Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #9

I joined Goodreads a few years ago, way before I started blogging, so my profile is kind of a mess.  I really want to clean it up so I can make better use of it.  I thought what a better way to do that than to join the Down the TBR Hole meme started by Lia @Lost In a Story! I am going to do it once a month instead of weekly, and hopefully make my Goodreads a pleasant place to be again.

Here is how it works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books

Decide: keep it or should it go?


Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft by Mindy Klasky

248583Which is more unlikely? Meeting a single, straight, reasonably attractive, willing-to-commit man? Or discovering a secret cache of magic books?

For good girl Jane Madison, neither has a shot in hell of coming true—until the day she finds a hidden room….

Now she’s done a bit of experimenting and found a spell that makes her irresistible to men—even those who have previously ignored her. And another that turns a cat into her witch’s familiar (a snarky, critical, self-absorbed man—pretty much a typical male). Though her impulsive acts of magic have brought a warder (sexy, grouchy, elusive and determined to stop her from using magic) down on her, Jane’s not willing to let go of this fantastic new life.

Though she wonders about having things that aren’t “real,” she’s having too much fun to stop. After all, no one ever said being a witch was easy….

My Thoughts: I can’t get enough of witches, in all versions and forms, and this book sounds like such a fun and easy read for whenever I’m in the mood for some witchcraft.  VERDICT: KEEP


Once Upon Stilettos by Shanna Swendson

Click your heels three times and say, 600567
“There’s no place like Bloomies!”

Katie Chandler’s life is pure magic–literally. As an executive assistant at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., she’s seen more than her share of fantastical occurrences. A mere Manhattan mortal, Katie is no wizard, but she’s a wiz at exposing “hokum” pocus, cloaked lies, and deceptive enchantments. And she’s fallen under the all-too-human spell of attraction to Owen, a hunky wizard and coworker. Owen, however, is preoccupied. Someone has broken into his office and disrupted top-secret files, and it reeks of an inside job. CEO Merlin (yes, the Merlin) taps Katie and her special ability to uncover the magical mole.

Keeping her feelings in check while sleuthing alongside Owen, Katie is shocked to discover that her immunity to magic is waning, putting her in grave danger. Soon she’s surrendering to the charms and enchantments of everyone and everything around her, including a killer pair of red stilettos. Katie must now conjure up her natural instincts to get to the bottom of the break-in, regain her power, and win the wizard of her dreams.

My Thoughts: This sounds like it could be cute.  It’s actually is the second in a series, which I didn’t realize when I added it.  It doesn’t really call to me though so for now… VERDICT: TOSS


A Hopeless Romantic by Harriet Evans

528560Laura Foster is a hopeless romantic. Her friends know it, her parents know it—even Laura acknowledges she lives either with her head in the clouds or buried in a romance novel. It’s proved harmless enough, even if it hasn’t delivered her a real-life dashing hero yet. But when her latest relationship ends in a disaster that costs her friendships, her job, and nearly her sanity, Laura swears off men and hopeless romantic fantasies for good.

With her life in tatters around her, Laura agrees to go on vacation with her parents. After a few days of visiting craft shops and touring the stately homes of England, Laura is ready to tear her hair out. And then, while visiting grand Chartley Hall, she crosses paths with Nick, the sexy, rugged estate manager. She finds she shares more than a sense of humor with him—in fact, she starts to think she could fall for him. But is Nick all he seems? Or has Laura got it wrong again? Will she open her heart only to have it broken again?

My Thoughts: This one is hard for me.  I’ve recently gotten back into contemporary romances, and I feel like I might like this one, but I have so many other things that call me more… VERDICT: TOSS


Angel Falls by Kristin Hannah

When Mikaela Campbell, beloved wife and mother, falls into a coma, it is up to her 276342husband, Liam, to hold the family together and care for their grieving, frightened children. Doctors tell him not to expect a recovery, but he believes that love can accomplish what medical science cannot. Daily he sits at her bedside, telling her stories of the precious life they have built together, hoping against hope that she will wake up. But then he discovers evidence of his wife’s secret past: a hidden first marriage to movie star Julian True.

