional illustrator and award-winning author of a personal memoir ‘A Spot in My Heart.’ Living in the Buffalo, New York area, Kelly is a passionate storyteller about real life. Now she is using her creative voice at story telling murder mystery style.

Robbie Cheadle

Robbie, short for Roberta, Cheadle is a South African author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children. She has also authored the Silly Willy series and a fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II.
Michael Spinelli

Michael Spinelli is married with two children, a transplant from New York to Florida.
Mike enjoys family time, reading, watching movies and of course, writing things that increase your heart rate.

L. Lee Kane

L. Lee Kane, M.A., known as Linda, is the author of several adult fiction books, and children’s books. She lives with her husband, two dogs, and seven horses in the Central Valley of California.
Kay Castaneda

Kay Castaneda is retired from a career as a college writing instructor and special education tutor. She earned a B.A. and M.A. in English at Indiana University. Her publications include poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction in literary journals plus articles about education for scholarly reference books.
Aly Locatelli

Aly Locatelli is a 25-year-old book blogger and reviewer from the UK. She has been doing that for over five years and now started freelancing as a beta-reader, editor and proof-reader. Aly also aspires to be a writer. This is the first time any of her work has been published.

Justin Bauer

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Justin Bauer studied English Literature at the Ohio State University, graduating in 2016. He is the author of three books.
Posthumously by ‘G’

‘G’ or Gerry died in 2017. He used the name ‘G’ when writing short stories. This is how he described himself not long before his untimely death: G is a 69 yo Hippie, world traveler, straight talker/writer, with no regrets. He’s been writing since he found a sharp crayon and empty wall space.

The stories include the 2019 SIA Award-Winning Murder Mystery Short Story & The Rose Slayer by Stephen Bentley.
Each author introduces his or her stories and the theme that lays behind them. By the time you finish the book, you will agree the result is a mesmerising murder mystery mash-up.

The audiobook of the anthology will be available some time very soon.

A link to the retail sample on Soundcloud which is here http://bit.ly/2W7mFgI