July 21, 2020

Say Yes to What's Next by Lori Allen - Review

    


                                         

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Book details
Audio CD
Publisher: Thomas Nelson on Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (July 14, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1713504871
ISBN-13: 978-1713504870

Book description
From the star of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, now filming its eleventh season for TLC, comes a book and a life-makeover movement for women approaching fifty and beyond.

Move over, girlfriend, Lori Allen is here to help you say yes to what’s next! Star of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, Lori Allen uses her confidence, wisdom, and signature humor not only to help young brides on their most important day ever but also to model to them and their mothers how to live out the coming years as the best of their lives.

Lori Allen is owner/operator of one of the biggest and busiest bridal mega-salons in the country, Atlanta’s Bridals by Lori. But she’s also a wife, mother, grandmother, and breast cancer survivor.

Whether you’re feeling invisible, disappearing into the fabric of your couch a little more every year, or simply being indecisive about what’s next, Lori offers herself as the poster child of what to do, not do, and how to see your way through the unexpected.

In Say Yes to What’s Next she addresses essential issues, such as
*don’t let yourself go,
*marriage is awesome, but it’s no fairytale,
*keep your mouth shut and your heart open to your kids (and they’ll bring you grandkids),
*make time to parent your parents,
*maintain a close circle of girlfriends,
*get off the couch and live your passion,
*take charge of your money, and
*what to do when life gives you a faceplant.

Say Yes to What’s Next is a life makeover and therapy session from a relatable you-can-and-you-should-do-this straight-shooter as Lori helps women shape their own futures with confidence, style, and sass.

Meet the author - Lori Allen
Lori Allen opened Bridals by Lori just two weeks after graduating from the all-female Columbia College in South Carolina. Four decades later, she is one of the world’s foremost experts on bridal couture and the central figure of TLC’s reality show Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, filmed on site at Lori’s bridal salon and shown in more than 120 countries.

Lori’s role as a bridal expert, successful female business entrepreneur, TV personality, and breast cancer survivor has led her to interviews by top-tier media outlets, including CNN, ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, and the Wall Street Journal. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, Eddie, and, thankfully, not far from their son and his wife, daughter and her husband, and granddaughters.

My thoughts
When I saw this book was available for me to listen to I had to jump on it. I enjoy watching Lori on Say Yes to the Dress and thought her book had to be good. I was not disappointed.  Lori shares some of her toughest times with her reader and how it was for her to go through those times.  She gives some good ideas on how to get through life and how to say yes to the next phase of your life. If you listen to her and take her advice things may seem just a little more bearable. She reminds us to be happy and to take life as it comes. 

July 14, 2020

The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray - Spotlight, Interview and Giveaway

July 14th marks Bastille Day, a pivotal turning point in the French Revolution, now celebrated as France’s national independence day.

Book Details

THE WOMEN OF CHATEAU LAFAYETTE by New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray 
(Berkley hardcover; on-sale March 30, 2021)
A pre-order link à https://bit.ly/3iLkURa
Add to your Goodreads list à https://bit.ly/320tkya
Sign up for Stephanie’s newsletter à https://www.stephaniedray.com/fun/newsletter/

About the book
An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy in three of humanity's darkest hours.

Most castles are protected by powerful men. This one by women...

A founding mother...
1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband's political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose to renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come.

A daring visionary...
1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing--not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war-relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what's right.

A reluctant resistor...
1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan's self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become.

Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together in honor of those who came before us.

Q&A WITH STEPHANIE DRAY

What made you fall in love with Adrienne Lafayette and why do you think readers will fall for her as you did?

Thanks to a popular musical, the Marquis de Lafayette is known to a new generation as "America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman"--and there's good reason for that. He's easily the most lovable of our Founding Fathers, and his wife, whom he called his dear heart, is just as lovable if not more so. Adrienne was our French Founding Mother, so right up my alley as a heroine, but at first I worried she was too sweet, devoted, and forgiving. In short, too gentle for a novel. Little did I realize that more than any other historical heroine I've ever written, Adrienne fought and sacrificed for her principles, courageously threw herself into danger, confronted tyrants, and endured trials that would have broken lesser mortals. She truly humbles me, and when I talk about the Lafayette legacy, I think of it as every bit as much hers as it is his.

How long did it take you to write this book? Did the story evolve as you researched, or did you always know you wanted to take on the lives of these particular women?