Desperate to bring Mikaela back at any cost, Liam knows he must turn to Julian for help. But will that choice cost Liam his wife, his family, and everything he holds dear? One of Kristin Hannah’s most moving novels, Angel Falls is a poignant and unforgettable portrait of marriage and commitment, of an ordinary man who dares to risk everything in the name of love.

My Thoughts: This is a no brainer.  I love everything Kristin Hannah has ever written, and I’m honestly just surprised that I haven’t read this one yet… VERDICT: KEEP


Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

6482837For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

 

My Thoughts:  I’ve seen this one everywhere for so long, and I know I need to read it.  VERDICT: KEEP


What do you think? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #7

I joined Goodreads a few years ago, way before I started blogging, so my profile is kind of a mess.  I really want to clean it up so I can make better use of it.  I thought what a better way to do that than to join the Down the TBR Hole meme started by Lia @Lost In a Story! I am going to do it once a month instead of weekly, and hopefully make my Goodreads a pleasant place to be again.

Here is how it works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

    Swapping Lives by Jane Green

31098What if a successful, single Londoner and a comfortable, Connecticut mother of two were to walk in each other?s shoes for a month? Vicky Townsley is the director of Poise! magazine and lives a glamorous London life. She has everything she wants?except marriage, children, and a house in the country. Amber Winslow has a stone mansion in Connecticut, two kids, and a nanny, but she hasn?t found the fulfillment she had expected from being a wife and mother. When she spots an intriguing contest in Poise! Amber impulsively enters, never expecting to be picked. 

A must-read for every modern woman who?s ever considered the road not taken, Swapping Lives is a warm and realistic chronicle of two women who do more than wonder if the grass is greener on the other side of the Atlantic.

My Thoughts: This book sounds fun, but it’s just not really on my radar anymore.  VERDICT: TOSS


She Went All the Way by Meggin Cabot

23226Success hasn’t spoiled screenwriter Lou Calabrese — it’s just given her a taste for luxury. And it’s put her in some bizarre situations — like in a helicopter en route to the wilds of Alaska, sharing too-close quarters with the last man she wants to be with: Jack Townsend! Once a sexy nobody whom Lou helped make a somebody, Jack’s just been dumped by a high-profile Hollywood airhead — who’s eloped with Lou’s longtime love! So what else could go wrong?

Well…

Their pilot could try to shoot the most adored man in America. They could crash land in the icy, mountainous middle of nowhere. And at the worst possible moment, when survival should be their only consideration, Jack could start wondering if maybe he wasn’t a wee bit too hasty for not giving this sexy screenwriter a second look — while Lou could start noticing how superstar Jack is kind of hot after all … 

My Thoughts: I mean it’s Meg Cabot so… this one is a no brainer for me. VERDICT: KEEP


Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbison

1087075Helene Zaharis’s  politician husband  keeps her on a tight leash and cancels her credit cards as a way of controlling her. Lorna Rafferty is up to her eyeballs in debt and can’t stop her addiction to Ebay. Sandra Vanderslice, battling agoraphobia, pays her shoe bills by working as a phone sex operator. And Jocelyn Bowen is a nanny for the family from hell (who barely knows a sole from a heel but who will do anything to get out of the house). 
 
On Tuesday nights, these women meet to trade shoes, and, in the process, form friendships that will help them each triumph over their problems—from secret pasts to blackmail, bankruptcy, and dating.  Funny, emotional, and powerful, Shoe Addicts Anonymous is the perfect read for any woman who has ever struggled to find the perfect fit.

My Thoughts: This type of chick-lit just doesn’t grab me like it used to.. I’ve definitely gravitated away from the genre.. VERDICT: TOSS


Sleeping Arrangements by Madeline Wickham

194086Chloe needs a holiday. She’s sick of making wedding dresses, her partner Philip has troubles at work, the whole family wants a break. Her wealthy friend Gerard has offered the loan of his luxury villa in Spain – perfect.

Hugh is not a happy man. His immaculate wife Amanda seems more interested in her new kitchen than in him, and he works so hard to pay for it, he barely has time for his children. Maybe he’ll have a chance to bond with them on holiday. His old friend Gerard has lent them a luxury villa in Spain – perfect.

