Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spotlight: Spare Me The Drama by Karen Tomsovic

Spare Me the Drama Book Tour
March 28th - April 1st

Love a good soap opera?
Then tune in to Spare Me the Drama.
Humor and heart come together in this contemporary love story about second chances and family life...


Spare Me The Drama
by Karen Tomsovic
Amazon | Goodreads

When widowed father of eight Martin Leon remembers that he forgot to invite an important guest to a birthday party for one of the kids, who can blame him? Since his wife’s death, he’s struggled to juggle the demands of a large family with the equally demanding job as head writer of the daytime soap opera he and his wife once co-wrote together, but which he must now pen alone in the face of a dwindling audience, an executive producer only too happy to alter the course of his stories at her slightest whim, and a nagging case of writer’s block.

Martin might love a good soap opera, but that was never the case with Roxanne Hunter. She parlayed her sexy role on After the Loving into a lucrative, luxury-bedding business years ago and didn’t look back. Just when she was on the brink of having it all, the universe pulled the rug out from under her, leaving her to nurse a devastating double loss of her own.

Accepting Martin’s last-minute invitation, Roxanne decides it’s the perfect getaway to take her mind off her lonely life. All she wants is to fulfill a promise she once made to Martin’s sister and find out how he and his brood are coping with grief. Though Martin may wake up one of these days ready for a woman again, Roxanne has no intention of reliving the days of her youthful, secret crush on him.

But the females in Martin’s family have other plans. Startled by the revelation that she is as much a stray as anyone else Martin has taken into his household, Roxanne nevertheless allows herself to be enfolded into the embrace of family life and into a romance with him.

Can she fulfill her promise to him to get through fate together, or will the universe – and the past – pull the rug out from under her one more time, just as she’s about to get the happy ending she always wanted but never dared dream she’d have?

Fans of feel-good romance will want to grab this witty, insightful story of a flailing single father and the femme fatale who brings him back to life.

About the author:
Karen Tomsovic lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest, where she stares out her kitchen window thinking up new ways to describe clouds. Her two pet parrots (aka “permanent toddlers”), Teddy and Daisy, interrupt her as often as possible. Like her owner, Daisy loves to devour a good book, but she does so in a more literal sense. Teddy makes a great muse. He says Mommy should have a bird in every book. Mommy says she’ll try.

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon | Goodreads
BookExcerpt | Website | Blog
Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter @notsomaverick

--~ Blog Tour Giveaway ~--

WIN a copy of this eBook!
For 3 winners.  
Open to all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Karen has a NEW book coming out soon!

She's looking for early readers/reviewers to read in the next month. 
If you're interested please fill out the following form and we'll get the book to you asap!

Sign-Up by clicking the book cover below:

^^click me to sign up as an early reviewer^^



Check out ALL the Book Tour Stops:

02.08.16 (2) 02.08.16 (3)

March 28th

Bookish Things & More - - Book Review
Literary Chanteuse - - Promo Post
Ever Growing Book Obsession - - Promo Post
Red's Midnight Readers - - Book Excerpt

March 29th

Around the World in Books - - Book Excerpt/Promo Post
Hello...Chick Lit - - Book Review

March 30th

Ali - The Dragon Slayer - - Promo Post
Romance Writer and Lover of Books - - Book Reivew/Excerpt
Chick Lit Central - - Book Review

March 31st

vvb32 reads - - Book Review/Excerpt

April 1st

The Bookworm's Book Reviews - - Book Review
Romantic Reads and Such - - Book Review/Excerpt
Pretty Little Book Reviews - - Book Review
ItaPixie's Book Corner - - Book Review


Tour arranged by HCL Book Tours & Author Services:
an extension of Hello...Chick Lit
NOW Booking Tours for June/July/August

H Services (1)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Not Always Happenstance by Rachael Anderson

Not Always Happenstance
by Rachael Anderson

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @RachaelReneeAnd/

Just released: February 1, 2016
Publisher: HEA Publishing
Genre: Romance (clean)
Paperback: 250 pages
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
Time to go.

