Monday, March 31, 2014

The Sunday Post #17 (3.30.14)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.   

I've decided to try a new weekly meme - a place where I can do both a weekly wrap up and share what books I get all in one post, so I'm going to give The Sunday Post a try, and also link up with Sheila's It's Monday Post over at Book Journey.  


Got to spend the weekend in Annapolis, Maryland - hubby had to attend a 2-day seminar for sailing and I went along for the getaway weekend! Although the weekend was a bust weather-wise, I made the most of it and got a ton of reading done. I managed to find a cute coffee house that served really good tea and spent a few hours there reading on Saturday and then found a Starbucks on Sunday after I checked out of the hotel while waiting for hubby before we headed home. It was a good weekend reading-wise, but I'm bummed I didn't get to do any sight-seeing due to the rain. Oh well, guess we'll just have to head back another weekend!
 

Have a great week everyone!!!

*****************************************************************************************
Last week on the Blog:  

* Review: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
* Review: Evening Stars by Susan Mallery
* Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Bellagrand by Paullina Simons
* Review & Giveaway: Four Friends by Robyn Carr
* Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in Mar 28, 2014

Books Read:
* Four Friends by Robyn Carr (review e-book)
* Bellagrand by Paullina Simons (review book)
* Dash of Peril by Lori Foster (review e-book)
* The Golden Apple by Faerl Marie (review e-book)
* One Perfect Night by Bella Andre (mine)

Currently Reading:
* The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (review book) 
* Choose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison (library audio book)

Books Up Next:
* The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson (review book)
* Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs (audio book)

Recent Giveaway Winner:  
* The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau -Denise

Current Giveaways:  
* Bellagrand by Paullina Simons...1 copy. Ends 4.2.14
* Four Friends by Robyn Carr...1 copy. Ends 4.3.14

Coming Up on the Blog:
* Month in Review: March 2014
* Review: All the Difference by Kaira Rouda
* Review: The Golden Apple by Faerl Marie
* Review: Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs

 
Book Haul:  
Purchased:  
* Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs (audio via Audible credit)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in March 28, 2014

 

Because I was feeling a bit run-down this week, I decided to take another recovery week. I did move around, did take some walks, but nothing crazy. My goal was to get at least 30 minutes of walking in - some days that was one bout of 30 minute walking and some days that was 3-10 minutes walks, but I got those walks in. Of course, my week was rather hectic, so this might have played into me feeling run-down, too, but I'm hoping to be back to my regular work-out schedule next week, including back to yoga, which I desperately need to get back to!



Oh - and as it's the last week of March, don't forget it's time to recommit to staying fit! You can find the sign-up for April here. Hope you will be joining us!!!


Here's how my week went:  

 
Mar 22:  30 minutes 
Mar 23:  30 minutes
Mar 24:  30 minutes
Mar 25:  30 minutes 

Mar 26:  30 minutes
Mar 27: 30 minutes
 
Mar 28:  30 minutes
 

  How did your week go? 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Four Friends by Robyn Carr (CLOSED)

Title: Four Friends   
Author: Robyn Carr         
Published: March 2014, Harlequin MIRA   
Format: ARC, e-book, 384 pages    
Source: Netgalley via Little Bird Publicity   


Gerri can't decide what's more devastating: learning her rock-solid marriage has big cracks, or the anger she feels as she tries to repair the damage. Always the anchor for friends and her three angst-ridden teenagers, it's time to look carefully at herself. The journey for Gerri and her family is more than revealing—it's transforming.

Andy doesn't have a great track record with men, and she's come to believe that for her a lasting love is out of reach. When she finds herself attracted to her down-to-earth, ordinary contractor—a man without any of the qualities that usually appeal to her—she questions everything she thought she wanted in life.

Sonja's lifelong pursuit of balance is shattered when her husband declares he's through with her New Age nonsense and walks out. There's no herbal tonic or cleansing ritual that can restore her serenity—or her sanity.

Miraculously, it's BJ, the reserved newcomer to Mill Valley, who steps into their circle and changes everything. The woman with dark secrets opens up to her neighbors, and together they get each other back on track, stronger as individuals and unfaltering as friends.

