Friday, June 29, 2018

High Five for Friday: June 29


Inspired by Brandie at Running on Words and Wine and Kim at Kimberlyfaye Reads,I've created my own Friday post!
1. New Books this Week 

Aloha Love looks just like something I would love! And I just started listening to Before and Again on Audible. 

2. Books I've Been Loving this Week
One of my favorite  reads of 2018 so far!!! Full review early next week on the blog!

3. When I Wasn't Reading
I went to a fantastic Yoga + Beer class (shocking, I know) on Wednesday! It was held at Rogue Farms Hopyard with my favorite yoga teacher. She always seems to say just what I need to hear that day in class.  It was super windy during class, and it even started raining just as we said Namaste, but we're Oregonians, so we didn't care :)
Drinking: Honey Kolsch

Great yoga spot!

 4. My Cute Pups
Can't do a post without pics of my pups! These guys LOVE summer, and playing in the pool! We play fetch with them and tell them to run back to home base (the pool)! Haha. They're so adorable.

5. Weekend Plans

Today is my birthday (Yay!) but it's also a big event at my work today and tomorrow, so I have to work 7am-4pm both days :( But tonight we are going to a baseball game with friends, and Saturday night we are going to dinner with more friends, and then I have all of next week off, so that should be good! Staying around home next week for the July 4th holiday but plan on lots of reading and relaxing!

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

WWW Wednesday, June 27


The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?  

What did you recently finish reading?  

What do you think you’ll read next?
Recently Finished
Just finished this one last night and it is SO GOOD. READ IT!! READ IT NOW!!! Especially if you like suspense. This one is a wild ride and keeps you guessing!!!
Currently Reading
 Just started these two--Tell Me Lies on my Kindle and Before You Know Kindness from the library! I just got added into a book club by Mel from Double-Stacked Bookshelves, and the July pick (her pick!) is Before You Know Kindness. I've never read anything by Chris Bohjalian, an author she loves, so I'm excited to read this one!

Up Next 

 Not sure yet....just started these two! But I did just download The Perfect Mother on my kindle...anyone read it? It was a $3.99 deal last week and I just couldn't pass it up!


What are you reading this week? Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Review: All We Ever Wanted

36723031Title: All We Ever Wanted
Author: Emily Giffin
400 pages, publication date June 26, 2018

Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.


When I first started reading this, my first thought was that it was another story about rich people, and it would be hard to relate to the characters. Luckily, that wasn't the case! Nin also grew on me as a character throughout the book--she wasn't who she seemed to be at the beginning of the book as you read more about her. The book switched perspectives every chapter between Nina, Tom and Lyla (is it me or are most fiction books doing that nowadays?) but in this book it really worked with the story. You would hear the same story from different perspectives.

This book sucked me in right from the beginning, and I loved the characters, especially Lyla and Tom. The book is so relevant right now since it deals with the use of snapchat and social media, and how actions on those sites can have real world consequences.  I flew through this book in less than 24 hours, and is definitely one of my recent favorites of Giffin's. I definitely recommend adding this to your summer reading list, but make sure to add more than just this book because you will fly through it!

Happy Reading! 

A writing retreat in France? Yes Please!

Have you ever wanted to be whisked away somewhere remote to get that book inside you written? And do you wish that you had expert guidance and support to help you while you did it? If you answered yes to the above questions then you should definitely continue reading this post which is going to tell you all about the Atelier des Ecrivains (Writers’ Workshop) retreat. Becky and Sarah who are co-hosting the writing retreat, and are both writers themselves, know that there are lots of people who harbour a desire to write a book but may either lack the confidence, the skills or the headspace to actually do it. They also know from experience that removing yourself from your daily life, with all of its pressures and interruptions, and coming together with like-minded people can be a great way to overcome those barriers. Where better to do that than in a beautiful 18th century manor house outside one of France’s prettiest villages, Aubeterre?
Helen Cross

Helen Cross, author of My Summer of Love, which was turned into a Hollywood film starring Emily Blunt and whose other novels, screen and radio plays entertain people all over the world will be leading the workshop. She is an experienced teacher of creative writing and currently teaches on the MFA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, UK. The combination of skills and experience offered by Helen, Becky and Sarah will be invaluable to authors at all stages of their writing journey.

