Posted in Book Reviews

The Art of Hiding, Amanda Prowse

dfthe art of hidingspolier alertTitle: The Art of Hiding

Author: Amanda Prowse

Pages: 290

Genre: contemporary fiction, women’s lit

Is this part of a series?  No.

Published: July 18th, 2017


Nina McCarrick lives a great life far and away from the poverty in which she grew up.  She has an amazing husband, giant house, two wonderful children, living an easy, well-heeled life.  This all changes when a car crash takes husband Finn from the family.  Suddenly Nina is bombarded with truths that she knew nothing about.  Her husband’s company- gone- the money-gone-the house…. you guessed it.  Having to rely on her sister Tiggy for help she moves her boys from their posh school in bath to her old stomping grounds, a world away from everything they have ever known.  As each McCarrick fights to come to terms with their new reality, both without their security and without their figurehead, Nina must also invade the job market and figure out how to keep her family together.

My thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for allowing me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.  I loved this book, in fact, I stayed up all last night finishing it.  Nina is a fantastic character, loving and doting but with hidden steel.  It was great watching her find her stride.  Declan was everyone’s dream son, sweet and kind and funny.  Connor was an interesting blend of man and child.  It was interesting to see the way all the characters interacted with one another and how family ties played throughout.  The writing style was fantastic and had an easy flow between present and past memories.  For me, this was a five star book.  Five Stars

As far as the Adult Content Scale goes, there is some language but that it’s minimal.  I would barely give this a two.


The book is out now, have you read it?

Link to book:


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Posted in weekly wrap-up

Weekly Wrap-up! August 8th-14th

Personal life:

I have been starting to get my art supplies out again and doodling (badly).  I am having fun with it though.  Otherwise, I haven’t really got anything to report here.

Bookish life:

I got completely side tracked!  Not only did I buy the rest of X-Men Gold and Blue that are out (read Gold, very confused because I have missed so many years.  Anyone that says this isn’t a superhero soap opera is lying.).  I still don’t think I will review these, because I have no basis for the last few arcs.  I have enjoyed them immensely, they just don’t seem to be my X-Men (i.e. the 90’s version).

I also bought Poe: Short stories and poems in Graphic Novel.  I have only flipped through so far, but I am loving it so far.  Annabelle Lee is particularly gorgeously done.  I love the idea behind this, adding visuals to classics and think it will allow these wonderful stories to shine for a new audience.  I am already thinking about the next classic I want to buy this way (the illustrator has done several).

I did finish two ARC’s: Seeking Sarah and How to Find Love in a Bookshop.  I still have a few I hope to finish this month.

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So that was me for the week.  How was yours?

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Posted in Book Reviews, Up and Coming Releases

How To Find Love In A Bookshop, Veronica Henry

how to find love in a bookshopspolier alertTitle: How to Find Love in a Bookshop

Author: Veronica Henry

Pages: 336

Genre: Women’s fiction, romance

Is this part of a series?  No.

Publish date: August 15th, 2017

Upon the passing of her father, Emilia comes home to take over the family bookshop- Nightingale’s.  A book lover’s fantasy, everyone in Peasbrook has a story about how Nightingale’s- and the owner- changed their world.    As Emilia tries to get the well loved but financially failing bookshop in order, we are introduced to the other lives in Peasbrook.  The lady of the manor, kind hearted screw up/ thug, terribly shy cooking teacher, troubled teen and musical heart throb.  Everyone has a story, but does everybody get a happy ending?

I have to say that there were so many ways where this book could have gone bad.  Having so many POV’s could have made this hard to follow and awkward; instead it was fluid and beautiful- each character adding new dimension with their story without detracting from the overall premise.  Some of the character’s solutions were nearly too easy and could have easily felt like the author had given up on them and wrote in a quick wrap-up to get them out of the way (you know what I mean, we have all seen it).  Instead it seemed honest and thoughtful still.  I adored the play between characters, and descriptions of the place and people.  This became a real, thriving village to me with characters that I quickly fell madly in love with.

Now, as it is about a bookshop I could wish that there were even more references and quotes littered throughout, as with The Little Paris Bookshop.  Still, it might have detracted from the many stories swirling around already.  All in all, I give it five stars.  Five Stars

On the adult content scale there is some sexual content, though very mild, and some language- oh, and hints of drug use.  All three are very tame and I will still be letting my niece choose this book if she wants.  I give it a three.  General.svg

As always, I must thank First to Read for allowing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The book comes out tomorrow- be ready!

Link to book:


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Posted in Uncategorized

Seeking Sarah, ReShonda Tate Billingsley

seeking sarahTitle: Seeking Sarah

Author: ReShonda Tate Billingley

Pages:  304

Genre: General fiction

Is this part of a series?  No.