Lani has lived in Hana, Hawaii for five years. She’s learned to surf, fish, dive, and manage her grandmother’s bed and breakfast. She’s also learned to take one day at a time the way it should be taken—relaxed and unrushed, savoring every moment.

But, like a large wave on the brink of breaking, her life is about to crash out of control. A proposal of marriage, a conniving grandmother, a cryptic Asian woman, and a handsome guest, and suddenly everything calm begins to churn, everything clear becomes confused, and all that was normal segues into peculiar.

As Lani struggles against the current to hold her ground, she realizes that she can either continue to fight and eventually lose, or take a take a leap of faith, hold her breath, and ride the wave wherever it takes her.

My two-bits:

With spring weather starting to kick in, this read was perfect for feeling warm and outdoorsy with a hint of romance.

I loved the setting for this story which was in a small town on one of the islands of Hawaii, Maui. The vibe of the place with island style living (and vacationing) were captured well - made we want to book a trip to any of the Hawaiian islands ASAP ;-)

The romance was the right speed without being drawn out or too dramatic. The scenes between the couple included some heart-to-heart conversations and caring moments that made the relationship down-to-earth.

I loved how the matchmaker, Pearl, was incorporated in the storyline. She was pretty active and had a strong presence that helped guide the main characters in a subtle way.

Got me seriously thinking of travel and travel writing.

About the author:
A USA Today bestselling author of clean romance, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies.

But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.


* courtesy of eBooks for Review -get free ebooks to review (here) -Thanks!


Waiting on Wednesday - 3.30.16

Waiting on Wednesday
sponsored by Jill at Breaking the Spine (details)


I'm waiting for...

Walk the Edge
by Katie McGarry
Just released: March 29, 2016 - yesterday ;-)
Amazon | Goodreads

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds.

Smart. Responsible. That's seventeen-year-old Breanna's role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully's line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas "Razor" Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don't belong. But when he learns she's being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it's time to step outside the rules.

And so they make a pact: he'll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she'll help him seek answers to the mystery that's haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they're both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they're going from here.

=====> I LOVED Nowhere But Here (book 1) and really excited to see this latest addition to the series. FYI: per author, this can be read as a stand-alone.

Excerpt:: Chapter One

THERE ARE LIES in life we accept. Whether it’s for the sake of ignorance, bliss or, in my case, survival, we all make our choices.

I choose to belong to the Reign of Terror Motorcycle Club. I choose to work for the security company associated with them. I also choose to do this while still in high school.

All of this boils down to one choice in particular—whether or not to believe my father’s version of a lie or the town’s. I chose my father’s lie. I chose the brotherhood of the club.

What I haven’t chosen? Being harassed by the man invad­ing my front porch. He’s decked out in a pair of pressed kha­kis and a button-down straight from a mall window. The real question—is he here by choice or did he draw the short stick?

“As I said, son,” he continues, “I’m not here to talk to your dad. I’m here to see you.”

A hot August wind blows in from the thick woods sur­rounding our house, and sweat forms on the guy’s skin. He’s too cocky to be nervous, so that dumps the blame of his shiny forehead on the 110-degree heat index.

“You and I,” he adds, “we need to talk.”

My eyes flash to the detective badge hanging on the guy’s hip and then to his dark blue unmarked Chevy Caprice parked in front of my motorcycle in the gravel drive. Twenty bucks he thinks he blocked me in. Guess he underestimated I’ll ride on the grass to escape.

This guy doesn’t belong to our police force. His plates suggest he’s from Jefferson County. That’s in the northern part of Ken­tucky. I live in a small town where even the street hustlers and police know each other by name. This man—he’s an outsider.

I f lip through my memory for anything that would jus­tify his presence. Yeah, I stumbled into some brawls over the summer. A few punches thrown at guys who didn’t keep their mouths sealed or keep their inflated egos on a leash, but noth­ing that warrants this visit.

A bead of water drips from my wet hair onto the worn gray wood of the deck and his eyes track it. I’m fresh from a shower. Jeans on. Black boots on my feet. No shirt. Hair on my head barely pushed around by a towel.

