Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella / Book Review


By: Sophie Kinsella
Published by: Bantam Press
Released on: February 7th, 2017
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Stars - I loved it!!!

Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed.

Ok, so the real truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers.

But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they?

Until her not-so perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business.

Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams? Or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman with everything – have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems.

And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?

Oh you guys, I needed this book so badly. I have been in The Book Slump to End All Book Slumps lately and my sure-fire way to cure this is to turn to the genre that never, ever fails me -- Brit Chick Lit. The Queen of that genre (for me, at least) is Sophie Kinsella. How wonderful for me that she came out with a new book this past month. I picked it up and devoured it immediately.

Katie Brenner is my kind of heroine, yes, she's spunky and determined, but she's also a country girl trying to fit into a city lifestyle. She changes everything, even her accent in an attempt to be more like her boss (who seemingly has everything). You know exactly how the plot will unfold, but this is Sophie Kinsella and she twists plots in such a clever way that you're never quite sure how things will end up.  This is exactly the case with My Not So Perfect Life. Just when you think AHA! I know what's going to happen next, a hiccup occurs throwing the characters off kilter. I so love this, and it's always the medicine I need when I'm trying to attack the Book Slump Plague.

Katie's journey is not just one of a  The Devil Wears Prada nature. Yes her boss, Demetra, has the exact life everything everyone seemingly wants -- a soaring career, a devoted husband, two wonderful children and more fabulous evening engagements then anyone can imagine. Her instagram feed is the envy of all career women. But beneath all the glamour and seeming togetherness, lies an altogether different story. Without spoiling the plot, it's this story that makes the book much less formulaic than I expected and in my mind, it merits those extra stars.

The way Katie and Demetra's paths criss-cross and their relationship develops is filled with truly funny, worrisome and satisfying moments. I would only wish every single career girl, starting off on their path, the very same experience. It made me think of my very worst boss ever (think Devil Wears Prada and you are SO THERE). I wondered if there was something beyond her seemingly ridiculous demands and impossible expectations? And if I knew more about her personal life would my opinion change? Not sure, but Sophie did make me wonder for a moment or two.

The romance is, as you would expect, a deliciously paced will-they-won't-they kind. The way they meet is so very logical. It adds a clever subplot to the overall story. And it's so perfectly, so Sophie-ly swoony.

If you're in the mood for a romantic read with some comedic moments and a really well paced plot, pick up, My Not So Perfect Life. It made me fall in love with chick lit all over again.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

ORGANIZE YOUR WAY: Simple Strategies for Every Personality. Authors: Katie and Kelly McMenamin / Book Blitz & Giveaway


Welcome to the ORGANIZE YOUR WAY: Simple Strategies for Every Personality Type, book blitz! One of the reasons why I created this blog, was so we could also indulge in books/things we love that don't pertain to YA. Today I'm excited to be apart of a book blitz for an organizational book. I am an organizational junkie. I am one of those people who can't function if things aren't organized or cleaned. I'm also one of those people who loves to get new ideas and try new things. This book sounds like it's going to be a good read. I'm looking forward to checking it out.

ABOUT THE BOOK


ByKatie McMenamin and Kelly McMenamin
Published by: Sterling
Released on: March 14th, 2017
Purchase from: Amazon

Stressing over the mess? Discover YOUR personal organizing style—and stay organized forever!

Organization isn’t one-size-fits-all. Different people need different solutions. Fortunately, Katie and Kelly McMenamin—the organizing gurus behind PixiesDidIt!®—have found the key to making organization stick, with strategies that work for every personality.


Whether you’re OCD or a little less fastidious, Katie and Kelly will help you discover your organizational style, using unconventional approaches or sticking to what already works. Along with personality-based solutions for every space in your home, they offer advice on solving strife between different “PixieTypes.” So you can keep the stuff you love . . . and the peace!


TOP TEN PIXIE TIPS FOR ORGANIZATION

1. Knowing who you are is the key to organization mainly because if you’re pretending to be someone else, it’s hard to remember where that pretend person put something!  