Both families arrive at the villa and realise the awful truth – Gerard has double-booked. What no-one else realises is that Chloe and Hugh have a history, and as tensions rise within the two families, old passions resurface. It seems that Gerard’s ‘accidental’ double booking may not be an accident after all…

My Thoughts: Ok.. I thought this was gonna be a toss for sure, but it still sounds appealing.  I’m surprised at myself. VERDICT: KEEP


Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

402013There are six things very wrong with my life:

1. I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.

2. It is on my nose

3. I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.

4. In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberfuhrer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic teachers.

5. I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.

6. I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.

In this wildly funny journal of a year in the life of Georgia Nicolson, British author Louise Rennison has perfectly captured the soaring joys and bottomless angst of being a teenager. In the spirit of Bridget Jones’s Diary, this fresh, irreverent, and simply hilarious book will leave you laughing out loud. As Georgia would say, it’s “Fabbity fab fab!”

My Thoughts: I remember when I added this to my TBR, and it looked so funny.  I think I have too many other books on my priority list now.. VERDICT: TOSS


We’re making progress folks! I think I’m getting better at making decisions….  What do you think about my choices? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #6

I joined Goodreads a few years ago, way before I started blogging, so my profile is kind of a mess.  I really want to clean it up so I can make better use of it.  I thought what a better way to do that than to join the Down the TBR Hole meme started by Lia @Lost In a Story! I am going to do it once a month instead of weekly, and hopefully make my Goodreads a pleasant place to be again.

Here is how it works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner

80536Rebecca Rothstein-Rabinowitz is a plump, sexy chef who has a wonderful husband, supportive friends, a restaurant that’s received citywide acclaim, a beautiful baby girl…and the mother-in-law from hell. 
Kelly Day’s life looks picture-perfect. But behind the doors of her largely empty apartment, she’s struggling to balance work and motherhood and marriage, while entering Oliver’s every move (and movement) on a spreadsheet, and dealing with an unemployed husband who seems content to channel-surf for eight hours a day. 
And Ayinde Towne is already on shaky ground, trying to live her life to the letter of a how-to guide called Baby Success, when her basketball superstar husband breaks her trust at the most vulnerable moment in her life, putting their marriage in peril — and their new family even more in the public eye. 
Then there’s Lia Frederick, a Philadelphia native who has just come home, leaving Los Angeles behind, along with her glamorous Hollywood career, her husband, and a tragic secret, to start her life all over again. 
With her trademark warmth and humor, Weiner tells the story of what happens after happily ever after…and how an eight-pound bundle of joy can shake up every woman’s sense of herself in the world around her. 
From prenatal yoga to postbirth sex, from sisters and husbands to mothers and mothers-in-law, Little Earthquakes is a frank, funny, fiercely perceptive Diaper Genie-eye view of the comedies and tragedies of love and marriage.

My Thoughts: I’m sure I would probably like this book, but right now it’s just not capturing my attention.  I have way too many books that I’m dying to read, that I most likely will never get around to it anyways.  VERDICT: TOSS


P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

Holly couldn’t live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were 366522thekind of young couple who could finish each other’s sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed.

The kind of enchanting novel with cross-generational appeal that comes along once in a great while, PS, I Love You is a captivating love letter to the world!

My Thoughts:This movie is one of my favorites, and when I saw it was based on a book I immediately added it to my list.  Since I already know what happens, and I am happy with the movie, I don’t think this book is high on my priority list.  VERDICT: TOSS


 

Bookends by Jane Green

22649Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are best friends: total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love. Cath is scatterbrained, messy, and–since she had her heart broken a few years back–emotionally closed off. Si is impossibly tidy, bitchy, and desperate for a man of his own. They live in London’s West Hampstead along with their lifelong friends, Josh and Lucy, who are happily married with a devil-spawn child and a terrifying Swedish nanny, Ingrid.

All’s well (sort of) until the sudden arrival of a college friend–the stunningly beautiful Portia, who’s known for breaking hearts. Though they’ve grown up and grown apart from Portia, the four friends welcome her back into the fold. But does Portia have a hidden agenda or is she merely looking to reconnect with old friends? Her reappearance soon unleashes a rollicking series of events that tests the foursome’s friendships to the limit and leaves them wondering if a happy ending is in store.

