Book Reviews · Fiction · WomensFiction

Book Review: ‘The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett’ by Annie Lyons (pub 9/8/20)

Thank you @williammorrowbooks for my gift copy of ‘The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett‘ by Annie Lyons! (pub 9/8)

This is a moving & joyous novel about an elderly woman ready to embrace death & the little girl who reminds her what it means to live. And as it goes, it’s never too late to start living…

Eudora Honeysett is done w/ this noisy, moronic world—all of it. She has witnessed the indignities & suffering of old age & has lived a full life. At 85, she isn’t going to leave things to chance. Her end will be on her terms. With one call to a clinic in Switzerland, a plan is set in motion.

Then she meets 10-yr-old Rose Trewidney, a whirling, pint-sized rainbow of color & sparkling cheer. All Eudora wants is to be left alone to set her affairs in order. Instead, she finds herself embarking on a series of adventures w/ the irrepressible Rose & their affable neighbor, the recently widowed Stanley—afternoon tea, shopping sprees, trips to the beach, birthday celebrations, pizza parties.

While the trio of unlikely BFFs grow closer & anxiously await the arrival of Rose’s new baby sister, Eudora is reminded of her own childhood—of losing her father during World War II & the devastating impact it had on her entire family. In reflecting on her past, Eudora realizes she must come to terms w/ what lies ahead. But now that her joy for life has been rekindled, how can she possibly say goodbye?

You nailed it on the head if you said to yourself, “This reminds me a bit of ‘Me Before You’ & ‘A Man Called Ove'” & that’s a good thing, because both of those books are on my all-time favorite books list, & I said the same thing as I read this. ‘The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett‘ is in one word: Brilliant!

(This is the UK version of the book!)

A positively beautiful story that I didn’t want to end & I absolutely adored Rose! Rose, Eudora & other characters were so richly drawn & well-written, I felt like I truly got to know them, felt there sorrows & their joys as well. ‘The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett‘ is heart-wrenching at times & will certainly give you all the feels, but it is also sweet, heartwarming, captivating & memorable. This book was a nice change in pace from the plethora of thrillers I have inhaled lately. Look for this book at your nearest indie book store & add it to your TBR lists today!

Click HERE to add this book to your Goodreads list (& add me as a friend while you’re there if you haven’t already!)
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After a career in bookselling and publishing, Annie Lyons published five books including the best-selling, ‘Not Quite Perfect‘. When not working on her novels, she teaches creative writing. She lives in south-east London with her husband and two children.
Visit her on Instagram- @annielyonsauthor

BeachReads · Book Reviews · Fiction · Romance · RomCom · WomensFiction

Book Review, chocolate cake, peppermint hot chocolate and snow flurries!

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We made it to November, folks! Thank you @avonbooks for my gift copy of ‘Tools of Engagement’ by Tessa Bailey! (pub 9/22)

In Tessa Bailey’s latest rom-com, two enemies team up to flip a house… and the sparks between them might burn the place down or ignite a passion that neither can ignore! 

Hair, makeup, clothing, decor… everything in Bethany Castle’s world is organized, planned, and styled to perfection. Which is why the homes she designs for her family’s real estate business are the most coveted in town. The only thing not perfect? Her track record with men. She’s on a dating hiatus and after helping her friends achieve theirdreams, Bethany finally has time to focus on her own: flip a house, from framework to furnishings, all by herself. Except her older brother runs the company and refuses to take her seriously.

When a television producer gets wind of the Castle sibling rivalry, they’re invited on Flip Off, a competition to see who can do the best renovation. Bethany wants bragging rights, but she needs a crew and the only member of her brother’s construction team willing to jump ship is Wes Daniels, the new guy in town. His Texas drawl and handsome face got under Bethany’s skin on day one, and the last thing she needs is some cocky young cowboy in her way.

As the race to renovate heats up, Wes and Bethany are forced into close quarters, trading barbs and biting banter as they remodel the ugliest house on the block. It’s a labor of love, hate, and everything in between, and soon sparks are flying. But Bethany’s perfectly structured life is one kiss away from going up in smoke and she knows falling for a guy like Wes would be a flippingdisaster.