 ABOUT THE WORKSHOPS Getting started – Thursday 20 to Monday 24 September, 2018 For people at the beginning of their writing journey, this workshop will help you develop your writing skills, find your creative voice, thematic material and literary style: create credible characters and reveal them through dialogue and active, dramatic scenes: and build your world - structure, point-of-view, and narrative voice. With a small group of up to 10 writers, we are promoting an environment of creativity and support with one-to-one feedback sessions and time for questions and answers.  

Keeping going – May, 2019 For people who have already started their writing journey, this workshop will enhance your skills even further, help you overcome barriers and enable you to shape your words into the brilliant piece of work you know it has the potential to be.

 Getting published – September 2019 For people reaching the conclusion of a writing project, this workshop is designed to support the final stages of writing and editing, and will contain lots of useful information about how to get published and successfully market your book. You can find out more information about the hosts, venue and workshops here. To book your place or to contact the hosts, you can visit the website here.

How fun would this be?! 
This post was in partnership with Faye Rogers PR.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Review: Sailing Lessons

36373446Title: Sailing Lessons
Author: Hannah McKinnon
Published June 5, 2018 by Simon and Schuster
384 pages

Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:

On the shores of Cape Cod, the Bailey sisters reunite with their long-lost father for a summer of hope and forgiveness in this heartfelt novel from the author of the “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) Mystic Summer, The Lake Season, and The Summer House, sure to appeal to “fans of Elin Hilderbrand” (Booklist).

Wrenn Bailey has lived all her life on Cape Cod with her mother Lindy, older sister Shannon, and younger sister Piper. Growing up, life was dictated by the seasons with sleepy gray winters where only the locals stayed on, followed by the sharp influx and colorful bustle of summer tourists who swept up the elbow of the Cape and infiltrated their small paradise.

But it wasn’t just the tourists who interrupted Wrenn’s formative years; her father—brilliant but troubled photographer Caleb—has long made a habit of drifting in and out of his girls’ lives. Until the one summer he left the Cape and did not return again.

Now, almost twenty years later, Caleb has come back one last time, suffering from pancreatic cancer and seeking absolution. Wrenn and her sisters each respond differently to their father’s return, determined to find closure. But that means returning to the past and revisiting old wounds—wounds that cause the tightknit Bailey women to confront their own wishes and wants, and admit to their own wrong-doings over the years. In a place that brings both great comfort and great pain, the Bailey sisters experience a summer on the Cape that promises not only hard endings, but perhaps, hopeful new beginnings.

  What a great, feel good read for the summer! I really enjoy Hannah McKinnon's books, and this one was no exception. A great family story featuring three sisters navigating complicated family relationships. The Cape Cod setting is delightful--it will make you want to be there. I also am dying to go shopping at Wren's store, The Fisherman's Daughter! I really enjoyed the relationship between the sisters, and it was interesting reading how each of them reacted differently to their dad coming back.

Definitely recommend throwing this one in your beach bag! Another great summer read from Hannah McKinnon.

Happy Reading! 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

TLC Book Tours: When We Found Home (Excerpt + Giveaway!) When We Found Home

Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (July 10, 2018)
Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister–Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old. Callie doesn’t love being alone, but at least it’s safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.
But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. He was clever enough to turn a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, yet he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love. But love isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit…until a beautiful barista teaches him that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.
In this emotional, funny and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family—blended by surprise, not by choice—and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