Fortunately, Cath has plenty to take her mind off Portia’s schemes–like her gutsy decision to leave her job in advertising to fulfill her dream of opening a bookstore. And then there’s James, the sexy real-estate agent who keeps dropping by even after the bookstore deal is done. With his irresistible smile and boyish charm could he be the one to melt Cath’s heart? 

Told with Jane Green’s captivating wit and flare, Bookends is above all a story about friendship–its twists, turns and complications–and how it weathers the challenges of love, ambition, marriage, and, most of all, growing up. Warmhearted, sophisticated, and full of delicious surprises, Bookends is Green’s most dazzling novel yet.

My Thoughts: This sounds really fun, and while it will probably remain low on my list, I still think I am interested in it for now.  VERDICT: KEEP


Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

Addie Downs and Valerie Adler were eight when they first met and decided to be best 6066819friends forever. But, in the wake of tragedy and betrayal during their teenage years, everything changed. Val went on to fame and fortune. Addie stayed behind in their small Midwestern town. Destiny, however, had more in store for these two. And when, twenty-five years later, Val shows up at Addie’s front door with blood on her coat and terror on her face, it is the beginning of a wild adventure for two women joined by love and history who find strength together that they could not find alone. 

My Thoughts: I went in thinking this was gonna be a for sure toss, but the summary interested me.  I also am a sucker for a good friendship story.  VERDICT: KEEP


Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes

9011Plum Sykes beguiling debut welcomes readers to the glamorous world of Park Avenue Princesses, the girls who careen through Manhattan in search of the perfect Fake Bake (tan acquired from Portofino Tanning Salon), a ride on a PJ (private jet) with the ATM (rich boyfriend), and the ever-elusive fiance. 

With invitations to high-profile baby showers and benefits, more Marc Jacobs clothes than is decent, and a department store heiress for a best friend, our heroine known only as Moi is living at the peak of New York society. But what is Moi to do when her engagement falls apart? Can she ever find happiness in a city filled with the distractions of Front Row Girls, dermatologists, premieres, and eyebrow waxes? Is it possible to find love in a town where her friends think that the secret to happiness is getting invited to the Van Cleef and Arpels private sample sale? And how is she going to deal with the endless phone calls from her mother in England demanding that she get married to the Earl next door?

With enormous wit and an insider’s eye, Sykes captures the nuances of the rich and spoiled in a heartwarming social satire, featuring a loveable “champagne bubble of a girl” who’s just looking for love (and maybe the perfect pair of Chloe jeans).

My Thoughts: I’m really on the fence with this one.  I’m sure it would be entertaining, and I know when I added this book to my TBR it was my favorite kind of read, but I don’t read as much chick-lit as I used to… hmmm. VERDICT: TOSS (for now)


Well, we’re still in the depth of my 2011 chick-lit obsession, but we’re whittling it down slowly, but surely.  Even the ones I kept will probably have low priority on the list, but they still sound good to me.  What do you guys think about my choices this time? Let me know in the comments! ❤

Discussion Posts · Tags

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #5

I joined Goodreads a few years ago, way before I started blogging, so my profile is kind of a mess.  I really want to clean it up so I can make better use of it.  I thought what a better way to do that than to join the Down the TBR Hole meme started by Lia @Lost In a Story! I am going to do it once a month instead of weekly, and hopefully make my Goodreads a pleasant place to be again.

Here is how it works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

    The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Millennium #3) by Stieg Larsson

    6892870The stunning third and final novel in Stieg Larsson’s internationally best-selling trilogy.

    Lisbeth Salander – the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels – lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge – against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

    Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

My Thoughts:   I’m not a huge thriller person in general, but I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, but for some reason I just don’t have any need to go on with the rest. VERDICT: TOSS


Shopaholic Ties the Knot (Shopaholic #3) by Sophie Kinsella

Life has been good for Becky Bloomwood: She’s become the best personal shopper at 9419Barneys, she and her successful entrepreneurial boyfriend, Luke, are living happily in Manhattan’s West Village, and her new next-door neighbor is a fashion designer! But with her best friend, Suze, engaged, how can Becky fail to notice that her own ring finger is bare? Not that she’s been thinking of marriage (or diamonds) or anything . . . Then Luke proposes! Bridal registries dance in Becky’s head. Problem is, two other people are planning her wedding: Becky’s overjoyed mother has been waiting forever to host a backyard wedding, with the bride resplendent in Mum’s frilly old gown. While Luke’s high-society mother is insisting on a glamorous, all-expenses-paid affair at the Plaza. Both weddings for the same day. And Becky can’t seem to turn down either one. Can everyone’s favorite shopaholic tie the knot before everything unravels?

