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Perfect Book Club Mix - 12 Books to Keep the Discussion Going

Friday, April 16, 2021

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Latest SheReads.com article about a Perfect Book Club Mix!

You can read it by either clicking the picture or this LINK and don't forget to let me know what you thought of it.  

Do you know of any other books that are great for book clubs?  Please let me know :-)




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12 Books to Help You Read More

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

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Did you make a New Year's Resolution to read more?  

Are you currently in a reading slump?  

Need help picking books that will help you stick with your resolution to read more books?  

You came to the right place!  

I have a fail-proof list of books that will keep you entertained for hours (days) and leave you wondering why you  didn't read these books sooner...


"When you buy something using a link from our stories, we may earn a small commission."


1) When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is beautifully written and one of the best books I have ever read. Dr. Kalanithi would probably become one of the best writers in our century, had his life gone the way he planned: 20 years as a neurosurgeon/neuro scientist + 20 years as a writer.  
Warning: Tissue Box required and a book hangover might be a side effect.



2) A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first book in the fantasy series by Sarah J. Maas.  It’s constantly labeled as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, being the tale of a kidnapped girl, two Faerie High Lords and a curse that needs to be broken. I’d like to think it’s Beauty and the Beast meets Twilight, but that’s just me. Grab your favorite snack and enjoy this unforgettable adventure.
Note: even though this book is constantly found in the YA section of bookstores, it  should really be in the adult fantasy section due to some highly steamy scenes.  You have been warned...




3) You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria goes behind the scenes of a latin telenovela and the necessary chemistry needed to make it believable.  What happens when the on-screen attraction becomes real?  I loved how the author showed the complexity of these characters, and how trust and communication are the most important things in any relationship (both on and off screen).  It's basically impossible not to get swept away by this one!




4)  Recursion by Blake Crouch - I’m a sci-fi fan and even though the whole concept of time-travel has been explored in a lot of books and movies, Crouch was able to explore a new angle, one that merged actual scientific advances into a fictitious reality that might not be too far from the near future.
His narrative is fast-paced, leaving the reader with no time to think twice when turning the pages.  To make it even more interesting, there’s also a love story ♥.


5) Take a Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert  ~ Dani Brown is all focused on her career and too busy for romantic relationships, but when the video of super-hot security guard Zaf carrying her out of the building goes viral, a new hashtag starts trending: #drrugbae.  What could possibly go wrong from a "friends with benefits" agreement between these 2?  I don't know about you but I was never that lucky when it came to security guys...just saying.  This one is perfect for those that like a romance high on the steamy meter.


6)  Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala is a heartbreaking story about coming of age in a conservative immigrant family.  Iweala takes us on a journey of self-discovery with Niru, who is torn between the guilt of not being the son his parents expect him to be and the freedom to accept (and love) who he truly is.  His brother OJ, advises him to not pick fights he can't win, when it comes to their parents, but Niru finds it hard to believe his brother would suffer the same judgement from their father.    


7)  A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness takes us to a world with magical creatures: Witches, Vampires and Daemons...and an enchanted manuscript.  Diana Bishop, a descendant of the Salem Bishop Clan, is about to find out that she is the most powerful witch alive. Her parents were murdered when Diana was young and she has decided to live her life without using magic. Here comes Matthew Clairmont, a jaw-dropping good looking vampire who is also a geneticist.  When Diana somehow calls the enchanted manuscript, she unknowingly sends out an universal alarm that makes all magical creatures (good and evil) aware of who she is. She can no longer hide.  To make matters worse, it is forbidden for a witch to fall in love with a vampire! Can you guess what happens next?

8)  Sadie by Courtney Summers is the story of one girl and the radio presenter that starts investigating her disappearance.  Every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, so you can't wait to read the next chapter.  This back and forth helps the story flow and keeps you hoping that the clues Sadie leaves behind will help West McCray (the investigative reporter) find her.  The closest he gets to where Sadie is, the more you want to keep reading...until the very last page.

9) Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce - By combining humor with the voice of the young Emmy, Pearce's novel showed us how people had to carry on with their lives and find hope in the midst of war.  A well-written novel about friendships and the lives of women during the war...PERFECT for lovers of historical-fiction!⁠

10) The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is a novel in verse that captures the struggles of an Afro-Latina teenager growing up in Harlem, with a highly religious mother, an almost invisible father and a super intelligent twin. Xiomara has a hard time fitting in and she starts writing about her frustrations, anger and pain. Writing becomes her way to cope with everything around her, and when a teacher encourages her to join the Slam Poetry Club, Xiomara starts finding her own voice.  Acevedo's words are as powerful and realistic as the Xiomara I imagined in my head. A force not to be reckoned with. A Grand SLAM ⁠💥

11) Beach Read by Emily Henry will make you fall in love with the characters.  January is a hopeless romantic and Gus is a "life is shit" kind of guy. But not everyone is just one thing, is it? And as they start knowing each other, the layers start coming off, and they might discover that they are not so different after all.⁠  Add to that a nice dose of sarcasm combined with that twisted humor and endless eye rolls that make sparks fly, and you'll be singing love songs by the last page.

12) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is dark, magical and extravagantly imagined! A tale within a tale that takes you in as if in a dream...and we all know that in dreams anything can happen, so be ready to be WOWED!⠀


If you'd like to purchase any of these books, please visit Bookshop.org and help raise funds for local bookstores.  

https://bookshop.org/lists/15-books-to-stick-with-your-resolution-to-read-more


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THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Nikki Lee Taylor Release Blitz

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

10 comments

 


I am so excited that THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Nikki Lee Taylor is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $10 Amazon GC courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours & Nikki. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.

 

About The Book:

Title: THE SECRETS WE KEEP

Author: Nikki Lee Taylor

Pub. Date: January 11, 2021

Publisher: Magpie Creative Media

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N,

Read for FREE with a Kindle Unlimited Membership!

Not all mothers are created equal… Some are better at hiding the truth.

Crippled with anxiety, Sophie is desperate to overcome the pain of losing her husband and only child in a freak car accident. Living and working in isolation with only the company of her dog Miss Molly, Sophie agrees to take on a job reviewing the manuscript of an up-and-coming writer. But this isn’t any story. It is one that unearths old secrets and to discover the truth, Sophie must find the courage to embark on a search that will change her life forever.

​On the outside, Love Mommy blogging queen Madelyn-May has it all. To her online community she is the perfect mother. She has a successful husband, perfect twins, and an idyllic life. What they don’t know is Madelyn-May also has a secret. When her past collides with the present, Madelyn-May is forced to make a choice that could destroy everything she loves.

​Would you risk destroying a family, if it meant healing your own heart? Would you tell the truth, if it meant losing everything you love?

​The Secrets We Keep is a confronting look at the complexities of family and lengths a mother will go to for her child.

 

Excerpt

The blinds are drawn because I need them to be. There are days the light is welcome, but not today. Today I need the darkness. It is the best way I know to pull them in close, here in the dark, in the empty spaces where they no longer exist and yet still take up every particle of air.

My life. My love. My family. James and Josh. My husband and son, stolen while I was sleeping, peacefully unaware at that very moment that the entire world was shattering.

It’s the small things that hurt the most. An unexpected letter with his name on it. A television commercial for Linvilla Orchards – where we picked peaches every July, just the two of us at first, and then with Josh. His familiar scent trailing behind a stranger, its ghostly arms wrapping around my lungs and squeezing. The crisp sting of empty sheets as autumn turns to winter.

Worst of all: the sudden ring of a child’s laughter breaking the silence and tearing my heart into a thousand tiny pieces.

I stroke the fur on Miss Molly’s golden head and close my eyes. “I’m sorry,” I whisper, even though dogs don’t understand apologies. “It’s this day, it’s….”

I let the words trail off, unable to say out loud that five years ago my husband and son took their last breath, trapped in a car wreck, and I hadn’t been there. Unable to say that while they were dying, I lay peacefully in bed, useless and selfish, taking an afternoon nap. It hadn’t even woken me. I hadn’t sat up, my instincts kicking into overdrive. I hadn’t experienced so much as a bad dream.