So, I wanted to use my cute, little pink tool bag in my pics, but then I remembered I gave it to my daughter when she moved out, so heads up, Santa…mama needs a new, pink tool bag set! Instead in my pic you get a peak at my home office along w/ my lunch of homemade sugar-free, gluten-free chocolate cake & hot cocoa.

About the book, first off, can I just say how much I love the name of the fiction competition show: ‘Flip Off’. ‘Tools of Engagement’ is Bailey’s 3rd book in her Hot & Hammered series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. The book is flipping hilarious w/ it’s witty banter, but it also is heart-tugging w/ emotions at times, romantic, & swoony, & filled w/ enough blush-worthy steam to warm you up during these chilly Nov days! (We actually are getting our first snowflakes right now as I write this!)

The whole Hot & Hammered series is wonderful, reality escapism at it’s romantic best & I highly recommend them all! Fans of HGTV’s house flipping & remodeling shows will love this latest installment!

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Click HERE to add this to your Goodreads lists!

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New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey aspires to three things. Writing hot and unforgettable, character-driven romance, being a good mother and eventually sneaking onto the judging panel on a reality show baking competition. She lives on Long Island, New York with her husband and daughter, writing all day and rewarding herself with a cheese plate and Netflix binges in the evening. If you want sexy, heartfelt, humorous romance with a guaranteed happy ending, you’ve come to the right place.

Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Fiction · Romance · RomCom · WomensFiction

Blog Tour and Pub Day for e-book ‘Why I Held Your Hand’ by Augusta Reilly

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Happy Pub Day & Thank You to @getredpr #booktour & @augustareillyb for my e-copy of ‘Why I Held Your Hand‘ by Augusta Reilly!

Here’s an e-book release that will surely get your blood pumping! There’s a little sugar & a lot of spice in this fairly short, rom-com, available today in e-book form…

Laura Delaney loves her small mountain hometown of North Powell with its quaint charm, stately Victorian homes & surrounding hiking trails. Unfortunately, when it comes to attracting travel dollars, it can no longer compete with the flashy hot springs & ski slopes of nearby competitors.

That’s why she hires a hotshot marketing team to figure out how to inject the old magic back into North Powell’s sagging tourist trade. What she doesn’t expect is for the team to include David Harper. Smart, funny, handsome, & amazing in bed, he’s the perfect man. All she needs to do now is keep their relationship under wraps until the project is over.

But that’s easier said than done when she’s assigned to work with Spence Markham, the company’s offbeat “idea man” & David’s professional nemesis. When Spence suggests hosting a Dickens Festival to revitalize the town’s once-booming holiday season, Laura is thrilled. She’s even more thrilled when Spence falls in love with Powell House, the dilapidated Victorian that Laura hopes to renovate & turn into a town museum. But is Spence falling in love with her as well?

As the Festival nears, Laura’s feelings for both men intensify. Her relationship w/ David has only gotten better—& hotter—& yet she finds herself counting down the days until she can see Spence again. Soon, what started as a simple assignment becomes a tale of two possible futures. But which one will Laura choose?

Why I Held Your Hand‘ is a quick, charming, festive rom-com with small-town atmosphere (that worked well for this small-town girl), & enough romance, spice & steam to keep the heat of summer hanging on! (Seriously, you may need to turn the A/C on for this one!)

Click HERE to order this now on Kindle.
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Augusta Reilly has been writing for women’s magazines and literary publications for two decades. In her earlier years, she was a prolifically (if not proudly) published pulp fiction author whose anonymous literary masterpieces included ‘I Had The New Year’s Baby With Santa!’, ‘Prom Night in the County Morgue!’, ‘My Husband’s Sperm Were Kidnapped and Held For Ransom!’, ‘My Son the Pimp!’, and countless other titles, all of which ended in an exclamation point. She is a graduate of McGill University and lives in beautiful Douglas County, Colorado with her husband, three cats, and way too many kids.

Audiobooks · Book Reviews · Comedy · LibroFm · Memoirs · Nonfiction

Audiobook Love and book review of ‘Sh*t, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema’ by Lindy West

Are you a fan of audiobooks? I am! I listen to almost a book a day most weeks! Did you know you can get them online & support your local bookstore, too? If you haven’t tried one yet, start w/ a memoir or an essay collection read by the author, such as this one!