My Thoughts: I was so enamored by this series when I was in middle school, but I am no longer invested in it, so I think it’s time to let this one go (as well as the rest of the series). Verdict: TOSS


In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner

637700Rose Feller is thirty; a successful lawyer with high hopes of a relationship with Jim, Mr Not-Quite-Right, a senior partner in her firm. The last thing she needs is her messed-up, only occasionally employed sister Maggie moving in: drinking, smoking, stealing her money – and her shoes – and spoiling her chance of romance. If only Maggie would grow up and settle down with a nice guy and a steady job.
Maggie is drop dead gorgeous and irresistible to men. She’s going to make it big as a TV presenter, or a singer…or an actress. All she needs is a lucky break. What she doesn’t need is her uptight sister Rose interfering in her life. If only Rose would lighten-up, have some fun – and learn how to use a pair of tweezers. Rose and Maggie think they have nothing in common but a childhood tragedy, shared DNA and the same size feet, but they are about to find out that they’re more alike than they’d ever believe.

My Thoughts: I am a fan of Jennifer Weiner, and I added this one because of the movie, but it really doesn’t sound like something I am interested in reading anymore.  Verdict: TOSS


Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination 6063187seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie-a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance-mysteriously appears, she has one request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, because Sadie cannot rest without it.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from and about each other. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.

My Thoughts:  While this one is more intriguing to me than finishing the Shopaholic series, I just have so many more books that really capture my attention, and this one doesn’t anymore.  Verdict: TOSS


Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

42149

First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes . . . a baby carriage? Isn’t that what all women want?

Not so for Claudia Parr. And just as she gives up on finding a man who feels the same way, she meets warm, wonderful Ben. Things seem too good to be true when they fall in love and agree to buck tradition with a satisfying, child-free marriage. Then the unexpected occurs: one of them has a change of heart. One of them wants children after all.

This is the witty, heartfelt story about what happens to the perfect couple when they suddenly want different things. It’s about feeling that your life is set and then realizing that nothing is as you thought it was—and that there is no possible compromise. It’s about deciding what is most important in life, and taking chances to get it. But most of all, it’s about the things we will do—and won’t do—for love.

My Thoughts: I really love Emily Giffin, even more so after listening to her Barnes and Noble podcast episode, and while this synopsis doesn’t quite grab me as much as some others, I have faith that it would be a book I’d enjoy.  Verdict: KEEP


This time was really easy for me.  I was clearly in a Chick-Lit phase when I added most of these, and my reading taste and priorities have changed a bit since 2011…   What do you guys think?  Did I make any mistakes?  Let me know in the comments! ❤

Discussion Posts

September Releases That I Can’t Wait For

This month is an exciting one for new releases! I have one that I am looking forward to coming out almost every week in September, and I CANNOT wait!

giphy


Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

September 4th, 2018 (TODAY! AHHHH!)

37486213

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake returns with the highly anticipated third book in the Three Dark Crowns series!

Katharine sits on the throne, Mirabella and Arsinoe are in hiding, and an unexpected renegade is about to wage a war of her own. The crown has been won, but these queens are far from done.

This is probably the one I am the most excited about.  I love this series so much and I cannot wait to find out what happens next.  I just finished reading the novella, Queens of Fennbirn, and it really put me in the mood.


Rule by Ellen Goodlett

September 11th, 2018

37946451

Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.

The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.

Or rather, three unexpected options.

Zofi has spent her entire life trekking through the outer Reaches with her band of Travelers. She would do anything to protect the band, her family. But no one can ever find out how far she’s already gone.

Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by whispers of rebellion and abused by her father. Desperate to escape, she makes a decision that threatens the whole kingdom.

Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady’s maid and scheming her way out of the servants’ chambers. But one such plot could get her hung for treason if anyone ever discovers what she’s done.