My thoughts: I've been a fan of Robyn Carr's books for a while now. I've read all her Virgin River books and have read all the Thunder Point books that have been released to date. I've also read a few of her stand-alone books and know that when I pick up a book by this author, I'm going to enjoy it. I definitely wasn't disappointed with this one!

I loved that this dealt with four forty-something women. As much as I'm loathe to admit it, I am soon approaching this milestone and have come to appreciate reading about women in this age group. Three of the women find out that their marriages are not what they thought they were. One throws her husband out, one finds out her husband had an affair years ago, and one's husband walks out on her. It seems that this all transpires within a few weeks and for two of the women, they didn't even see it coming. 

I loved the friendship these women shared. In the beginning of the book, it was the three women who were best gal-pals, Gerri, Andi and Sonja, with BJ on the outside. But when one struggles, it takes the outsider to see it first, and then slowly she gets drawn into their group. As the friendship develops, secrets come out and those friendship bonds grow stronger.

This book deals with infidelity, domestic abuse, drug abuse, and teen sex. There are wonderful characters that you just can't help fall in love with, some sincere and caring, some even a bit quirky, but fun and real nonetheless.


GIVEAWAY DETAILS - CLOSED (US only) 
Thanks to Katie at Little Bird Publicity I have one copy of Four Friends to give away to my readers. 


To enter…
  • Leave a comment below & be sure to include your email address.
  • Tweet, share on Facebook, or blog for 2 extra entries.
  • You MUST include email address or entry will be invalid.
  • I will contact winner at the conclusion of the giveaway & they will have 2 days to respond or I will pick a new winner.
This giveaway is open to US residents only and ends April 3rd. 


Good luck!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Bellagrand by Paullina Simons (CLOSED)

Title: Bellagrand   
Author: Paullina Simons      
Published: March 2014, William Morrow & Company  
Format: ARC Paperback, 560 pages   
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours  


They gave up everything to be together, but love was just the beginning of their journey...

Italian immigrant Gina, independent, compassionate and strong, desperately wants a family. Boston blue-blood Harry, idealistic and fiercely political, wants to create a better world, a better country. Bound together by tormented passion, they rail, rage, and break each other’s hearts, only to come face to face with a stark final choice that will forever determine their destiny.

Their journey takes them through four decades and two continents, through triumph and turmoil, from the wooden planks of the troubled, immigrant town of Lawrence, Massachusetts, to the marble halls and secret doors of a mystical place called... Bellagrand.

From internationally bestselling author Paullina Simons comes another compelling saga of heartbreak and redemption, and the devastating love story that led to The Bronze Horseman.

My thoughts: I first heard of Paullina Simons when I participated in a tour for her book, Children of Liberty, which was the prequel to her Bronze Horseman Trilogy. Now she's back with a sequel to her prequel. I still haven't read the trilogy, but now after reading this latest book, I'm more eager than ever to get to it!

I always find it so amazing how caught up you can get in a story and how some characters are so likeable and others so unlikeable. I found myself wanting to smack Harry for how selfish and self-absorbed he was throughout the whole book. It seemed that he only thought about himself and what he wanted, not really thinking about how his actions impacted those around him, especially not his wife or family. And as much as I liked Gina, I even found myself frustrated with her at times for sticking by him for so long.

It's amazing what people will do for love. Gina loves Harry and is willing to stick by him no matter what. She believes in her vows and even though he seems to love his causes more than he loves her, she is unwilling to walk away from him. The emotion that Paullina Simons writes into her characters is strong throughout the book - the tensions that fly between Gina and Harry when they get into an argument over his ways and decisions are so life-like. 

As I read this book, I wondered if I would have enjoyed it more had I already read The Bronze Horseman trilogy. Part of me thinks yes and part of me thinks no. I liked not knowing where things were headed, but then again, if I had read the trilogy, it would have been giving background on already familiar characters and/or events. I guess I will find out when I get around to reading the trilogy. Have you read this yet? Have you read the trilogy? What are you thoughts on the two new books?