The guy checks out the tats on my chest and arms. Most of it is club designs, and it’s good for him to know who he’s dealing with. As of last spring, I officially became a mem­ber of the Reign of Terror. If he messes with one of us, he messes with us all.

“Are you going to invite me in?” he asks.

I thought the banging on the door was one of my friends showing to ride along with me to senior orientation, not a damned suit with a badge.

“You’re not in trouble,” he says, and I’m impressed he doesn’t shuff le his feet like most people do when they arrive on my doorstep. “As I said, I want to talk.”

I maintain eye contact longer than most men can manage.

Silence doesn’t bother me. There’s a ton you can learn about a person from how they deal with the absence of sound. Most can’t handle uncomfortable battles for dominance, but this guy stands strong.

Without saying a word, I walk into the house and permit the screen door to slam in his face. I cross the room, grab my cut off the table, then snatch a black Reign of Terror T-shirt off the couch. I shrug into the shirt as I step onto the porch and shut the storm door behind me.

The guy watches me intently as I slip on the black leather cut that contains the three-piece patch of the club I belong to. Because of the way I’m angled, he can get a good look at our emblem on the back: a white half skull with fire raging out of the eyes and drops of fire raining down around it. The words Reign of Terror are mounted across the top. The town’s name, Snowflake, is spelled on the bottom rocker.

He focuses on the patch that informs him I’m packing a weapon. His hand edges to the gun holstered on his belt. He’s weighing whether I’m carrying now or if I’m gun free.

I cock a hip against the railing and hitch my thumbs in the pockets of my jeans. If he’s going to talk, it would be now. He glances at the closed door, then back at me. “This is where we’re doing this?”

“I’ve got somewhere to be.” And I’m running late. “Didn’t see a warrant on you.” So by law, he can’t enter.

A grim lift of his mouth tells me he understands I won’t make any of this easy. He’s around Dad’s age, mid to late forties. He gave his name when I opened the door, but I’ll admit to not listening.

He scans the property and he has that expression like he’s trying to understand why someone would live in a house so small. The place is a vinyl box. Two bedrooms. One bath.

A living room–kitchen combo. Possibly more windows than square footage.

Dad said this was Mom’s dream. A house just big enough for us to live in. She never desired large, but she craved land. When I was younger, she used to hug me tight and explain it was more important to be free than to be rich. I sure as hell hope Mom feels free now.

An ache ripples through me, and I readjust my footing. I pray every damn day she found some peace.

“I drove a long way to see you,” he says.

Don’t care. “Could have called.”

“I did. No one answered.”

I hike one shoulder in a “you’ve got shit luck.” Dad and I aren’t the type to answer calls from strangers. Especially ones with numbers labeled Police. There are some law enforcement officers who are cool, but most of them are like everyone else— they judge a man with a cut on his back as a psychotic felon.

I don’t have time for stupidity.

“I’m here about your mother.” The asshole knows he has me when my eyes snap to his.

“She’s dead.” Like the other times I say the words, a part of me dies along with her.

This guy has green eyes and they soften like he’s apolo­getic. “I know. I’m sorry. I’ve received some new evidence that may help us discover what caused her death.”

Anger curls within my muscles and my jaw twitches. This overwhelming sense of insanity is what I fight daily. For years, I’ve heard the whispers from the gossips in town, felt the stares of the kids in class, and I’ve sensed the pity of the men in the Reign of Terror I claim as brothers. It’s all accu­mulated to a black, hissing doubt in my soul.


It’s what everyone in town says happened. It’s in every hushed conversation people have the moment I turn my back. It’s not just from the people I couldn’t give two shits about, but the people who I consider family.

I shove away those thoughts and focus on what my father and the club have told me—what I have chosen to believe. “My mother’s death was an accident.”

He’s shaking his head and I’m fresh out of patience. I’m not doing this. Not with him. Not with anyone. “I’m not interested.”