Thank you @librofm & @hachetteaudio for my gift audio copy of ‘Sh*t, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema‘ by the awesome Lindy West! (pub date 10/20) Click HERE to give my Instagram post a LIKE!

NYTimes opinion writer & bestselling author Lindy West was once the in-house movie critic for Seattle’s alternative newsweekly The Stranger, where she covered film w/ brutal honesty & giddy irreverence. In ‘Sh*t, Actually’, Lindy West returns to those roots, re-examining beloved & iconic movies from the past 40 yrs w/ an eye toward the big questions of our time: Is ‘Twilight’ the horniest movie in history? Why do the zebras in ‘The Lion King’ trust Mufasa–who is a lion–to look out for their best interests? Why did anyone bother making any more movies after ‘The Fugitive’ achieved perfection? And, my God, why don’t any of the women in ‘Love, Actually’ ever freaking talk?!

From ‘Forrest Gump’, ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’, & ‘Bad Boys II’, to ‘Face/Off’, ‘Top Gun’, & ‘The Notebook’, West combines her razor-sharp wit & trademark humor w/ a genuine adoration for nostalgic trash to shed new critical light on some of our defining cultural touchstones–the stories we’ve long been telling ourselves about who we are.

At once outrageously funny and piercingly incisive, ‘Sh*t, Actually’ reminds us to pause & ask, “How does this movie hold up?”, all while teaching us how to laugh at the things we love w/o ever letting them or ourselves off the hook. It’s is a love letter & a break-up note all in one: to the films that shaped us & the ones that ruined us. More often than not, West finds, they’re one & the same.

I laughed so hard listening to this book & completely agreed w/ most of Lindy’s cinematic observations. (Lindy, please write a book dissecting TV shows now! I will be more than happy to provide some shows to rip on, like ‘Friends’ & ‘King of Queens’.) I have never seen ‘Love, Actually’, but I have seen all of the other movies referenced in this book & had many of the same observations. In my home, breaking down movies & their plot holes is one of our favorite things to do as a family! I seriously loved this book & I think it is definitely one of those best enjoyed on audiobook where you can listen to Lindy & all of her beautiful snarkiness.

Libro.fm is pretty much just like “the other” audiobook app/subscription service out there, but there’s one HUGE difference: Libro.fm supports indie bookstores from our purchases. No lining the pockets of a bajillionaire. Bookstores have been struggling to survive for some time due to the convenience of the internet & right now, many are in serious danger of flatlining in 2021 (or sooner) due to the pandemic. I can’t imagine my community not having access to physical bookstores in the future. I LOVE spending an hour or two picking out books, holding them, smelling them, buying them, & taking them home w/ me right then. And if it means spending a couple extra $$’s to keep them there so I CAN do that, it is 100% worth it!

Readers, please support your local bookstores this holiday season & always by buying books, gift cards and/or Libro.fm memberships for your friends/family/self! Many of the indie stores even have online store fronts, too! Go to the Libro.fm website to learn more & use my code MOMLOVESREADING for a BOGOF.

Click HERE to go to Libro.fm & ‘Sh*t, Actually’.
Click HERE to give my Instagram post some LIKE love, (actually).😉
Click HERE to add ‘Sh*t, Actually’ to your Goodreads lists.

Lindy West is a Seattle-based writer, editor, & performer whose work focuses on pop culture, social justice, humor, & body image. She’s currently a culture writer for GQ magazine & GQ.com & a weekly columnist at The Guardian, as well as the founder & editor of I Believe You/It’s Not Your Fault, an advice blog for teens. In 2015 she wrote & recorded a story for This American Life about confronting an Internet troll who impersonated her dead father. She also was listed as “Internet’s Most Fascinating of 2015” by Cosmopolitan.com, & helped launch the viral #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag in defense of women’s reproductive rights.

Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Fiction · Romance · WomensFiction

Book Tour and Review of ‘Autumn Skies’ by Denise Hunter

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Welcome to the first stop on the IG/blog book tour for ‘Autumn Skies‘ by Denise Hunter! Thank you @tlcbooktours @thomasnelson & @tnzfiction for my gift copy this amazing book that publishes on 10/20!