To see who else is participating in Paullina Simon's Bellagrand tour, click here.


GIVEAWAY DETAILS - CLOSED (US/CAN only) 
Thanks to Trish at TLC Book Tours, I have one copy of Bellagrand to give away to my readers.
 
To enter…

  • Leave a comment below & be sure to include your email address.
  • Tweet, share on Facebook, or blog for 2 extra entries.
  • You MUST include email address or entry will be invalid.
  • I will contact winner at the conclusion of the giveaway & they will have 2 days to respond or I will pick a new winner.

This giveaway is open to US/CAN residents only and ends April 2nd. 


Good luck!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review: Evening Stars by Susan Mallery

Title: Evening Stars    
Author: Susan Mallery     
Series: Blackberry Island, #3      
Published: February 2014, Harlequin MIRA  
Format: ARC e-copy, 368 pages   
Source: Netgalley  

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery returns to Blackberry Island with the poignant tale of two sisters on the verge of claiming their dreams.

Small-town nurse Nina Wentworth has made a career out of being a caretaker. More "Mom" than their mother ever was, she sacrificed medical school—and her first love—so her sister could break free. Which is why she isn't exactly thrilled to see Averil back on Blackberry Island, especially when Nina's life has suddenly become…complicated.

Nina unexpectedly finds herself juggling two men—her high school sweetheart and a younger maverick pilot who also wants to claim her heart. But as fun as all this romance is, Nina has real life to deal with. Averil doesn't seem to want the great guy she's married to, and doesn't seem to be making headway writing her first book; their mom is living life just as recklessly as she always has; and Nina's starting to realize that the control she once had is slipping out of her fingers. Her hopes of getting off the island seem to be stretching further away…until her mother makes a discovery that could change everything forever.

But before Nina and Averil can reach for the stars, they have to decide what they want. Will Averil stay? Will Nina leave? And what about the men who claim to love them? Does love heal, or will finding their happy ending mean giving up all they've ever wanted?

My thoughts: This is the final book in Susan Mallery's Blackberry Island trilogy and I really enjoyed these books. I wasn't sure what to expect when the the first book came out, but I haven't found a book by Susan Mallery that I haven't liked and this series was enjoyable all around.

I liked that while there was romance involved in this book, it wasn't the main focus. The main theme, I thought, was about family and the dynamics of that family. Poor Nina was forced to grow up way too fast because her mother refused to act like an adult and so someone needed to take the role of decision-maker. And then there was little sister, Averil, who ended up a bit spoiled from a mother who just wanted to play all the time. 

Now that the sisters are grown up, they still find themselves in the same roles and desperately need to break the mold. They each have to figure out what their individual dreams are and how to fulfill them and still have a relationship with each other that is healthy and not based on the past.

I really enjoyed this trilogy and loved that we got a brief glimpse of Mischief Bay, the setting of Susan Mallery's upcoming new series! I wonder if Averil, who lives there with her husband, will be making appearances in this series?


Books in this series:
  1. Barefoot Season
  2. Three Sisters
  3. Evening Stars


Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Title: Lost Lake    
Author: Sarah Addison Allen       
Published: January 2014; St. Martin's Press  
Format: Hardcover / e-book; 296 pages  
Source: Publisher / Netgalley / She Reads    


From the author of New York Times bestseller Garden Spells comes a beautiful, haunting story of old loves and new, and the power of the connections that bind us forever…

The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future.

That was half a life ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby’s past. Her husband George is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone. All that’s left is a once-charming collection of lakeside cabins succumbing to the Southern Georgia heat and damp, and an assortment of faithful misfits drawn back to Lost Lake year after year by their own unspoken dreams and desires.

It’s a lot, but not enough to keep Eby from relinquishing  Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand, and calling this her final summer at the lake. Until one last chance at family knocks on her door.

Lost Lake is where Kate Pheris spent her last best summer at the age of twelve,  before she learned of loneliness, and heartbreak, and loss. Now she’s all too familiar with those things, but she knows about hope too, thanks to her resilient daughter Devin, and her own willingness to start moving forward. Perhaps at Lost Lake her little girl can cling to her own childhood for just a little longer… and maybe Kate herself can rediscover something that slipped through her fingers so long ago.