I push off the railing and dig out the keys to my motor­cycle as I bound down the steps. The detective’s behind me. He has a slow, steady stride and it irritates me that he fol­lows across the yard and doesn’t stop coming as I swing my leg over my bike.

“What if I told you I don’t think it was an accident,” he says.

Odds are it wasn’t. Odds are every whispered taunt in my direction is true. That my father and the club drove Mom crazy, and I wasn’t enough of a reason for her to choose life.

To drown him out, I start the engine. This guy must be as suicidal as people say Mom was, because he eases in front of my bike, assuming I won’t run him down.

“Thomas,” he says.

I twist the handle to rev the engine in warning. He raises his chin like he’s finally pissed and his eyes narrow on me. “Razor.”

I let the bike idle. If he’s going to respect me by using my road name, I’ll respect him for a few seconds. “Leave me the fuck alone.”

Damn if the man doesn’t possess balls the size of Montana. He steps closer to me and drops a bomb. “I have reason to believe your mom was murdered.”


* source: Chapter 1 reveal (here)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Moondancers by E. Van Lowe

(The Beautiful Creatures of Beverly Hills #1)
by E. Van Lowe

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @Evanlowe

Just released: February 11, 2016
Publisher: EViL E Books
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, YA
Rating: 4.5

The Beautiful Creatures of Beverly Hills series:
book - tba

First sentence(s):
There was no decision to dive into the pool. I did it without thinking.

"Young love, paranormal creatures, and murder."

Josh Butters can't explain why he's attracted to Lara Applegate, the mysterious cousin of the girl next door. She likes poetry and beautiful things, while he likes video games and goofing around by the pool with his friends. Yet Josh finds himself inexplicably falling for Lara, and getting pulled into her shadowy world. The more deeply he falls,the more he discovers the cost of loving her may be too high. For keeping her family's secrets could cost Josh, his family, and his friends their lives.

Dangerously exciting, yet mystical and romantic, Moondancers is a page turning thriller that asks the question "do you believe in soulmates?"

My two-bits:

Good start to a new series and intro to a set of sea creatures (new to me). The world of Nereids and satyrs was interesting to learn about in this YA romance novel.

The location setting for this story is equally interesting - Beverly Hills, California. The outskirts of the city is described which also was new for me to learn about. I have a new perspective on swimming pools ;-)

I also liked the balance of humor and romance with elements of horror thrown in. Loved the interaction with the main character, Josh, and his friends. It was fun to hang out with them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - 3.23.16

Waiting on Wednesday
sponsored by Jill at Breaking the Spine (details)


I'm waiting for...

Love, Lies and Spies
by Cindy Anstey
-Historical, Romance, YA
Release date: April 19, 2016
Amazon | Goodreads -giveaway for this ends March 29

Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies.

Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions... and Juliana herself.

=====> I love the whimsical cover art. This looks like a fun action packed read with flickers of cute romance, just right for Spring time ;-)

Excerpt interview: from Swoon Reads (here)

Where did the idea for Love, Lies & Spies come from?
Research is the lifeblood of all my plots — I love finding something obscure and playing the game of ‘what if’. The seed of Love, Lies & Spies was planted when I learned that smugglers and spies were in cahoots during the Regency period.

What draws you to the Regency era?
The Regency period is full of wonderful contradictions; a time where appearances and manners are of the utmost importance, even to those who readily flout convention. Elegance, luxury and frivolity kept the Beau Monde world turning. Their shenanigans — real and imagined — provide excellent fodder for my sense of the ridiculous.

Read the complete interview (here).

Based on book aesthetics...

As a historical novel, the characters of Love, Lies and Spies rely on carriages to travel to and fro, from the cliffs of St Ives Head (where Juliana and Spencer meet in the most untoward manner) to Georgian London, a city of elegant townhouses and fascinating sights. Working for the War Office to stymie Napoleon, Spencer’s duties are represented by a Fleur-de-Lis while a regency gown symbolizes Juliana. It was great fun to pull the photos from my own files. —Cindy Anstey
- from Swoon Reads (here)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Happy release: The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Amazon | Goodreads
Website | Facebook | Twitter: @CynthiaDSweeney

A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.



