Happy Pub Day!

Happy Pub Day!! 

Waisted by Randy Susan Meyers

Daphne and Alice are deeply unhappy with their bodies.  They meet at Privation for a month-long stay in a remote Vermont location that promises weight loss with mindfulness.  What they find instead is that they are trapped literally without access to their phones or families, in a cruel, fat-shaming, reality-show documentary called Waisted.  An experiment devised by the producers and director to see how far women will go in search of weight loss.

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This book is for every woman who looks at themselves in the mirror and doesn’t like what they see.  The muffin tops, the big thighs, struggling to get into a body shaper and feeling like a stuffed sausage in the process.  Feeling like you should only eat steamed vegetables for the rest of your life.   I immediately understood and connected with the main characters and how they dealt with their weight problems and what women will put themselves through to be thinner.  When Daphne, Alice and the other women realize that they are just pawns in a horrible game played by the producers of the documentary for the purpose of entertainment, they take matters into their own hands and find the strength within themselves and each other to finally break the cycle of self-hate that has dominated their lives for so long.

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It’s difficult to read Waisted but it’s also joyous.  Daphne and Alice alternate in telling their stories and the reader gets to know both women and the people in their lives.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it turned out that I read this book in a day and I really loved it.  Thank you to @atriabooks @getredpr #partner and @netgalley for my copy. 

Also, a huge thanks to @randysusanmeyersauthor for a copy of Women Under Scrutiny.  This book is an anthology of essays, poems, stories and art that examines the relationships we have with our appearance, how we have been treated by the world and how we treat others.

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#waisted #randysusanmeyers #atriabooks #netgalley #pubday 

Weekend reads

Happy Saturday!

I do most of my reading on the weekends, interspersed with chores like laundry and grocery shopping and dog walking (Benny). Time is precious and in limited supply but I do love to just sit and read uninterrupted. Here in Pennsylvania, the weather is uncooperative to be able to sit outside, but it’s a beautiful morning and I hope to get a little bit of time outside to read.

I usually have two books going at once, one physical book and one on my Kindle. I don’t read outside on my iPad because of the glare, but it does take better photos! My reads for this weekend are Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane and Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney.

Ask Again, Yes will publish on May 28th. Thank you to Scribner books and NetGalley for my copy! Here’s a summary: Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope are two NYPD rookies assigned to the same Bronx precinct in 1973. They aren’t close friends on the job, but end up living next door to each other outside the city. What goes on behind closed doors in both houses—the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the stunning events to come.

Ask Again, Yes by award-winning author Mary Beth Keane, is a beautifully moving exploration of the friendship and love that blossoms between Francis’s youngest daughter, Kate, and Brian’s son, Peter, who are born six months apart. In the spring of Kate and Peter’s eighth grade year a violent event divides the neighbors, the Stanhopes are forced to move away, and the children are forbidden to have any further contact.

But Kate and Peter find a way back to each other, and their relationship is tested by the echoes from their past. Ask Again, Yes reveals how the events of childhood look different when reexamined from the distance of adulthood—villains lose their menace, and those who appeared innocent seem less so. Kate and Peter’s love story is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.

Sometimes I Lie has been on my shelf for awhile and Alice Feeney has a new book out now. I’m a big fan of the twisted, psychological thriller, so I was anxious to read this one.

I’m off to enjoy a sunny Saturday while it lasts!

Book Review: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Happy Publication Day to The Unhoneymooners!

Summary: Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

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Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

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Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

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My Thoughts: Sweet, funny but ultimately forgettable. For me, this one wasn’t my favorite book by these authors. It doesn’t pack the emotional punch of Love And Other Words. I didn’t quite fall in love with Ethan and Olive as much as I loved Josh and Hazel in Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating.

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I did laugh at some of the silliness in the first part of the book, but there just wasn’t enough character development for me to really enjoy this. However I kept picturing the story as a romantic movie with the beautiful location of Maui as a backdrop. And the beautiful book cover is certainly an invitation to a reader looking for a light, romantic read. I enjoyed the witty banter between Ethan and Olive and it’s pretty light on the sex scenes, which was refreshing. I would recommend this for anyone who is going through a rough time in their lives. Or this is just the perfect beach read.  It’s light, frothy, and fun. 

We’ve had nothing but cold, rainy, horrible weather here in Pennsylvania and this book is the perfect anecdote to the rainy day (week, month) blues.

🍹🍹🍹 1/2 tropical drinks out of 5.

Book Review: The Night Before by Wendy Walker

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The Night Before by Wendy Walker 

Twelve hours earlier, she was…

Hopeful.