2. Change is hard, so be honest about organizing tasks. People who never hang up their coats in a closet, probably never will; get a coat rack and call it a day. 
3. Perfect isn’t real. Magazine perfection is styled by a professional whose job it is to make everything perfection for the millisecond it takes to snap a photo.

4. No shame, no blame! You liking clear, spotless surfaces doesn’t make you OCD (it’s not a personality disorder), it’s your personality type.

5. Later Box It. When you can’t part with a useless item, store it away in a box and revisit that box in a few months (a year), whatever you missed keep, whatever you forgot … dude, let it go.

6. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Change is hard (see #2!) so if storing TP right next to the toilet works for you, do it, but for heaven’s sake try to make it look nice—unless you live alone on Antarctica then who cares.

7. Organizing at its core is about retrieval. Period. Can you easily find and get things when you need them. Everything else is an argument about aesthetics.

8. One-step solutions are golden. Hanging up your coat is a five-step process whereas popping it on a hook is one-step. Light bulb (at least it was for us!)

9. Be loud & proud. So, you write important To Do’s on your hand in a pinch. Who cares? Don’t apologize, defend it and tell any scolds where they can go.

10. There’s no best way to organize—just the best one for you!


WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER




ABOUT THE AUTHORS


Katie McMenamin and Kelly McMenamin are sisters, professional organizers, personality-type experts, and founders of PixieDidIt! Their business is an outgrowth of buttoned-up hedge fund analyst Kelly spending 30-odd years trying and failing to get her messy older sister Katie, a writer, to be more organized. Countless fights ensued until they had an idea: What if there is more than one way to organize? Today, they spend the bulk of their time organizing for clients, writing for their website, and giving talks on how to organize according to your personality type. Kelly lives in NYC with her husband and three sons and Katie lives in their hometown, the Land of Champions, aka Cleveland, OH, with her husband and three daughters.

Learn more! Check out their website, PIXIESDIDIT.
Connect with them on Facebook | Twitter


ENTER TO WIN 

Enter for your chance to win (1) Finished Copy of ORGANIZE YOUR WAY. To enter, please fill out the form below: (US Only)
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Thursday, March 9, 2017

HOW TO TAME A BEAST IN SEVEN DAYS by Kerrelyn Sparks / Blog Tour: Book Review


ByKerrelyn Sparks
Published by: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Released on: March 7th, 2017
Series: The Embraced Series #1
Purchase from: The PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Stars - I Enjoyed It
Read an Excerpt 
An arc was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Luciana grew up on the Isle of Moon, hidden away because of her magical powers. But when her father arrives, he offers her a choice: remain on the island or return with him and marry the Beast of Benwick in order to save their legacy - and her father's life.

Lord Leofric, the Beast of Benwick, has not been touched since he was a child. Born with the power to harness lightning, he is a danger to everyone he touches. When he meets his betrothed, he expects a loveless, lonely marriage...until he discovers she's vastly more powerful than he realized. But is she strong enough to withstand his touch?

If they can survive, their love will alter the future of the kingdom. But will their extraordinary powers cost them everything?

Filled with romance, humor, and a beautifully imagined new world, HOW TO TAME A BEAST IN SEVEN DAYS is a fantasy in the vein of Game of Thrones with all the fun of The Princess Bride. Luciana is a vibrant leading lady that will have readers rooting for her spunk and devotion to her family while the Beast is a swoon worthy hero worth taming. 

How To Tame A Beast In Seven Days is a swoon worthy, humor laced, fantasy with the kind of sizzling character chemistry I love to read. This was just the kind of book I needed. It's rich in lore, history, world building, and characters. There's plenty of action, danger, and romance, mixed with the right amount of humor that had me laughing out loud.

Spunky, intelligent, and not afraid of standing her ground, Luciana is a character that I liked from the get go. She is a incredibly strong, independent women who isn't afraid to do what she thinks is right. I love her sharp tongue and quick wit. She's not afraid to not bite her tongue when it comes to the mysterious man in black, and her betrothed. It makes for some rather comical dialogue between Luciana and Leo. More importantly, I love that Luciana is fiercely independent. 