One after another, people find their way to Lost Lake, looking for something that they weren’t sure they needed in the first place:  love, closure, a second chance, peace, a mystery solved, a heart mended.  Can they find what they need before it’s too late?

At once atmospheric and enchanting, Lost Lake shows Sarah Addison Allen at her finest, illuminating the secret longings and the everyday magic that wait to be discovered in the unlikeliest of places.

My thoughts: I have long been a fan of Sarah Addison Allen since first devouring her book The Peach Keeper. After listening to that, I went on to read or listen to everything she has written and have absolutely loved each and every story - to the point that I don't even know if I could pick a favorite, they are all so good! So of course I was over the moon when I heard that She Reads was selecting Sarah Addison Allen's newest book, Lost Lake as their March book club pick!!!

I think one of my favorite aspects of SAA's books is her use of magic - not too much to be hokey but just the right amount that you can easily suspend belief while enjoying her books. It seems each of the her characters have magic in them, whether they realize it or not, and to me, this just enhances my enjoyment of the book. It's this magical realism and a touch of whismy that I just love that seems to flow through the pages and keeps you hooked.

The story itself is about loss and healing - two rather heavy topics, but done in such a way that you are left feeling uplifted at the end of the book. Kate is trying to start a new life after the death of her husband. She didn't get off to a great start, having spent the first year "asleep," but while packing up her house, she and her daughter come across an old postcard from Kate's great aunt's property, called Lost Lake and they decide to take an impromptu trip there.

Once there at Lost Lake, we meet a whole cast of colorful, eclectic characters, each adding to the overall magic of the book. Each character is quite interesting on their own, but when put together, they create quite an interesting tale. There are some romances brewing, some hurts and losses that need healing, and Lost Lake provides all that and more.

With all her books, I find that SAA's writing as is beautiful as the story is magical. There aren't too many times that I mark up a book or use sticky notes to highlight a phrase or even a paragraph, but I found my doing that quite a few times as I read this book. I'm going to leave you with my favorite:

Sometimes, the best endings are the ones that surprise you. Sometimes, the best are the ones that have everything happening exactly how you want it to happen. But the absolute perfect endings are when you get a little of both.


The March Book Club Selection from She Reads is Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
Head over to the She Reads website to read other reviews and related posts as well as a chance to win a copy of the book.


    



Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Sunday Post #16 (3.23.14)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.   

I've decided to try a new weekly meme - a place where I can do both a weekly wrap up and share what books I get all in one post, so I'm going to give The Sunday Post a try, and also link up with Sheila's It's Monday Post over at Book Journey.  


Today my town has a huge St. Patrick's Day parade and so we are having some family and friends over. My town has the second biggest parade outside of NYC, and it's always the Sunday after St. Patrick's Day, unless St. Patrick's Day falls on a Sunday (in which case our parade takes place on the actual day since they can't march in the city on that day - can't march past St. Patrick's Cathedral on a Sunday!). Anyway, since we live four houses off the parade route, we have a big bash - I do bagels and coffee before the parade and then corned beef and cabbage for after. It's a lot of fun and despite the fact it's supposed to be a bit chilly, it will be good to see some of my nieces and nephews as well as some friends we haven't seen in a while!
 

Have a great week everyone!!!

*****************************************************************************************
Last week on the Blog:  

* Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau
* Review: The Chance by Robyn Carr
* Review: Waking Kate by Sarah Addison Allen
* Book Blog Walkers: March Weekly Check-in Mar 21, 2014

Books Read:
* Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs (review book)
* The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank (library audio book)
* Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs (audio book)

Currently Reading:
* Bellagrand by Paullina Simons (review book) 
* Choose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison (library audio book)

Books Up Next:
* Four Friends by Robyn Carr (review book)
* The Golden Apple by Faerl Marie (review book)
* 12th of Never by James Patterson (mine)

Recent Giveaway Winner:  
* The Brim Reaper by Diane Vallere - Kimberly
 
Current Giveaways:  
* The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau...1 copy. US/CAN. Ends 3/25/14.