At the time friends told me I should try to forgive myself, that it wasn’t my fault. They brought soup, and sent messages. They held me and promised things would get better. They stood on my stoop and reminded me, “There’s nothing you could have done.”  

Therapists call my depression and anxiety a form of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Survivor’s guilt, they say, although that’s not the official term. Apparently it’s natural for parents who outlive their children to experience a sense of blame, but I have struggled to believe there is anything natural about it. Could there be anything more unnatural than for a mother to bury her son?

Then there were the people who told me to have faith. I’ve never been a religious person, but I have stood alone on a rainy afternoon and heard the hollow thump of dirt shoveled onto a tiny white casket. I’ve heard the mournful cry of a loon as people, not knowing what else to say, turned and made the sad walk back to their cars. I have stood as day turned to night, staring at two holes in the ground, hoping my husband and son wouldn’t be cold on the first night away from their beds. Away from me. Having faith would mean believing James and Josh were taken for a reason, that there was some divinity to their absence. There is not. There is only pain and empty spaces.

I get up from the couch and pull the curtains further across. But no matter how dark I make the room, there are always slivers of light that keep me in the place I don’t want to be.

Slivers that never let me bury the one question I still have no answer for.

How do I ever find the strength to step into the light when they are forever lost in the dark?

 

About Nikki:

Nikki Lee Taylor is a long-time newspaper journalist turned fiction writer. She is also a dreamer, a doer, a storyteller, a coffee lover, and fur mum to two golden retrievers Max and Sam.

She spends most of her time staring into space, walking between worlds, and creating out-loud character dialogue that sounds a lot like talking to herself in the shower. She stays up late plotting and planning the lives of characters yet to be created and starts every day embraced by the warmth of a good coffee.

She is a courageous booktrovert who lives life with her right foot in NSW, Australia and the left in a world that exists only in her head.

She reads books out loud to anyone who’ll listen and drives her husband mad spending all her free time with friends who exist only on the page.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

1 lucky winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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TOP NINE BOOKS OF 2020

Thursday, December 31, 2020

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Top Nine Books of 2020


As I was getting ready to write my 2020 wrap-up, the lyrics from the song Seasons of Love by Jonathan Larson came to mind:

"Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure? Measure a year?"

💟

In one of my recent Instagram posts I asked which book title would represent 2020, and my buddy JenaBrownWrites had the perfect book/answer:  A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS.  I think that's one title we can pretty much all agree on.


To say that 2020 was a chaotic year is an understatement, but books were the trusted companions that allowed me to travel to different worlds (sometimes crazier than ours), believe that magic is real, fall in love all over again, and help me gain a better understanding of the society we live in...so, in those Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, I managed to read 75 books (not too shabby), and here are the TOP NINE books that have touched my soul:


FICTION:

  • ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Fredrik Backman
  • THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig
FANTASY:
  • CRESCENT CITY (House of Earth and Blood) by Sarah J Maas
  • THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin
  • THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by V.E. Schwab
HISTORICAL FICTION:
  • THE EXILES by Christina Baker Kline
NON-FICTION:
  • STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You - A Remix by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
ROMANCE:
  • BEACH READ by Emily Henry
YOUNG ADULT FICTION:
  • THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevedo

👉🏼 What about you?  
How did you spend all those minutes?  
Please share...


HAPPY NEW YEAR! Stay Safe and Healthy!

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Books are TRENDY and you can be part of our team of reviewers

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

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Haven’t you heard?  Books are TRENDY!


Learn SIMPLE strategies to organize, blog, travel and live LIFE as your own adventure!


2020 has proven to be not only a stressful year, but also one that has made all of us (ME) put things into better perspective.  There's so much going on and I want to let different voices have an opportunity in this space.  If you ever wanted a chance to write for a blog, or have a ton of ideas that you could put together as a blog post, this is your chance!

The truth is, as much as I love this blog, it does takes up too  much of my time and I was even considering the possibility of shutting it down.  But why shut it down if there’s a chance to publish other reviews?  


➡️ Join the Review Team:

You’ll have the opportunity to write reviews for the latest books trending on #bookstagram.  