Publish date:  August 15th, 2017

Summary from Goodreads:

From the time Brooke Green was seven years old, she has lived with the pain of losing her mother. Her father has done the best job he could in raising her, but a piece of her always felt empty. On the day of her father’s funeral, her grandmother breaks the shocking news: her mother, Sarah, is very much alive. She abandoned her family because she claimed she wasn’t fit for motherhood. After doing some research, Brooke discovers her mother is living in Atlanta, enjoying a great career…and a brand new family. Stunned, Brooke doesn’t know if she wants answers or revenge against the mother who abandoned her. When she meets Sarah’s husband, Tony, Brooke sees the perfect way to make her mother pay. But her plan for revenge just may leave everyone in danger, and end up costing Brooke more than she ever bargained for.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Gallery Books for giving me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Once again, the blurb was better than the book.  I was extremely excited for this book, but with all the backstabbing, fighting and high drama I just felt drained after reading it.  The book was full of mainly unlikeable characters and unbelievable situations.  I kept waiting for our main character, Brooke, to grow… but I can’t say she ever did.  On the plus side, the writing style was flawless, the story moved well and was very easy to follow and get into.  I suppose it just wasn’t a favorite of mine.  I give it three stars.  Three Stars

On the adult content scale, there was a lot of language, sexual content and some violence.  I have to give it a six.

mature audience.

The book comes out on 8-15, let me know what you think.

Link to book:


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Posted in weekly wrap-up

Weekly Wrap Up! August 4th -7th

Personal Life:  I went to Marian Days on Thursday.  I never miss the Vietnamese festival these days.  I do have to admit, it’s mostly the food that drags me in.  The fruit stall had some dragon fruit and jack fruit (shown above), which we bought; and some magosteen that was too rich for my blood at $20 for five pieces of fruit.  Sadly none of the hot food stalls had Warren’s jin dui.  We ended up at a dinner stall with the fam each getting rice vermicelli with cut egg rolls and veggies while I had my go-to pho.

I have kept to my goals as far as the energy drinks and have not had any since the beginning of August- so, one week down.  On the days I let myself have a diet pop, it’s usually sadly 20 oz, but it is less than I used to.  I got a good infuser to-go mug for water that I think will help.  Sodium is still a major issue for me as I want to go with what myfitnesspal says I should have in all areas.  If I go out, I am going over…. if I have a bowl of soup I am probably going over.  I am down to the weight I was before my husband made me the happiest woman ever (he hates when I call it my marriage weight, but it is all the weight I have gained in the past nine years of marriage).

Bookish Life:  I read one of my ARC’s, Seeking Sarah, which was not at all what I envisioned sadly.  Other than that, I blew my book budget on new books that I have no time to read currently because…. well, because it’s me.  Books are my addiction.  I got three paperbacks at my library for under a dollar all together, and grabbed the issues of X-Men Blue I was missing along with three new eBooks from amazon.  I would say that I won’t buy anymore until I am caught up…. but this is me we’re talking about.

So, that’s me for the week.  What’s up with you?

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Posted in weekly wrap-up

What happened to this week’s wrap up???

Hey guys!  So I noticed that I did not post a wrap up for last week.  I think I have done that a few times, and kind of hate it, you know?  Still…. life.  I just finished a two mile walk down main street which was more fun than I thought it would be.  It was interesting window shopping, and still early enough that many stores were closed and not a temptation for over spending (the mall is a one mile circuit, but if I walk it while stores are open Ulta calls to me:).    I took these pics of a mural on Main Street today.

My healthy living kick has had it’s ups and downs last month.  I am having a super hard time with sodium- staying within my nutritional happy number.  The gym is still not my happy place either and I just barely made 12 visits last month by the skin of my teeth- and only then because I am cheap (if I go 12 times in a month the next month’s bill is $10 off).  I do walk- slowly and happily, and I am finally under 200 lbs.  Since starting four months ago I have now lost 39 pounds and stopped using the appetite suppressant a few days ago.  Today I will be going to the gym for a small amount of arm exercises and a massage (hey, I have to be honest).  Tonight we are going to Marian Days, a Vietnamese cultural festival where I always eat too much, so I am trying to exercise a lot and earn those deep fried goodies!  Oh, there will be healthy choices too- pre-prepped jack fruit and bah min (sp?) sandwiches, but those sesame balls the size of my palm with mung bean inside…. I can’t resist them and will have at least one.

For August my main goals are to be more conscious of the amount of sodium I take in, get to the gym three times a week at least, lay off the energy drinks (so much sodium!) and go for walks, even short ones, three times a week.  So what do you guys think?  Does anyone else have health goals for the month?

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Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Pieces of Happiness, Anne Ostby

pieces of happiness

Title: Pieces of Happiness: A Novel of Friendship, Hope and Chocolate

Author: Anne Ostby

Pages: 320

Genre: women’s lit

Is this part of a series?  No

Published: August 1st 2017


Kat finds herself in paradise, owner of a coa coa plantation, and lonely.  Since her husband, Nicklas died, she’s been a bit at loose ends.  Her plan? Reconnect with the old gang, four other women- all in their fifties like her- who while very different were once close.    Each one brings different baggage- health, money problems…. and each one adds a new dimension to the gang.  Secrets will come out, tears will fall; but love and laughter prevail as the women learn that it is never too late to embark on new adventures.

Thank you to Netgalley and Doubleday books for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I loved it!  The first thing that I noticed was the cover, which  I adore, and then the premise drew me in.  I am a sucker for these books!  The writing style was beautiful and has a nice flow.    I enjoyed the fact that it is not only told in multiple points of view, but each narrator has a special and unique voice.  I loved the premise, the drama, the love and acceptance.  I just fell in love with these women!  There was something honest and relatable here, something real and touching.   Five stars!Five Stars

On the adult content scale, there is sexual content and some language- both tastefully done.   I give it a three.  General.svg

The book is out!  Have you read it?

Link to book:


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