Coming Up on the Blog:
* Review: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
* Review: Bellagrand by Paullina Simons (with giveaway!!!)
* Review: Four Friends by Robyn Carr (with giveaway!!!)
* Review: Evening Star by Susan Mallery

 
Book Haul:   
For Review:  
* A Killing Notion by Melissa Ramirez (Netgalley)
Purchased:  
* The Frog Prince by Jane Porter (e-book)
From the Library:
* Choose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison (audio book)


 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Blog Walkers: March Weekly Check-in Mar 21, 2014



I did it!!! I walked my 1st marathon AND beat my goal time - I finished in 3 hours 3 minutes! My mom also did the marathon with me and she finished in 3 hours 12 minutes - I'm so proud of her!!! We had a great time and even managed to do a bit of sight-seeing in Washington DC during the weekend while we were there. 

Since we did so well and were able to finish this one, we decided to sign up for another 1/2 marathon - this time one for charity. We'll be doing the 1/2 Moon New York City benefiting Breast Cancer - it's a power walk throughout New York City starting at 10PM that we do in our bras!!! And my one sister will be joining us - it will be fun and I can't wait!!!

This week was a recovery week for me. I did walk every day, but they were very easy walks.


Here's how my week went:  


Mar 15:  Day of 1/2 Marathon!!! 13.1 miles - 3 hrs 3 min
Mar 16:  45 minutes
Mar 17:  30 minutes
Mar 18:  30 minutes
Mar 19:  30 minutes
Mar 20: 30 minutes

Mar 21:  20 minutes
 
How did your week go?

Me & Mom at finish line of 1/2 Marathon

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review: Waking Kate by Sarah Addison Allen

Title: Waking Kate
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Published: December 2013; St. Martin's Press 
Format: E-book; 38 pages
Source: Personal copy  

From the beloved author of Garden Spells, comes Waking Kate, a story about a woman who soon will face an unforseen change in her life. One sticky summer day  as Kate is waiting for her husband to come home from his bicycle shop, she spots her distinguished neighbor returning from his last day of work after  eighty-six years at Atlanta’s oldest men’s clothing store. Over a cup of butter coffee, he tells Kate a story of love and heartbreak that makes her remember her past, question her present, and wonder what the future will bring.    

My thoughts: This is a prequel to Sarah Addison Allen's full-length novel, Lost Lake. It introduces us to Kate, the main character. While it's not necessary to read this before reading the novel, it does give some insight into Kate's character.  As with all that SAA write, this short tale is magical and whimsical, and leaves you wanting more. I've read everything SAA has written to-date and had been looking forward to reading Lost Lake - my review of it will be posted shortly! This was the perfect little tidbit to really get me excited for the book!!!

Did you read this? If so, did you read it before or after reading Lost Lake?


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review: The Chance by Robyn Carr

Title: The Chance   
Author: Robyn Carr    
Series: Thunder Point, #4      
Published: February 2014, Harlequin MIRA  
Format: ARC E-book, 368 pages   
Source: Netgalley  

With its breathtaking vistas and down-to-earth people, Thunder Point is the perfect place for FBI agent Laine Carrington to recuperate from a gunshot wound and contemplate her future. The locals embraced Laine as one of their own after she risked her life to save a young girl from a dangerous cult. Knowing her wounds go beyond the physical, Laine hopes she'll fit in for a while and find her true self in a town that feels safe. She may even learn to open her heart to others, something an undercover agent has little time to indulge.

Eric Gentry is also new to Thunder Point. Although he's a man with a dark past, he's determined to put down roots and get to know the daughter he only recently discovered. When Laine and Eric meet, their attraction is obvious to everyone. But while the law enforcement agent and the reformed criminal want to make things work, their differences may run too deep…unless they take a chance on each other and find that deep and mysterious bond that belongs to those who choose love over fear.

My thoughts: This is the 4th book in Robyn Carr's Thunder Point series and with each book in this series, I fall more in love with the town and the characters. This book is also a bit different from the previous three books.