* Cynthia will appear at an author reading and signing at Book Passages, Corte Madera, CA on April 6, 2016, 7pm.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life
by Hanya Yanagihara

Find out more about this book and author:
Instagram book
Instagram author
Twitter @alittlelifebook

Release date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: Doubleday
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Literary
Hardback: 736 pages
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
The Eleventh Apartment had only one closet, but it did have a sliding glass door that opened onto a small balcony, from which he could see a man sitting across the way, outdoors in only a T-shirt and shorts even though it was October, smoking.

Brace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting, and profoundly moving book in many a season. An epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest places fiction has ever traveled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light. Truly an amazement—and a great gift for its publisher.

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

In rich and resplendent prose, Yanagihara has fashioned a tragic and transcendent hymn to brotherly love, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance.

My two-bits:

The cover says it all. It was a pleasure and pain to read this chunkster of a book. And, it lasted about 3 months long for me. I read it off and on. Small doses worked for me as some scenes were intense and others required pondering and still others I wanted to just hold on to the happiness state before the next drama. My attention was captured each time and there was no doubt that I would finish this book.

I love how the author breathes life into her characters by getting into the fine details and aspects of her character's lives. There is a touch of fantasy with the characters in that you have them so perfect one way and so flawed in others. However, this just makes her messages hit home with emotional punches.

From this I roller coaster ride of emotions in this book, I was left with thoughts evoked by the themes of loneliness and friendship.


Tournament of Books short list nominee (details)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Stacking the Shelves - 3.19.16

Stacking the Shelves
hosted by Tynga's Reviews (details)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


Freebie: for kindle

Addicted to You (Addicted #1)
by Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie
-New Adult, Romance
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> From Stacking Shelves, I decided to give this series a try after reading a recommendation and review from Words With Sarah (here).

For Review:

The Invisible Guardian
by Dolores Redondo
-Mystery, Thriller, Spain
courtesy of publisher -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

Not Always Happenstance
by Rachael Anderson
courtesy of eBooks for Review -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

Nikolas and Company Book 4:
Fire of The Lionsbran
by Kevin McGill
courtesy of author -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads


Kill The Boy Band
by Goldy Moldavsky
-Humor, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> Had to pick this up when I found the library had it. It is one of my anticipated reads for the year.

So Cute It Hurts!!
volume 1
by Gō Ikeyamada
-Japanese, Manga, Humor, Romance
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> From Stacking Shelves post by Waiting for Wentworth (here). So cute I had to give it a try. Gobbled it up in a day. And, yes. Super cute ;-)

OTHER things on my shelf: kinda book-related

Snape Tribute Box
from Fandom of the Month Club (here)

Box includes:
- Info card
- Decal: Always
- Magnet: Snape
- Velveteen bag: Half Blood Prince
- Necklace: charms representing Snape, Lily and James
- Earrings: Snape
- Ring: 394
- Cuff bracelet: After all this time? Always.


From Uppercase package (details & signup):
A hand-selected young adult book & fun bookish item, delivered monthly #UppercaseBox

March package includes:
- Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
- Signed bookplate
- Stickers: Rebel of the Sands theme
- Bookmark with links for book interactivity
- Earrings: Quote Couture (18k gold) from JewelSugar
- Magnet: Read More

Rebel of the Sands
(Rebel of the Sands #1)
by Alwyn Hamilton
-Fantasy, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.

AND binge watching: on Netflix

Bob's Burgers
tv series, season one
Creators: Loren Bouchard, Jim Dauterive
Starring: H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal
-Animation, Humor | imdb | my rating: 5

Bob Belcher, along with his wife and three children, try to run their last hope of holding the family together, which is running Bob's dream restaurant.

=====> Watching it for the odd humor and chuckles derived.

AND binge watching: on YouTube

Starring: Lilly Singh
-Humor | YouTube channel

Hi! My name is Lilly and I make funny videos every Monday and Thursday. I rant, create sketches and sometimes even dress up as my parents! Most importantly, I smile a lot and want to make you feel happy.