Lord Leofric, known as Leo, is the perfect match for Luciana. Like Luciana, he is a character who's been through a lot. He channels that into the man is now, and his duties. He's respected by those who know him best, and feared by those who don't. He's loyal, fearless, intelligent, and has the right amount of snark I'd except from someone like him. He has met his match in Luciana. The beauty to his beast. 

Lord Leofric and Luciana are a match made in character chemistry heaven. These two have the sizzle that I love. Sparks's does an awesome job with the way she develops their relationship. It felt naturally and unforced. I loved the way they both effected each other, and what transpires when they're together. For all the sizzle and swoon, these two can dish it out to each other that leaves me in a fit of giggles. 

There are a lot of great characters who make up this story, and I enjoyed getting to know each of them. Aside from Leo and Luciana, Brody was one of my favorite characters. Some of these characters and the humor in this book, reminded of another fav story of mine, The Princess Bride. It's similar in the way  this story keeps you hooked with the entertaining dialogue and character relationships, and has you wanting more.  I love that this book had more substance to it than just romance. 

This was my first Kerrelyn Sparks book, but it won't be my last. 


Praise for Kerrelyn Sparks

"A deeply satisfying, delightfully swoon-inducing close...full of vulnerability and tenderness."
— Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Vampire

"Mixing paranormal romance with humor, Sparks clearly has a style all her own, one that readers love."
— USA Today's Happily Ever After blog

"Sparks skillfully infuses her writing with a deliciously sharp wit."
— Booklist


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ICE WOLF and SHADOW WOLF by Jane Godman / Release Day Blitz


Hello and welcome to today's release day blitz. We're thrilled to celebrate the release of the first two books in Jane Godman's Artic Brotherhood Series, Ice Wolf & Shadow Wolf. Out now from St. Martin's Press. Below you'll find excerpts for both books, as well as information on each book. Check it out below: 


Ice Wolf Except
Inside the tiny ground-floor bathroom Jenny had a medicine cabinet of industrial proportions. She worked quickly and efficiently, her hands on his flesh impersonal and capable as she cleaned away the blood. The whole time the atmosphere between them thrummed with more. It whispered of different touches, unspoken, longed-for clandestine caresses. Because of the bond between them, Wilder knew Jenny felt it, too. Could feel it in the heat of her body, scent the longing on her skin and in her most private recesses. It took every ounce of the iron self-control he’d built up over the years to keep his animal instincts in check and let his own hands hang loose at his sides.
There was a unique bond between all Arctic werewolves. It was a soul-deep connection, stronger than friendship or pack loyalty. It singled them out. Unlike moon-called werewolves, theirs was an instant, symbiotic affinity. It automatically bound Wilder and Jenny together.
But Wilder was afraid this was more. Afraid and excited at the same time. He had spent so long ignoring everything to do with his inner wolf and determinedly keeping the human world at arm’s length, he’d almost forgotten what physical attraction felt like. Almost. He hadn’t completely lost the ability to fantasize. He knew it felt a lot like this. Except what he was feeling right now was so much more. And that was what scared him. Because his inner wolf was setting the pace.
Werewolves were creatures who believed in folklore and magic. He knew what the legends said. It was like a mantra imprinted into every werewolf’s psyche. We mate for life. There is one mate for every wolf. Before he had turned his back on his inner wolf, Wilder had heard the stories about how a werewolf would instantly know its mate. How the sudden hit of attraction would be like nothing he or she had ever encountered before. It was said to be irresistible, like an injection of pure, molten heat straight into the bloodstream.
What happened if a werewolf who no longer wanted to be a werewolf suddenly encountered his mate? Had anyone ever asked that question? Was Wilder about to be the first?

