Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Beginnings - 8/18/2017

*Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.  *Taken directly from Rose City Reader's Blog Page. 
My book beginnings is taken from GLASS HOUSES by Louise Penny:

"State your name, please."  
"Armand Gamache."
"And you are the head of the Surete du Quebec?"
"The Chief Superintendent, oui."
"Gamache sat uprigh on the wooden chair.  It was hot.  Sweltering, really on this July morning.  He could taste perspiration from his upper lip and it was only just ten o'clock.  It was only just starting."

Books Finished:


Review will be on September 5.

A well-researched historical fiction book.

AT WAVE'S END by Patricia Perry Donovan - review is in the book's title.

A LOVELY read.

EMMA IN THE NIGHT by Wendy Walker.

A disturbing, psychological thriller.  Review is in the book's title.

Book Blogger Hop - 8/18 - 8/24

 Question of the Week:

When you enter an unfamiliar house or apartment for the first time, do you feel disappointed if you don't see any bookshelves, or books on the coffee table? (submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

My Answer:

I don't feel disappointed, but I wonder why there are not any books visibly displayed or any bookshelves.  I love to browse other people's bookshelves.  :)
I don't judge, though.  Some folks never grew up with the love of books.
I just think how lucky I am that books have always been a part of my life, and the love of books has been instilled in me.

Friendly Fill-Ins - 8/18/2017

1. If someone were visiting my area, I would recommend a visit to ____.

2. My favorite room in my home is _____.

3. Back-to-school time makes me think of        .  

4.  My favorite year of school was___, because___.


1. If someone were visiting my area, I would recommend a visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo and a ride on the Pittsburgh Incline.

2.  My favorite room in my home is my outdoor room/porch where I read and relax.

3.  Back-to-school time makes me think of having to go back two weeks before the start of school to get my room ready.

4.  My favorite year of school was third grade because I was so good in math. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Giveaway and Spotlight of Monsters: A Love Story by Liz Kay


Quick Take: 

Stacey Lane feels like a monster. Tommy DeMarco might be one. Since her husband died eight months ago, Stacey’s been a certified mess—an acclaimed poet who can’t write anymore, a good mother who feels like she’s failing her kids. She’s been trying to redefine herself, to find new boundaries. Tommy has no respect for boundaries. A surprisingly well-read A-list Hollywood star, Tommy’s fallen in love with Stacey’s novel-in-verse, a feminist reimagining of Frankenstein, no less. His passion for the book, and eventually its author, will set their lives on a collision course. They’ll make a movie, make each other crazy, and make love—but only in secret. As Stacey travels between her humdrum life in the suburbs of Omaha and the glamorous but fleeting escape Tommy offers, what begins as a distracting affair starts to pick up weight. It’s a weight that unbalances Stacey’s already unsteady life, but offers new depth to Tommy’s. Riveting, poignant and always surprising, MONSTERS: A LOVE STORY reveals how meeting the right person can be as much brutal as it is breathtaking. With Liz Kay’s beautiful spare prose and snappy dialogue, the novel deftly details the ways we love, even when we’re not at our best, and delivers an eminently satisfying love story. Jill Alexander Essbaum, New York Times-bestselling author of Hausfrau raved, “Witty and so nimbly-worded, Liz Kay’s Monsters: A Love Story had me at hello.” 
About the Author

Liz Kay holds an MFA from the University of Nebraska, where she was the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize. She is a founding editor of Spark Wheel Press and the journal burntdistrict. Her work has appeared in Willow Springs, Nimrod, RHINO, Sugar House Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets anthology. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and three children.
Selected Praise for MONSTERS: A LOVE STORY:

“The unlikely romance between a feminist poet and the Hollywood heartthrob who options her book is at the center of Kay’s entertainingly dyspeptic Monsters.”

“In the tradition of Lolly Winston’s Good Grief . . . this fast-paced novel will have readers immersed in the heady feeling of an alcohol-fueled affair with one of the sexiest men alive.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“Witty and so nimbly-worded,  Monsters had me at hello. From the near-madcap improbability of the novel’s premise, to the punchy repartee and ping-pong banter between Stacey and Tommy, it’s impossible to resist the book’s charms. .”
Jill Alexander Essbaum, New York Times bestselling author of Hausfrau

“A perfectly imperfect love story . . . Kay has created a heartfelt, sometimes dark but ultimately romantic story about what happens when two broken people come together.”