=====> Loving her sense of humor! Came across this Canadian comedian after seeing an ad about her in Entertainment Weekly.

AND watched: in theatre

Knight of Cups (2015)
Director/Writer: Terrence Malick
Starring: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman
-Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 3 but turned into 5!

A writer indulging in all that Los Angeles and Las Vegas has to offer undertakes a search for love and self via a series of adventures with six different women.

=====> At first I did not take to this. First, note that I went into this without knowing premise. Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman were the main draws for me.

The film was artsy with metaphors to figure out and lots of voiceovers (which I haven't been keen on lately). BUT, I was forced to seriously think about it when a someone sitting next to me in the theatre started a conversation with me about it. Spent a delightful dinner with the person dissecting the film and came to appreciate and really like the film.

Got me interested in learning about tarot cards and interpretations.

The Wave (2015)
original title: Bølgen
Director: Roar Uthaug
Writers: John Kåre Raake, Harald Rosenløw-Eeg
Starring: Kristoffer Joner, Thomas Bo Larsen, Ane Dahl Torp
-Action, Drama, Thriller, Norway | imdb | my rating: 5

Even though awaited, no-one is really ready when the mountain pass of Åkneset above the scenic narrow Norwegian fjord Geiranger falls out and creates a 85-meter-high violent tsunami. A geologist is one of those caught in the middle of it.

=====> Went to see this for the cinematography as Norway is one of those place I want to visit some day. Loved it. The story was just as gripping.

AND watched: on DVD

Me, Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Screenplay: Jesse Andrews
Based on book by: Jesse Andrews
Starring: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke
-Comedy, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

=====> So glad I watched this. I thought it might be too sad which is why I had not seen it sooner. Yes, there were sad parts as cancer is a sad topic. However, overall the story is true and touching with its portrayal of friendships and character growth.

Loved the mini-films and animation presented.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

* per usual, check out the sidebar for my current giveaways offers

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Whites by Harry Brandt

The Whites
by Harry Brandt aka Richard Price

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Hardback: 352 pages
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
As Billy Graves drove down Second Avenue to work, the crowds worried him: a quarter past one in the morning and thee were still far more people piling into the bards than leaving the, everyone coming and going having to muscle their way through the swaying clumps of half-hammered smokers standing directly outside the entrances.

The electrifying tale of a New York City police detective under siege-by an unsolved murder, by his own dark past, and by a violent stalker seeking revenge.

Back in the run-and-gun days of the mid-1990s, when a young Billy Graves worked in the South Bronx as part of an aggressive anti-crime unit known as the Wild Geese, he made headlines by accidentally shooting a ten-year-old boy while struggling with an angel-dusted berserker on a crowded street. Branded as a loose cannon by his higher-ups, Billy spent years enduring one dead-end posting after another. Now in his early forties, he has somehow survived and become a sergeant in Manhattan Night Watch, a small team of detectives charged with responding to all post-midnight felonies from Wall Street to Harlem. Mostly, his unit acts as little more than a set-up crew for the incoming shift, but after years in police purgatory, Billy is content simply to do his job.

Then comes a call that changes everything: Night Watch is summoned to the four a.m. fatal slashing of a man in Penn Station, and this time Billy's investigation moves beyond the usual handoff to the day tour. And when he discovers that the victim was once a suspect in the unsolved murder of a twelve-year-old boy-a savage case with connections to the former members of the Wild Geese-the bad old days are back in Billy's life with a vengeance, tearing apart enduring friendships forged in the urban trenches and even threatening the safety of his family.
Razor-sharp and propulsively written, The Whites introduces Harry Brandt-a new master of American crime fiction.

My two-bits:

Has all the makings and doings of a cop, crime, mystery story. However, it was not the story that interested me, but the mood. Black and white imagery comes to mind when reading this. Although the gray area pushes itself through to the end. This is one to read if you are in the mood as the writing portrays the crime genre just so.