Shadow Wolf Excerpt
Valetta waited for Samson’s expression to change. She had just confessed to being Shadow Born. She was a monster who had the power to destroy his whole species. Now he knew what she was, she expected him to walk away in disgust. At the very least. If he tried to kill her, she wouldn’t blame him.
What she didn’t expect was for him to lift her into his lap and wrap his strong arms around her so that he could cradle her against his chest. One big hand ran up and down her back in a surprisingly gentle motion. He held her that way for long, heart-stopping minutes until some of the terror that had held her heart in a vise for so long began to melt away.
“How did you find out?”
She loved that he didn’t do the obvious stuff. Didn’t say it couldn’t be true. Didn’t exclaim and wonder. Didn’t offer sympathy or horror. He just got directly to the important part.
“My mother left me a letter to be opened when I was twenty-one.” She lifted her head and found Samson’s face disturbingly close. “My father thought it was a lovely idea. That it would contain sentimental mother-daughter stuff, you know?”
“Hendrik never knew?”
She shook her head so violently that the action vibrated through both their bodies. It was a mistake. Even in such a serious situation, she was all too aware of his potent masculinity. The powerful thigh muscles beneath her buttocks clenched, and she sensed him battling for control. “He still doesn’t know. Her letter begged me not to tell him.”
He gave a soft growl, his eyes probing hers. “So you have been dealing with this all alone for two years?”
“What else could I do? The truth would have destroyed my father. He loved her so much.” Valetta decided that although Samson’s lap was her new favorite place, it was probably not the best position from which to conduct a serious conversation. Reluctantly, she moved back to sit at his side. “Did you ever meet her?”
“Only once.” He seemed to be conjuring up a mental image. “The main thing I remember about Teresa is that she was stunningly beautiful. You are very like her.” Valetta hung her head. She’d never been good at accepting compliments and a tribute from Samson was so far outside her experience it knocked her off balance. “They were happy together and I was pleased that Hendrik had found someone at last.”
“Did you ever think it was strange that he had been alone for so long and then, just as he left the brotherhood, he met my mother?”
“I never thought of it that way. If I had, I suppose I’d have said it was a happy twist of fate.”

“Happy? Or sinister?” Valetta had had the last two years to think about this. Her mother’s letter hadn’t told her much. Just that Teresa was a Shadow Wolf. Which makes me just about the worst thing in the world to a werewolf. I’m like a silver bullet wrapped in flesh and blood.


ABOUT THE BOOKS



ICE WOLF and SHADOW WOLF by Jane Godman
E-Originals published by Swerve
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
ISBNs: 9781250119964 and 9781250104953
Price: $3.99

They are the Arctic Brotherhood. 
They are deadly fighters, fierce protectors and loyal mates. 

ABOUT ICE WOLF

Elliott Wilder is a mild mannered Alaskan college professor. Wilder craves the things most people find boring. Seclusion. Monotony. Anonymity. But what Wilder craves most of all is the thing he can’t have… memory loss. Four hundred years ago, Wilder and the other members of the Arctic Brotherhood were captured and tortured by the leader of the Siberian werewolves. Wilder is still haunted by memories of that night, when he wasn’t able to protect his leader.
Now the Siberian wolf is on the loose and seeking revenge. Not only must Wilder lead the brotherhood, he must fight the attraction he feels toward its newest recruit, Jenny Piper. Jenny offers Wilder a glimpse of the life he can’t have. As the brotherhood races against time to save humanity from the horror their enemies unleashed on the world, Wilder must reach inside himself to find the leader the brotherhood needs and the mate Jenny craves.

Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

ABOUT SHADOW WOLF

Samson Lee last saw Valetta Rickard five years ago when a shared a kiss almost led him to break the promise he had made to himself. Now Valetta has disappeared, and Samson has promised her father he will find her. When Samson finds Valetta leading a rogue gang of bloodthirsty Arctic werewolves, he soon discovers that all is not what it seems. As soon as they see each other again the feelings they denied all those years ago resurface.

Valetta is Shadow Born, a rare and mystical werewolf with legendary powers. If she chooses, she can destroy a whole species. A power that an evil hunter wants so that he can destroy the Arctic wolves. Samson, together with the other members of the brotherhood, must find the hunter before he can put his plans for Valetta into action. At the same time, Samson must put the past behind him and convince Valetta that she is worthy of love.

Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Godman writes paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne, thrillers for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and steamy historical romance for Samhain Publishing. Her paranormal series, The Arctic Brotherhood, is published by SMP Swerve. Jane lives in Cheshire, England, is married to a lovely man and is mum to two grown up children. When not writing, Jane loves to travel to European cities that are steeped in history.

Author Links Website | Facebook | Twitter