I loved that this book focuses on two characters we have already met in previous books. Both Laine and Eric were introduced to us in earlier books so we know a bit about them, but they had not met each other yet. This is their story and once they meet - those sparks start flying! I loved watching them dance around each other because they each come with a past that could pose problems for a happily-ever-after. 

What was a bit different in this book than in the previous three books is that Coop didn't figure as prominently this time around. He was mentioned a few times, as well as some of the other towns folk, but for the most part, this story was mainly about Laine and Eric. 

I'll be curious to see how the rest of this series plays out. There were a few side stories going on here that could lead to future books plus there are some other characters that have been given mentions here and there, but still beg to have their stories told.


Books in this series:  
  1. The Wanderer
  2. The Newcomer
  3. The Hero
  4. The Chance 
  5. The Promise - due out Jun 2014
  6. The Homecoming - due out Aug 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau (CLOSED)

Last April, I read The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau for a blog tour when it was first released in hard cover, and I really enjoyed it! You can find my thoughts on the book here. Today the book is being released in paperback with a new cover.




In THE CHALICE, Bilyeau returns to the story of Joanna Stafford, a young aristocratic nun whose cloistered way of life came crashing down when King Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of the monasteries.  Joanna has already felt the wrath of the royal court, despaired as a prisoner in the Tower of London, and narrowly escaped death while at the mercy of the most powerful men of the era.  Yet, with England in the midst of bloody power struggles between crown and cross, she leaves her quiet country life and is drawn into a shadowy international plot targeting the King himself.

As those around her face imprisonment and worse, Joanna soon realizes her part is more crucial than she had ever imagined.  She must make a choice between those she cares for most and her role in a prophecy foretold by three different seers, each more omniscient than the last.  Repelled by violence, Joanna tries desperately to seize a future with a man who loves her.  But she cannot escape the spreading darkness and, to defend the future of Christendom, agrees to serve the Holy Roman Emperor by leaving England and all she holds dear to seek the final, sinister piece of deadly prophecy—and the meaning of the chalice that lays at its center.

Is it Joanna’s destiny to save the kingdom and her beloved faith—or to destroy them both?  This fast-paced historical thriller not only tells an epic story of a young woman fighting against the most powerful men of her time, but also takes a provocative look at the religious conflicts of the Reformation and those who would use violence as a means to an end. 


Books in this series:
  1. The Crown
  2. The Chalice



THE CHALICE
By Nancy Bilyeau
Touchstone Books
March 18, 2014 || $16.00 || Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4767-0866-9



GIVEAWAY DETAILS - CLOSED  (US/CAN only) 
Thanks to Courtney at Touchstone Publicity, I have one copy of The Chalice to give away to my readers.
 
To enter…

  • Leave a comment below & be sure to include your email address.
  • Tweet, share on Facebook, or blog for 2 extra entries.
  • You MUST include email address or entry will be invalid.
  • I will contact winner at the conclusion of the giveaway & they will have 2 days to respond or I will pick a new winner.
This giveaway is open to US/CAN residents only and ends March 25th. 


Good luck!

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Sunday Post #15 (3.16.14)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.   

I've decided to try a new weekly meme - a place where I can do both a weekly wrap up and share what books I get all in one post, so I'm going to give The Sunday Post a try, and also link up with Sheila's It's Monday Post over at Book Journey.  


Me & Mom at finish line

I did it - I walked my first 1/2 marathon and beat my goal (3 hours 15 minutes). I finished in 3 hours 3 minutes!!! It was so much fun and I was glad my mom was there to do the walk with me. She finished in 3 hours 12 minutes!!! We had a great time in DC, doing quite a bit of sight-seeing while there and since we had so much fun doing our first 1/2 marathon have decided to sign up for another one!
 

Have a great week everyone!!!