Do you love a certain genre?  How about writing about the latest thrillers?  Or Romance? Or Books to Movie adaptations?

Best bookclub selections for 2021?

Most beautiful libraries in the East coast? West coast? 

Noticed a new trend?  Would you like to write about it?

Most wanted bookish accessory?

The above are only suggestions.  


Feel free to pitch me your own ideas.  

Nothing is too crazy or too trendy :-)

I have a few examples on the blog: “5 Magical Trilogies Worth Binge Reading”, “5 Best Beach Reads of 2019”, and others.


Help me get this new idea off the ground and promote yourself at the same time.  If a publisher asks you if you have a blog, you can honestly say you are a reviewer/contributor and send him/her links to your work.  It’s a win-win, no?


If you’re really interested, e-mail me your bio with all links and a picture to trendyandsimple@gmail.com  

Subject: Review Team

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Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting Release Blitz

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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KMC - RB banner

"A laugh-out-loud romance full of charm, wit and magic. A thoroughly delicious read." --LJ Shen, USA Today bestselling author

Kiss My Cupcake, an all-new witty, opposites-attract standalone romance from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting is available now!


9781538734674_KissMyCupcake_TR_CVR_V2-page-001 (1)


Blaire Calloway has planned every Instagram-worthy moment of her cupcake and cocktails shop launch down to the tiniest detail. What she didn’t plan on? Ronan Knight and his old-school sports bar next door opening on the very same day. He may be super swoony, but Blaire hasn’t spent years obsessing over buttercream and bourbon to have him ruin her chance at success.

From ax throwing (his place) to frosting contests (hers), Blaire and Ronan are constantly trying to one-up each other in a battle to win new customers. But with every clash, there’s also an undeniable chemistry. When an even bigger threat to their business comes to town, they’re forced to call a temporary time-out on their own war and work together. And the more time Blaire spends getting to know the real Ronan, the more she wonders if it’s possible to have her cupcake and eat it too.


KMC - AN


Download your copy today!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2LhYU0S 

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/kissmycupcake 

Nook: http://bit.ly/KissmyCupcakeBN 

Apple Books: http://bit.ly/KissmyCupcake 

Google Play: http://bit.ly/KissmyCupcakeGP 

Kobo: http://bit.ly/KissmyCupcakeKobo

Add Kiss My Cupcake to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/KissMyCupcakeGR


About Helena Hunting

helenahunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Connect with Helena

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2kN5wdZ 

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2mloUim 

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/Zt1xm5 

Facebook Fan group: http://bit.ly/2kN5yCD 

Website: http://www.helenahunting.com/ 

Never miss an update! Subscribe to Helena's mailing list: http://bit.ly/2MlRKq6

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Beach Read Book Review

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

14 comments


BOOK REVIEW: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Release Date: May 19th, 2020
Genre: Romance / Fiction
Published by: Berkley
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 My Goodreads Rating


BOOK BLURB: 

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They're polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really. 

💛

MY THOUGHTS:

Every once in a while we're lucky enough to find a book that makes us fall in love with the characters and reminds us that LOVE is beautiful...even when the world feels pretty shitty.
I fell in love with this book.  
I could not put it down.
I actually ran out of post-it notes to mark the passages that I want to go back to!

But how could I not love it?  Let me give you 5 reasons to love this book:

  1. January is a hopeless romantic and Gus is a "life is shit" kind of guy. But not everyone is just one thing, is it? And as they start knowing each other, the layers start coming off, and they might discover that they are not so different after all...
  2. January writes romance novels and she believes that Gus thinks his writing is superior...
  3. The sarcasm...oh, that twisted humor and endless eye rolls that make sparks fly...
  4. Everyone has secrets, even the people we've loved all our lives...
  5. Finally, the love scenes, they were not so steamy, but were perfectly written.
🎧
Which song would I pair this book with?  COMING AROUND AGAIN by Carly Simon 

"I know nothing stays the same
But if you're willing to play the game
It's coming around again
So don't mind if I fall apart
There's more room in a broken heart

And I believe in love
But what else can I do
I'm so in love with you"


I do hope you get to read this book, and when you do, please let me know what you thought of it!

Happy reading!






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