“A smart, satirical feminist novel, but as the subtitle suggests, it's also a romance.”
Shelf Awareness

“I love to see truth in writing when it comes to love and relationships . . . [Monsters is] an electric, fast-moving novel.” 
B&N Reads

Monsters is an addictive read: a page-turner that is at once dark and uplifting, shocking and hopeful. Kay's book takes a sharp spin on the notion of fairy tale romance.”
Janelle Brown, bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

"At times somber, at times heartwarming, the story of this improbable romance is an addictive page-turner, ripe with seduction and charm, that drops insights into this messy, crazy, wonderful thing called love.."
Washington Independent Review of Books

“This one will make you laugh and cry, but Kay’s debut novel, about a poet grappling with the death of her husband, is a must-read. A smart look at grief and how we bounce back from it, Monsters is fast-paced and completely addictive.”
Purewow, Ultimate Summer 2016 Book Pick

“The novel’s wry insights into messy relationships put me in mind of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. and Emma Straub’s The Vacationers.”
Timothy Schaffert, critically acclaimed author of The Swan Gondola

“This edgy and entertaining novel would make a great beach read.” 

Lucy Sykes, author of The Knockoff

“The meeting of kindred spirits is often as punishing as it is beguiling. When monsters fall in love, it is impossible not to watch, impossible to put the book down.”
Rebecca Rotert, author of Last Night at the Blue Angel

“A deeply felt and modern day spin on the fairy tale notion of happily-ever-after. . . Smart, fun, sexy writing.”
Mark Haskell Smith, author of Raw: A Love Story

Monsters is smart, witty, hilarious, raunchy, irresistible, and full of crackling dialogue.”
Catherine Texier, author of Victorine

“Reads like a seduction. I couldn’t stop. . . Monsters they may be, but vulnerable monsters with hearts full of yearning.”
Amy Hassinger, author of The Priest’s Madonna

The giveaway copy is "Courtesy of Penguin Random House." I am partnering with Penguin Random House for this giveaway.



August 16 - August 23

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Look at this adorable book my sister whittled for me.  Love the purple and the deckle-edged pages.

Look how she even made the indent on the side.  :)


Early Galley Giveaway of Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

The Blog Tour for SEVEN DAYS OF US begins on October 17

My review will be on Tuesday, November 7 - stop back to see what this book is all about.  
It sounds fun!  Could you spend SEVEN whole days with your entire family?  :)
All information in this post is courtesy of Lauren Burnstein.
The giveaway copy is "Courtesy of Penguin Random House." 

 I am partnering with Penguin Random House for this giveaway.

Your next feel-good read is here! 

If you “like your families dysfunctional and your novels whip-smart*,” enter the giveaway for Francesca Hornak’s bright, wryly-observed family drama SEVEN DAYS OF US and stop back for the tour beginning October 17.  

A week is a long time to spend with your family. Now imagine being quarantined with them over Christmas. 

That’s the delicious premise in SEVEN DAYS OF US, about a dysfunctional British family forced into quarantine together. Eldest daughter Olivia, a doctor, has just returned from treating a life-threatening virus in Africa and must spend seven days in quarantine.

Her family, forced into lockdown with her, decides to spend the week in their crumbling and isolated country manor, Weyfield Hall. Each arrives carrying secrets and simmering resentments.

With the Birch family under one roof for the first time in years, keeping secrets is no longer an option. And when a shocking, unexpected visitor arrives, the family’s pressurized state will boil over, spilling problems—and possibly the deadly virus—outside the gates of Weyfield Hall.

In residence with Olivia are her unabashedly frivolous younger sister Phoebe, fixated on her upcoming wedding; father Andrew, sequestered in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and longing for his glory days as a war correspondent; and sweet bumbling matriarch Emma, who’s hiding a secret that will turn the whole family upside down. Anyone who loves their family—in small doses—will relate to the inner thoughts of each character. 