chapter two
AT SIX THIRTY ON AN UNEXPECTEDLY SUNNY SATURDAY morning, the condo building’s impressive gym was practically a ghost town. Santiago Trejo split his attention between the display on his treadmill and the small, built-in TV screen tuned to ESPN and a list of games scheduled for the first Saturday of the year’s baseball season.
Santiago enjoyed sports as much as the next guy, but the thrill of baseball eluded him. Seriously—could it move slower? Give him a sport where something happened. Even if the score was low in hockey or soccer, the players were always doing something. But in baseball entire innings could pass with literally absolutely no action.
The show went to commercial just as the treadmill program ended. Timing, he thought with a grin. He gave the machine a quick disinfectant wipe-down before grabbing his towel and water bottle and heading to the elevators.
His condo was on an upper floor with a view of Puget Sound and the peninsula beyond. He could watch the ferries and cargo ships making their way to port, have a front-row seat to Fourth of July celebrations and admire the storms as they blew through. When the weather was clear—not something that happened all that often in Seattle—he could see the Olympic Mountains. The gorgeous views and accompanying sunsets were very helpful when it came to the ladies—not that he needed props, but a man should have plenty of options in his arsenal.
After showering and dressing in jeans and a Yale Law School sweatshirt, he went down to his two parking spaces in the underground garage. A sleek, midnight blue Mercedes SL convertible sat next to a massive black Cadillac Escalade.
“Not today,” he said, patting the Mercedes. “I have the munchkins.” Not only would their mother not approve of them riding in a convertible, there wasn’t any back seat.
Santiago made his way to his favorite bakery. Unlike the gym, the bakery was jammed with people out on a Saturday morning. He took a small paper number from the machine up front, then waited his turn. When seventy-eight was called, he walked up and grinned at the short, plump woman wearing a hairnet.
“Good morning, Brandi. Is your mother here? You know how I enjoy saying hello to her.”
The fifty-something woman behind the counter rolled her eyes. “You know it’s me, Santiago. No one is fooled by this game you play.”
He clutched his chest and feigned surprise. “Valia? Is that really you? You’re so beautiful this morning, even more so than usual and I didn’t think that was possible.” He held open his arms. “Come on. You need a hug and so do I.”
She groaned, as if the imposition was too much, but made her way around the counter. Santiago picked her up and spun her around until she shrieked.
“Put me down, you fool! You’ll break your back.”
He set her back on her feet and kissed her cheek. “It would be worth it,” he whispered.
She laughed and slapped his arm. “You’re incorrigible.”
“That’s why I’m your favorite.”
“You’re not my favorite.”
She chuckled. “How’s your mama?”
“Well. I’m going to see her right now, then take the rug rats to the zoo.” He’d promised them a trip on the first sunny Saturday. Both of them had texted him yesterday with links to the weather report.
“They’re good children.” She eyed him. “You should be married.”
“You need a wife.”
“No one needs a wife.”
“You do. You’re getting old.”
“Hey, I’m thirty-four.”
“Practically an old man. Get married soon or no one will want you.”
He held his hands palm up and winked. “Really? Because hey, it’s me.”
Her lips twitched. “You’re not all that.”
“Now who’s lying?”
She handed over a box with his name scrawled on the top. He’d placed his pastry order online after hearing from his niece and nephew.
“My cousin has a daughter,” she began.
He passed her twenty dollars. “Uh-huh. So you’ve mentioned before. I love you, Valia, but no. I’ll find my own girl.”
“You keep saying that, but you never do. What’s wrong with you?”
“Nothing,” he called as he headed for the door. “I’ll know when I know. Of that I’m sure.”
He crossed the street and got two grande lattes from Starbucks before driving just north of the city to a quiet neighborhood of older homes. Most were either remodeled or in the process of being upgraded, but there were still a few with the original windows and tiny, one-car garages.
He wove through narrow streets until he reached his destination and pulled into the long driveway.
The lot was oversize and had two houses on it. The front one was large—about three thousand square feet, including the basement, with a nice backyard and plenty of light. Behind it was a smaller house—with just a single bedroom—but it was comfortable, private and quiet.
Santiago would never admit it to anyone but every time he came to visit, he felt a flush of pride. He’d been able to do this for his family. Him—some farm worker’s kid from the Yakima Valley. The property was paid for and in a family trust. His brother Paulo and his family lived in the front house and Santiago’s mother lived in the smaller one. He parked by the latter and walked up the front steps.

About Susan Mallery NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives-family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at

Connect with Susan

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 TLC Book Tours 

Follow the full tour here. Look for my review post July 17!

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