Tournament of Books short list nominee (details)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day with Cecelia Ahern

CELEBRATE today with an Irish author!

Cecelia Ahern

I first encountered Cecelia with her debut novel, P.S. I Love You, back in 2004. Although I loved the book, I never got around to reading more of her work. Mostly because with my favorite authors, I take them for granted and figure that I could go back to them later. So, Cecelia got put on the good old backburner (kinda like the tbr pile). Also, authors on my backburner are those I know that if I pick up their book I will most likely insta-love.

After looking at Cecelia's bibliography, I was surprised at how much more she has written that I missed. Some of her works have also been adapted to film and tv. Today is prompting me to revisit this author. I most especially want to read her debut YA novel, Flawed which will be out in April :-)

Find out more about this author:
Twitter @Cecelia_Ahern

Most known for...

P.S. I Love You
by Cecelia Ahern
Amazon | Goodreads

A novel about holding on, letting go, and learning to love again.

Now in paperback, the endearing novel that captured readers' hearts and introduced a fresh new voice in women's fiction Cecelia Ahern.

Holly couldn't live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind 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!

Upcoming new novel...

by Cecelia Ahern
Release date: April 5, 2016
Amazon | Goodreads
BookExcerpt chapters 1-5

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She's a model daughter and sister, she's well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she's dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule. And now faces life-changing repercussions.

She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.

In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where obedience is paramount and rebellion is punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her-everything.

LISTEN to Cecelia talking to Pat Kenny on Newstalk about Flawed (here).

FYI: Cecelia will be at Books, Inc. (Opera Plaza), San Francisco, CA on April 12, 2016, 7pm!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - 3.16.16

Waiting on Wednesday
sponsored by Jill at Breaking the Spine (details)


I'm waiting for...

Truly Madly Guilty
by Liane Moriarty
-Women's Fiction
Release date: July 26, 2016
Amazon | Goodreads


What if they hadn’t gone? That’s the question Clementine can’t stop asking herself. It was just a backyard barbeque. They didn’t know their hosts that well. They were friends of friends. They could so easily have said no.

But she and her husband Sam said yes, and now they can never change what they did and didn’t do that beautiful winter’s day.

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One yapping dog. It’s a normal weekend in the suburbs. What could possibly go wrong?

Once again Liane Moriarty uses her unique, razor-sharp observational skills to sift through the emerging fault lines of seemingly happy families.

It was just an ordinary Sunday afternoon…

=====> LOVE this author's writing style. Her character development start off mysterious and gradually develop with a thriller vibe.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

DNF Books for 2016

Books I Did Not Finish
for 2016


With ever growing review and tbr piles, I am making efforts to reduce the piles (in a timely fashion for the review books) by terminating reads (as soon as possible) that do not work out for me. And, instead of devoting a whole post on individual books that I did not finish, I will be doing a single post to capture all for the year. Below is the first for the year. Hopefully, not much more will appear.


Sorry authors, publishers, etc. I appreciate the review copy but I just could not continue reading...

Winterspell by Claire Legrand
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> I got halfway through, but my interest could not be held.

Destined To Hate You by Valerie Burkhard
Swoon Reads | Goodreads

=====> I was initially interested in this book because of the cover. But, it does not match the innards. Got halfway through this book and it was not progressing well enough to hold my interest.

The Sellout by Paul Beatty
Powells | Goodreads

=====> Got to page 10 and just wasn't feeling it.
=====> As this turned out to be the winner of the Tournament of Books, I will go back and give this another try.

The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
Powells | Goodreads

=====> Got halfway and lost steam. This set of short stories has a thread relating to each other. There were a couple amusing lines, but not enough to keep me.

In Patagonia
by Bruce Chatwin
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> Got halfway and found that it was not getting anything out of it. There were several little stories both historical and the author's present of people and things that happened in and around Patagonia. But despite all that, I was not able to get a sense of the place.

We Are Unprepared
by Meg Little Reilly
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> Got halfway and could not connect with the characters to want to follow their plight.

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