*****************************************************************************************
Last week on the Blog:  

* Cover Reveal: The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson
* Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: The Brim Reaper by Diane Vallere
* Review: Saved by the Belles by Beth Albright
* Book Blog Walkers: March Weekly Check-in Mar 14, 2014

Books Read:
* Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen (review book) 

Currently Reading:
* Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs (review book) 
* The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank (library audio book)
* Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs (audio book)

Books Up Next:
* Bellagrand by Paullina Simons (review book)
* Four Friends by Robyn Carr (review book)

Current Giveaways:  
* The Brim Reaper by Diane Vallere...1 copy. International. Ends 3/18/14.

Coming Up on the Blog:
* Review:The Chance by Robyn Carr
* Book Spotlight: The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau (with giveaway!!!)
* Review: Waking Kate by Sarah Addison Allen
* Review: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen


Book Haul:   
For Review:  
* The Burning by Jane Casey (Netgalley)
* The Queen's Exiles by Barbara Kyle (courtesy of Publisher)
Purchased:  
* Left for Dead: A Maeve Kerrigan Novella by Jane Casey (e-book)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Book Blog Walkers: March Weekly Check-in Mar 14, 2014



Well, it's here...tomorrow is the big day! Today I'm driving down to Washington DC and tomorrow I will be walking my first 1/2 marathon. I'm very excited and hope it goes well. I'm meeting my mom at the hotel and then we'll head over to the big expo to pick up our registration packets and then just relax for the rest of the afternoon. The race starts at 7:30 Saturday morning and will be over before we know it! Much like a wedding - you prep and plan and train for months and then in the blink of an eye - it's over and done!

This week, I did very easy walks. We had strange weather - it was warm a few days and then got cold again. I really am looking forward to the spring-like temps - as much as I like going to the gym and even walking in the mall, I really do prefer walking outside.


Here's how my week went:

Mar 8:  6 miles (at mall)
Mar 9:  rest
Mar 10:  2.5 miles at gym
Mar 11:  30 minutes indoors

Mar 12:  30 minutes
Mar 13: rest

Mar 14:  20 minutes

How did your week go?


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: Saved by the Belles by Beth Albright

Title: Saved by the Belles   
Author: Beth Albright     
Series: A Sassy Belles novella 
Published: January 2014, Magnolia Press   
Format: E-book, 137 pages   
Source: Personal copy  

Life is finally wonderful for Tuscaloosa’s Blake O’Hara Heart: a rekindled love affair with her high school sweetheart and a precious new baby on the way. But when she gets an unexpected call from Harry Heart, her soon to be ex-husband, Blake’s new sweet world is turned upside down. Harry vows his love – but soon Blake discovers he is running from a sex scandal—one that could ruin Harry, the freshman senator from Alabama, and bring down Blake right along with him.

Blake is in a fix so she does what any southern woman would do: she rounds up her Sassy Belle sisters to try to prove Harry’s innocence. Blake, Vivi and Dallas band together to fix this scandal and get that man back to Washington if it’s the last thing they do. But Blake is running out of time. Her new baby is waiting for no one as Harry’s new political career is hanging in the balance.

From a trailer-park brothel to the high-society neighborhoods of Tuscaloosa, y’all grab your best girlfriends and some sweet tea and join Blake and her girls on this twisted tale of intrigue and hilarity, southern-style.

My thoughts: I love the Sassy Belle's and was so happy to see that Beth Albright had written this novella. I devoured the first three books in this series and was very excited to be able to spend more time with my favorite Southern gals!

I love how these gals all band together to help out those they love - even those not so high on their list, in this case, Blake's soon-to-be ex-husband Harry. It seems he's involved in a scandal and has turned to Blake to help him out. Despite being very pregnant, Blake enlists the help of Vivi and Dallas and they do their best to help save Harry's political career from jeopardy.

Even though this is a very short tale, I enjoyed it very much, especially knowing that there were scenes from the book right out of author Beth Albright's own life. A while back, Beth wrote a guest post here at Always With a Book where she shared those secrets. This just makes the book that much more enjoyable and when you read those scenes you will melt knowing they actually happened in real life!


I absolutely love spending time with the Sassy Belles and can't wait for the newest trilogy to be released so I can get my next fix!!!


Books in the series:

     1.  The Sassy Belles
     2.  Wedding Belles
     3.  Sleigh Belles
     3.5  Saved by the Belles



 

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