Excited.

Safe.

Now she’s gone.

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How’s that for a book blurb?  Any time I’m in a reading slump, I automatically gravitate to a thriller.  And this one grabbed me from the beginning and didn’t let go.  I went into it completely blind and I’m glad I did because it kept me on the edge of my seat.  Reading this was like riding a rollercoaster in the dark.  I never quite knew which way it was going to go and I loved that aspect of it.

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Laura and Rosie are sisters but they couldn’t be more different.  Rosie is the stable one.  She has a husband, a young son and a nice home.  Laura is pretty much of a hot mess when we meet her.  She has left her job and her apartment in NYC and has moved home to stay with Rosie. Over a failed relationship.  Laura dates the wrong men, a lot of wrong men.   But she decides to try again after joining an online dating site.  She meets a man named Jonathan and agrees to go out on date with him.  Rosie lends her a black dress and a purse and some red lipstick.

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And that’s when things get crazy.  

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The story is told from three different perspectives as it goes back in forth in time.  Little by little, we find out more about the characters, their pasts and their present.  Rosie and her husband, Joe.  Their childhood friend, Gabe.  And Laura.  It intertwines and twists and turns.  Just when you think you know where it’s going, you don’t.  The writing is unique.  The third perspective is told in transcripts from a psychologist.  If you love thrillers, give this one a try.  I will definitely be reading more of Wendy Walker’s books!  Thank you to St Martins Press and Netgalley for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. This book publishes on May 14th!

Book review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Summary: First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. 

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

My thoughts: I didn’t really care for this one. I mean, it’s cute, sweet and funny. The writing is filled with megatons of witty banter, a little too much for my liking. I wanted to love this book. I wanted to read a romcom and love a story about the son of the president (a female president! Finally!) and the Prince of Wales. I love romcoms and this book would make a great Netflix movie or series, but I had a hard time following it. The scenes didn’t have a seamless flow to them and the characters were just a bit too overdone. I think it was all the banter that made the characters seem less like real people and more like people who were trying too hard to be clever. I’m sure it’s just me. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for the silliness of it. And I don’t think silly is a bad thing. I love a funny book. There is also a huge side order of politics here. Obviously. And that’s great. But…I’m over the politics right now.

I can’t even watch the news anymore. I’m thanking the baseball gods that my Phillies are doing well and I’ve got tons of books and a busy life. Because at this moment in time, I just don’t want to hear or read anything remotely political. Even some cute fiction with an awesome love story.

Thank you to St Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.



View all my reviews

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack

Welcome to my stop on the book tour for The Time Collector by @gwendolynwomack.  Thank you to @hfvbt and Picador books for my copy of this great book!

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SNYOPSIS:  Roan West was born with an extraordinary gift: he can perceive the past of any object he touches. A highly skilled psychometrist, he uses his talents to find and sell valuable antiques, but his quiet life in New Orleans is about to change. Stuart, a fellow pyschometrist and Roan’s close friend, has used his own abilities to unearth several out-of-place-artifacts or “ooparts”—like a ring that once belonged to the seventeenth-century mathematician and philosopher René Descartes, but was found buried in prehistoric bedrock.

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The relics challenge recorded history, but soon after the discovery, Stuart disappears, making him one of several psychometrists who have recently died or vanished without a trace. When Roan comes across a viral video of a young woman who has discovered a priceless pocket watch just by “sensing” it, he knows he has to warn her—but will Melicent Tilpin listen? And can Roan find Stuart before it’s too late?

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MY THOUGHTS:    I really loved this book!   From the first chapter, I was immediately immersed in the story.  This was such a fun read because there’s a little bit of everything here that I love.  It’s a thrill ride with a mystery, mysticism, and even some romance.  I loved Roan and Melicent and all the characters are so well-written.  And the history!  Roan’s skill as a psychometrist allows the reader to journey into the past from the imprints left behind on the artifacts.  Not only did I find myself immersed in history, I also learned about the pasts of the characters too, which  I found really clever.  This will probably be one of my favorite reads of 2019 and I want to read the author’s other novels now.  Pick up this unique, well-written book!

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#thetimecollector #gwendolynwomack #hfvbtblogtours

The Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack

Publication Date: April 16, 2019
Picador USA
eBook & Paperback; 368 Pages

Genre: Historical/Romantic Suspense

Travel through time with the touch of a hand.