Facing the past is easier if you don’t have to face it alone…

The Bluebell Inn is turning a profit, & it’s time for the Bennett siblings to sell it & move on. Only Grace has plans to stay in the small lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina, where she hopes her growing outfitters business will save her from the loneliness of her siblings’ departure & the persistent sense of unworthiness in her life.

A gunshot wound resurrects the past for Secret Service agent Wyatt Jennings, & a mandatory leave of absence lands him in Bluebell. There he must come to grips w/ the tragedy that altered his life 14 years ago. When Wyatt books a room at the Bluebell Inn, sparks fly between him & Grace. She volunteers to be his mountain guide, & he soon opens up to her, drawn to her strength & sense of humor. But both are reticent to talk about the survivor’s guilt they each carry, & when their pasts finally collide, their budding romance might not survive the truth.

From the bestselling author of ‘The Convenient Groom‘ & ‘A December Bride’ (now beloved Hallmark Original movies) comes the third & final novel in the Bluebell Inn series. Book 1 is ‘Lake Season‘ & came out in Nov ’19 & book 2 is ‘Carolina Breeze‘ which published only 5 mos ago in May. All of the books can be read as stand-alones, but I definitely want to read those first 2 books now after thoroughly enjoying ‘Autumn Skies‘.

Lake Season‘: When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream: turning their historic home back into an inn.
Adam Bradford (a.k.a. bestselling author Nathanial Grey) is a reclusive author with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to a North Carolina lake town, the setting of his next novel. There he immediately meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.
When Molly finds an old letter in the walls of her inn she embarks on a mission with Adam to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But the guest she invites along has secrets of his own. Past and present collide as truths are revealed, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

A jilted bride. A struggling innkeeper. And a romantic mountain getaway that changes everything. Rising Hollywood star Mia Emerson is looking for a safe place to land in the wake of a public breakup & scandal, & she finds it in the lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina—the location of her canceled honeymoon. She wants nothing more than to hide & wait for the tabloids to die down.
Soon after her arrival at the Bluebell Inn, Mia meets Levi Bennett, who runs the inn along w/ his two younger sisters. Drawn to one another from the start, Mia trusts Levi to keep her location from the press, & Levi confides in Mia about the financial state of the inn—a secret he’s been keeping from his sisters.
When Mia & Levi discover an old journal that hints at a rare diamond necklace hidden in the inn, they set off on a treasure hunt to find the long-lost heirloom. What they don’t expect to surface are feelings they thought were safely locked away. Mia & Levi must decide if falling in love again is too big a risk—or if it will uncover a treasure of its own instead.
This Bluebell Inn romance takes us to a quiet North Carolina retreat that holds more secrets than it shares.

I live in a little, lakeside town that has several B&B’s, so this book was very easy to visualize & get completely consumed in. Grace is the youngest of the Bennett siblings, w/ the stories about her sister, Molly & their brother, Levi, covered in books 1 & 2. ‘Autumn Skies‘ is an utterly heartwarming, enchanting & beautiful story that will completely sweep you away w/ it’s lakeside atmosphere.

The story has a very nice balance of clean romance, mystery, past tragedy, drama, & witty banter while also touching on some serious issues such as the aforementioned survivors guilt & also debilitating panic attacks. I loved Grace & Wyatt’s story & the building of their relationship & the way the characters in the book were brought to life w/ Hunter’s talented writing.

There’s a reason Denise Hunter’s books have such great ratings & reviews, & this will certainly not be my last book by her. ‘Autumn Skies‘ is a breath-taking, engaging, & well-written story that I highly recommend!

Click HERE

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Denise:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Denise Hunter is the award-winning author of more than 35 novels, three of which have been adapted into Hallmark movies.
Denise writes heartwarming, small-town romances, peopled with layered characters who have real-life issues. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.
In 1996, Denise began her first novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her books contain a strong romantic element, and her husband says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too! Denise and her husband live in Indiana, where they raised three sons, and are currently enjoying an empty nest.