This Is Where I Leave You meets “Love Actually” in SEVEN DAYS OF US


August 16 - August 23

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

At Wave's End by Patricia Perry Donovan

You won a bed and breakfast in yet another contest, Mom?  Please say I am not hearing you correctly?

Poor Faith.  Her mother, Connie, has always entered contests ever since she was a child and has never won, but then she wins this one which seems unbelievable because of the prize.  Connie has won this prize after writing an essay about why she should win the bed and breakfast, and Connie is determined to come all the way from New Mexico to claim and see her prize.

Faith lives in New York City and accompanies her mother to the bed and breakfast at Wave's End at the Jersey Shore.  As predicted, the place is in bad shape and nothing like the pictures in the contest.

As Faith argues with her mother about the "prize," a hurricane is making its way up the coast.  Faith goes back to New York and then returns as the hurricane is gaining in intensity to make sure her mother is safe.  

Faith finds more than she wants to find when she returns with her mother's impulsiveness being a very big problem this time.

AT WAVE'S END is an enjoyable read with characters that were very believable and lovable. A mother/daughter team is always a treat because it can go two ways:  the best it can be or the worst it can be.  :)

You will be comparing your relationship with your mother and might see some similarities as well as differences.

Secrets kept for a long time and finally revealed are part of AT WAVE'S END, but do they bring mother and daughter closer or farther apart?

Food was another major component with three of the characters being chefs, and who doesn't like to talk about food and gorgeous kitchens?

If you need a fun, light, heartwarming read that shows the resiliency of and the generosity of mankind, then you will not want to miss AT WAVE'S END.

It has something for everyone and the reason I enjoy women's, love, tenderness, surprises, a few tears, and warmth.

ENJOY!!  I certainly did.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the author in return for an honest review.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

And The Winner is....ME!!

I won First Place and Champion in the County Fair for my Basil and Pesto bread.  :)

How about that?  :)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Book Blogger Hop - 8/11 - 8/17

 Question of the Week:

Do you participate in readathons and/or reading challenges? (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)


My Answer:

Challenges are not for me.

The only challenge I participate in every year is Goodreads.

Readathons and challenges that have BINGO-style suggestions for books and reading certain genres or books with certain letters or words is just too stressful for me.

I like to enjoy my reading with "no strings attached."  :)

Friendly Fill-Ins - 8/11/2017

I am with my sister, and we are being silly and having fun filling these out. 

1. Blind dates ______.

2. ____years ago, I ____.

3. I admire           because           .

4.           makes me think             .


1.  Blind dates are when I forgot my glasses.

2.  Twenty years ago, I was twenty years younger.

3.  I admire ants because they are so strong.

4.  Baking my bread makes me think of winning a blue ribbon again in the County Fair.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley Giveaway

All the content in this post is courtesy of Danielle Dill.

The giveaway copy is "Courtesy of Penguin Random House." I am partnering with Penguin Random House for this giveaway.
What happens when a major social media fail airs all your dirty laundry?

This is the delicious premise behind KEEP ME POSTED—a novel about two sisters that become Internet sensations when their most private thoughts accidentally go viral.

Touching on themes of love, marriage, and the bond of sisters, KEEP ME POSTED will have readers thinking about the secrets we trust to be kept just that, and the real-life likes and dislikes from millions of strangers if those secrets were to be revealed. Sure to resonate with fans of Jennifer Weiner and Jane Green, Beazley’s fresh debut is a funny and heartwarming look at modern marriage, social media, and sisterhood. 


Two sisters share the surprising highs and cringe worthy lows of social media fame, when their most private thoughts become incredibly public in this fresh and funny debut novel.
The once-close Sunday sisters have not done a bang-up job of keeping in touch. Cassie is consumed with trying to make her life work as a Manhattan wife and mom to twin toddlers, while her bighearted sister, Sid, lives an expat’s life of leisure in far-off Singapore. So Sid, who shuns social media, challenges Cassie to reconnect through old-fashioned letters.
Soon, the letters become a kind of mutual confessional that have real and soul-satisfying effects. They just might have the power to help Cassie save her marriage, and give Sid the strength to get her life back on track.
But first, one of Cassie’s infamous lapses in judgment comes back to bite her, and all of the letters wind up in the one place you’d never, ever want to see them: the Internet. 



August 10 - August 17

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