I was always interested in Lafayette--an interest that grew as Laura Kamoie and I co-authored America's First Daughter and My Dear Hamilton. I think I had the germ of the idea for a Lafayette novel at least seven years ago, but I had other projects in the way. And I was always in search of an angle that would be fresh and unique. That came to me when I discovered that Lafayette's castle in Auvergne, which had been purchased and renovated by Americans, served to shelter Jewish children from the Nazis. Knowing how deeply the Lafayettes both felt about religious freedom, I knew this would have pleased them, and it touched me. I was then determined to know which Americans had purchased the chateau, and when I found out, yet another glorious chapter in the Lafayette legacy was born. That's when the story took shape for me about one special place on this earth where, generation after generation, faith has been kept with principles of liberty and humanity. I find that very inspirational, now more than ever.

The book is centered around Lafayette’s castle, the Château de Chavaniac, and the pivotal role it played during three of history’s darkest hours—the French Revolution and both World Wars. If you could have dinner with any three people (dead or alive) at Chavaniac, who would you choose and why?

Believe it or not, this is actually a difficult choice because so many incredible men and women passed through those doors. I'd have to start with the Lafayettes--though I hope they would not serve me pigeons, which were a favorite at their wedding banquet. To join us for dinner, I'd choose the colorful stage-star of the Belle Epoque, Beatrice Chanler, because she was a force of nature without whom Chavaniac might not still be standing. Actress, artist, philanthropist, decorated war-relief worker and so-called Queen of the Social Register, she was as mysterious as she was wonderful, and even after all the startling discoveries I made researching her larger-than-life existence, I have a million questions about the early life she tried so hard to hide. I can't wait for readers to meet her!

Giveaway
Enter to win an advance reading copy using this sweepstakes link - https://bit.ly/SDCoverSweeps

July 12, 2020

Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay - Review

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Book details
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley (July 21, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0593101359
ISBN-13: 978-0593101353

Book description
A thirty-year-old woman retraces her gap year through Ireland, France, and Italy to find love—and herself—in this hilarious and heartfelt novel.

It's been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong postcollege European adventure. Since then, she's lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea's thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most successful moneymaker is unquestioned.

When her introverted mathematician father announces he's getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her year abroad. Inspired to retrace her steps—to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy—Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago can help her find it again.

From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.

Meet the author - Jenn McKinlay
Jenn McKinlay is the award winning, New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly
bestselling author of several mystery and romance series. Her work has been translated
into multiple languages in countries all over the world. She lives in sunny Arizona in a
house that is overrun with kids, pets, and her husband's guitars.

My thoughts
I loved this book. I have been a fan of Jenn's cupcake mysteries for a long time so I was happy to be able to read a new genre from her.  Chelsea and Jason played well off of each other and made the story interesting.  It was also fun to travel along with Chelsea as she tries to "find" herself in Europe. This book as a quick easy read but did not lack in substance. I am looking forward to Jenn's next book. 

July 3, 2020

Sunrise on Half Moon Bay by Robyn Carr - Review

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Book details
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (April 14, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0778309487
ISBN-13: 978-0778309482

Book description
Sometimes the happiness we’re looking for has been there all along…

Adele and Justine have never been close. Born twenty years apart, Justine was already an adult when Addie was born. The sisters love each other but they don’t really know each other.

When Addie dropped out of university to care for their ailing parents, Justine, a successful lawyer, covered the expenses. It was the best arrangement at the time but now that their parents are gone, the future has changed dramatically for both women.

Addie had great plans for her life but has been worn down by the pressures of being a caregiver and doesn’t know how to live for herself. And Justine’s success has come at a price. Her marriage is falling apart despite her best efforts.

Neither woman knows how to start life over but both realize they can and must support each other the way only sisters can. Together they find the strength to accept their failures and overcome their challenges. Happiness is within reach, if only they have the courage to fight for it.

Set in the stunning coastal town of Half Moon Bay, California, Robyn Carr’s new novel examines the joys of sisterhood and the importance of embracing change.

Meet the author - Robyn Carr
Robyn Carr is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty novels, including highly praised women's fiction such as Four Friends and The View From Alameda Island and the critically acclaimed Virgin River, Thunder Point and Sullivan's Crossing series. Virgin River is now a Netflix Original series. Robyn lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit her website at www.RobynCarr.com.

My thoughts
Robyn has hit is out of the park again with this book. The setting of this book is great, who would not want to go to Half Moon Bay to recharge.  I liked how Addie and Justine learned that they could help each other out when they most needed it. Sometimes it takes awhile or something happening for the sister bond to show. It does take just a little while for Addie and Justine to grow on you but by the end you end up loving them. I enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end.  I look forward to the next hit by Robyn. 