Roan West was born with an extraordinary gift: he can perceive the past of any object he touches. A highly skilled pyschometrist, he uses his talents to find and sell valuable antiques, but his quiet life in New Orleans is about to change. Stuart, a fellow pyschometrist and Roan’s close friend, has used his own abilities to unearth several out-of-place-artifacts or “ooparts”—like a ring that once belonged to the seventeenth-century mathematician and philosopher René Descartes, but was found buried in prehistoric bedrock.

The relics challenge recorded history, but soon after the discovery, Stuart disappears, making him one of several psychometrists who have recently died or vanished without a trace. When Roan comes across a viral video of a young woman who has discovered a priceless pocket watch just by “sensing” it, he knows he has to warn her—but will Melicent Tilpin listen? And can Roan find Stuart before it’s too late?

The quest for answers will lead Roan and Melicent around the world—before it brings them closer to each other and a startling truth—in the latest romantic thriller from Gwendolyn Womack, the bestselling, PRISM Award-winning author of The Memory Painter and The Fortune Teller.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo 

Praise for The Time Collector

“A wonderfully intriguing tale, filled with the mystery of objects that tell a story. The Time Collector’s fast pace and fascinating premise will delight history and romance lovers.”―Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Ghost Bride

“A compelling exploration of time, history, and our primal need to connect with the past, The Time Collector is also a rollicking adventure through ancient mysteries and the moving story of two stunningly drawn characters, chasing the answer to the question of what it means to be human.”―Charlie Lovett, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman’s Tale and The Lost Book of the Grail

“Gwendolyn Womack weaves a suspenseful tale that tackles the question of ‘time’―how it’s measured, its impact on nature and human consciousness―and I could hardly put it down! The Time Collector is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, mysticism, and intrigue, sprinkled with a dash of romance―my very favorite things. What a book!”―Heather Webb, international bestselling author of Meet Me in Monaco

“The Time Collector is a fascinating tale of psychometrists, people who touch an object and sense the stories embedded within them. Pick up this book and you too will be transported across the globe and the centuries into exhilarating worlds filled with history and mystery, magic and mysticism, romance and danger. Its pages make the past come alive. Once you hold this object in your hands, you won’t be able to put it down.”―Amy Weiss, author of Crescendo

Copyright JennKL Photography

About the Author

Originally from Houston, Texas, GWENDOLYN WOMACK studied theater at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and holds an MFA in Directing Theatre, Video, and Cinema from California Institute of the Arts. She is the USA Today bestselling author of The Fortune Teller and the RWA Prism Award-winning reincarnation thriller, The Memory Painter. She resides in Los Angeles with her family.

For more information please visit Gwendolyn Womack’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, April 16
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, April 17
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, April 18
Feature at What Is That Book About
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, April 19
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, April 22
Review at My Reading Chronicles
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, April 23
Feature at Cover To Cover Cafe
Excerpt at To Read, Or Not to Read

Wednesday, April 24
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, April 25
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, April 26
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, April 30
Excerpt at Kimber Li

Wednesday, May 1
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All

Thursday, May 2
Review & Excerpt at Broken Teepee

Friday, May 3
Review at Tar Heel Reader

Saturday, May 4
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Sunday, May 5
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, May 6
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, May 8
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, May 9
Review at Henry & Benny’s Book Nook

Friday, May 10
Review at Coffee and Ink

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away a signed copy of The Time Collector! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 10th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Time Collector

Happy Pub Day!

The Little Teashop on Main by Jodi Thomas

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Happy Pub Day! Look how pretty this book is. Thank you to @harlequinpublicityteam for my copy.

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Summary: Blonde, curly-haired Zoe is openhearted, kind and free-spirited, and dreams of becoming a famous actor in New York City. Shy Emily struggles with mental health but has the heart and soul of a writer. And Shannon—tall, athletic, strong—has a deep sense of loyalty that will serve her well when she heads off to military college.

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As Zoe, Emily and Shannon grow into women—forging careers, following dreams and finding love—they’ll learn that life doesn’t always unfold the way they want it to, but through it all, the one constant is each other, and their regular tea parties. And when the unthinkable happens, the girls must come together to face the greatest test of all.

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My Thoughts: It was a rainy Saturday morning and I made this mistake of reading the first chapter because I was hooked. But I had an entire day of chores ahead of me and all I wanted to do was make myself a pot of tea and curl up with this book! I also love reading about friendships over a lifetime and I’m just really excited to read this.

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Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope you are finding some time this week to take a few moments to read and recharge!

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#sponsored #JodiThomas #TheLittleTeaShoponMain #HarlequinPublicityTeam #HQNBooks #summerreads