When the king summons the girls, they arrive expecting arrest or even execution. Instead they learn the truth: they are his illegitimate daughters, and one must become his new heir. But someone in Kolonya knows their secrets, and that someone will stop at nothing to keep the sisters from their destiny… to rule.

Magic, mystery, and blackmail abound in this sensational and striking fantasy debut. 

I’ve been seeing some mixed reviews for this book recently, but it the summary makes me really excited still.  I’m definitely going to check it out and see what people are talking about, and I’m hoping that I’ll love it!


Iron Flower by Laurie Forest

September 18th, 2018

35750305

Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs, but their actions have propelled them straight into the ranks of the realm-wide Resistance against Gardnerian encroachment. As the Resistance struggles against the harsh rulings of High Priest Marcus Vogel and the Mage Council, Elloren begins to realize that none of the people she cares about will be safe if Gardneria seizes control of the Western Realm.

With tensions heating up in Verpacia, more and more Gardnerian soldiers continue to descend upon the university…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the newly rebuilt Fourth Division base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm’s length, Lukas is determined to wandfast to her, convinced that she has inherited her grandmother’s magic—the prophesied power of the Black Witch. As his very nearness seems to awaken a darkness inside her, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe that she’s truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.

Caught between her growing feelings for the rebellious Yvan Guriel and the seductive power offered by Lukas Grey, Elloren must find a way to stay true to what she knows is right and protect everyone she loves…even if that means protecting them from herself.

I absolutely LOVED The Black Witch, and have eagerly been awaiting the sequel since I finished it in March.  I’m so happy it’s finally here!


Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

September 18th, 2018

38356765

On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor—the young employee at Sotheby’s whom Marcus has fallen for—is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both—forever.

A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time’s Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries.

Since we Americans don’t get to see the Discovery of Witches TV show until “early 2019”, I’m just excited that we have another book in the All Souls world to tie us over until then!


 

Discussion Posts

Inspired by The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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People have been telling me to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho for years, and I always knew that I wanted to read it, but something made me put it off.  I finally read it, and I honestly don’t know why I didn’t read it sooner.  It is such a heartwarming, thought provoking, and inspiring story.  As an actor, you always have people telling you that your dreams are crazy, or unrealistic, and sometimes it is hard to deal with.  I am very lucky to have the most supportive family, who have never once questioned my decision to become a performer.  One of my favorite quotes my mom tells me all the time is:

“If people aren’t laughing at your dreams, then they’re not big enough.”

The Alchemist just helped to reinforce that I am on the right path, and I think it is a book that everyone should read, regardless of where you are in life.  I know I am late to the party on this one, but I am so happy that I finally experienced the magic of this book.  While reading, I wrote down a few of the quotes that really resonated with me and I wanted to share them here.


“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”


“I’m like everyone else- I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not actually what does.”


“This wasn’t a strange place; it was a new one.”


“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”


“The secret is here in the present.  If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it.  And if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better.”


“You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his destiny.  If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love.”


Do you have any quotes from this magical novel that spoke to you?  What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments ❤

Discussion Posts

Discussion Post: Reading Classics

I have always been a huge book worm.  I was the kid in class who used to get yelled at for texting under my desk, and then would bring up a book instead of a phone.  I just couldn’t help myself.  My favorite class in high school was my AP English class senior year, taught by one of the best teachers I have ever had, Mr. Bud.  This class made me love books I never would have fully appreciated had I read them on my own (Slaughterhouse 5 for example).

Mr. Bud and I used to talk about books all the time, but for all my reading, he always used to nag me about reading more “books of literary merit.”  I used to fight him on it, and stuck to my escapist literature for the most part.  It’s not that I didn’t want to read classics, I just never had outside of school.  I had an association of classic literature and homework, and I read for entertainment.  I was intimidated by the thought that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them.

Mr. Bud assigned a project where we had to choose our own “book of literary merit,” and do an old school book report.  I chose Pride and Prejudice, because I felt it was an easy intro for reading classics, it was pretty short and non-intimidating, and most readers are big fans.  I’m not going to lie, I didn’t love it, but what surprised me the most was that I didn’t hate it.  I was able to enjoy myself while reading it, and I felt good when I finished it.  This first step into the world of classic literature, opened my mind to the idea that maybe I could actually read classics for fun.