A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020) 
Paperback: 304 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496726340 
ISBN-13: 978-1496726346 
Kindle ASIN: B07W8Y4D6R
  


Book description
Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . .

Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when she was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father's landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes and trickling fountains. Now she's starting a book club tea.

But the light of the magical world she's created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside a fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she’s about to get a little help from an unexpected new friend . . .

Meet the author - Daryl Wood Gerber 
Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries. In June 2020, her new series, the Fairy Garden Mysteries debuts. As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes the Aspen Adams novels of suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, garden, and read, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links 

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N

Giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
June 29 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
June 29 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW 
June 29 – Angel's Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT 
June 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST 
June 29 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT 
June 30 - Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
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June 30 - A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW 
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July 1 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT 
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July 2 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW 
July 3 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW 
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June 10, 2020

Booked for Death by Victoria Gilbert - Review and Giveaway

 

Book details
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020) 
Hardcover: 320 pages 
ISBN-10: 1643853074 
ISBN-13: 978-1643853079 
Digital ASIN: B07XX7PHTV 

Book description
From the critically acclaimed author of SIBA Okra Pick A Murder for the Books, Victoria Gilbert embarks with a new series for perfect for fans of Kate Carlisle and Juliet Blackwell.

A book lover's B&B in an idyllic waterfront village becomes the scene of a grisly murder--and a ruthless battle between treachery and the truth.

Nestled in the historic waterfront town of Beaufort, North Carolina, Chapters Bed-and-Breakfast is a reader's paradise. Built in 1770, the newly renovated inn hosts a roster of special events celebrating books, genres, and authors. It's the perfect literary retreat--until a rare book dealer turns up dead in the carriage house during a celebration of Golden Age mystery author Josephine Tey.

The victim's daughter points the finger at forty-two-year-old widow and former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed, who inherited the B&B from her great-aunt Isabella. Charlotte is shocked to discover that the book dealer suspected Isabella of being a thief who founded Chapters on her ill-gotten gains. Charlotte has successfully learned the B&B business in a year, but nothing has prepared her to handle a death on the premises.

Armed with intelligence and courage and assisted by her vibrant older neighbor, a visiting author, and members of a local book club, Charlotte is determined to prove her innocence and to clear her great-aunt's name. But the murderer is still at large, and equally determined to silence anyone who might discover the truth behind the book dealer's death. Now, Charlotte must outwit an unknown killer--or end up writing her own final chapter.

Meet the author - Victoria Gilbert
Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. Victoria has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers and lives in North Carolina. This is her fourth Blue Ridge Library mystery.

Author Links: Website/blog: http://victoriagilbertmysteries.com/ 
Purchase Links: Amazon B&N Kobo Indie Bound 

My thoughts
I enjoyed this first book in the new series by Victoria. The book lover's bed and breakfast sounds like a nice getaway as long as you don't stumble upon a murder victim. The author did a good job of keeping me guessing.  I liked the characters and am looking forward to getting to know them better as the series goes on. I also thought it was neat how the week long stay at the bed and breakfast was themed around an author.  I am hoping we don't have to wait too long for the next in this series. 

Giveaway



TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
June 8 – The Bookwyrm's Hoard – REVIEW J
une 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT 
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June 10 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
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June 14 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW 
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June 16 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
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May 8, 2020

Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan - Spotlight and Giveaway



Book details
Mousse and Murder (An Alaskan Diner Mystery) 
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Publisher: Berkley (May 5, 2020) 
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages 
ISBN-10: 0593100441 
ISBN-13: 978-0593100448 
Kindle ASIN: B07WCZPZY7
 

Book description
A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town.

When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even consider saying no. After all--her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with her roots may be just what she needs.

Determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner, Charlie starts planning changes to the menu, which has grown stale over the years. But her plans are fried when her head cook Oliver turns up dead after a bitter and public fight over Charlie's ideas--leaving Charlie as the only suspect in the case.

With her career, freedom, and life all on thin ice, Charlie must find out who the real killer is, before it's too late.

Meet the author Elizabeth Logan
Camille Minichino is turning every aspect of her life into a mystery series. A retired physicist, she’s the author of 28 mystery novels in 5 series, with different pen names. Her next book is “Mousse and Murder,” May 2020, by Elizabeth Logan. She's also written many short stories and articles. She teaches science at Golden Gate U. in San Francisco and writing workshops around the SF Bay Area. Details are at www.minichino.com.

Author Links Website - http://www.minichino.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/camille.minichino
GoodReads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/160580.Camille_Minichino

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - IndieBound 

Giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
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