I’ve found that the biggest difference is that I have to really focus while reading a classic, and sometimes on a crowded, noisy subway, or backstage with music and scenes playing over the speakers, it can be hard to do.  Because of this, I am still a little hesitant when I feel the urge to tackle a classic book, but I am setting a new goal for myself, and finally marking some off my list.  I’m currently giving Jane Austen another try, and I am half way through Sense and Sensibility, which I’m enjoying.

With how much I read, I almost feel like a fraud for how small a dent I have made in my classic literature TBR list.  I strive to be well-read, and I am finally understanding what Mr. Bud was trying to get me to do.  These books are important, because they are good.  I still have mixed feelings about classics in general, but I have found some that I have LOVED, and have become some of my favorite books (Jane Eyre comes to mind).  I’ve also found some that I haven’t liked at all, and realized that just because it is considered a classic, does not mean that I have to like it.  I might always have a stigma associated with classic literature, but the more of them that I read, the less intimidating they become, and that in itself is a victory in my book.

How do you feel about reading classics?  Are they important to you? What are some of your favorites that you would recommend to a classic-newbie?  I would love to hear your thoughts and comments! 🙂

Discussion Posts

Discussion Post: Abandoning Books

I very rarely abandon a book.  Once I start, I am usually in it for the long haul, even if it’s a slog to get through.  I have a bunch of books that I refuse to admit I have abandoned, always saying, “I’m gonna come back to it eventually…” and three years later I still haven’t picked it up again.  They become like a challenge, and I can’t admit defeat.  Something in me just wants to get through it to say that I have read it, even if I am not enjoying it.

Among all the craziness of work, auditioning, training, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, its crazy to waste my me-time reading something that I don’t love.  Obviously I know you can’t love every book, but there have been plenty of books that are just okay that I finish because they don’t take much out of me.  However; there are those books that I never have the desire or energy to read.  The ones I have to force myself to get through, when all I want is to start something new.  These are the books that I should throw into the Did-Not-Finish pile, and yet find so hard to let go. I give too many books the benefit of the doubt, and hold the hope that they will get better.  Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t.  Mostly they don’t.  A lot of the time they are books that I feel obligated to like because they are classics or a current phenomenon.  I keep reading because I feel like I should love it, even if I have completely lost interest.  I keep reading because I WANT to love it.

Recently, I have been trying to tell myself that it’s okay to let it go.  I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I probably won’t go back to The Beautiful and Damned (oof, it was even hard for me to type that…) and it is OKAY.  There are plenty of other books that I will be obsessed with, and I don’t need to slog through the ones I don’t like just to say that I’ve read them.

Do you abandon books?  What makes you add a book to your DNF pile?  How do you know it’s time to give up on a story?  I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

 

Discussion Posts

How I Saved My Wallet and Got More Books

Thanks to my best friend, and fellow book addict, I recently discovered a website that has changed my life, and my wallet.  As a book addict, I unabashedly buy more books than I can possibly read, and I have never thought twice about it.  Books are my vice, what can I say?  However; bookstores are expensive, and as an artist often between gigs, I have to be more diligent with my budget.  I love the library, I do, but there is something  so special in owning a book and watching your personal library grow.  My best friend, Kaley, told me about Thriftbooks.com and ever since, I find it hard to buy books any other way.  It is amazing and dare I say, dangerous.  It’s like Half-Price books online.  They sell used books of varying quality (all decent, some like new), and deliver them to your doorstep.  The prices are unreal.  I once got seven books for under $20.00, the price of one brand new book at Barnes and Noble.  The selection is huge and they even have new releases (though they are a little more pricey).  They also have free shipping if you spend $10.00, which is usually two-three books.  If you join their free ReadingRewards program, it tracks your purchases, and once you have spent $50.00 you get a $5.00 coupon, which is basically the equivalent of a free book.  I know.  It sounds too good to be true.  It gets better.  Any time you refer a friend, you both get a 15% off coupon for more books!  They also have an app, that has a first purchase discount as well.  There are so many savings, it’s almost impossible not to buy a million books.  I can’t gush about this site enough.  Thriftbooks.com is genius and has changed the way I read and shop for books.  Check it out.  You can thank me later 🙂 .