Book Review

Book Review: Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks-2 Stars *SPOILERS*

This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk!

 

I don’t usually write spoilery reviews but I am SO mad at this book I can’t help it.

 

Tru, a safari guide from Zimbabwe, receives a letter from a man claiming to be his father. He flies Tru to Sunset Beach, NC so they can meet, and while there, Tru meets Hope, a woman living in the house next door. They immediately have a connection and it seems like fate has brought them together because their passion and chemistry is so strong. Hope is staying in her parents cottage for a few days while she is a bridesmaid in her friend’s wedding. Her on-again-off-again boyfriend is currently in the “off again” status and Hope feels stuck. She’s alone at the beach and is moping around over the fact that her jerk boyfriend still hasn’t proposed after six years, she is a bridesmaid at yet another wedding, and she still doesn’t have kids.

This is not a love story! While Hope and her boyfriend were currently on a break when she had her little rendezvous with Tru, she knew it would have to end with him. Yet she STILL played with his heart. She told him she loved him, shared things with him, and still drove away leaving him broken, devastated, and sobbing. Hope married a man she KNEW wouldn’t work out but chose him over kind, passionate, Tru, because her desire to have children was so strong. YET!!! She yearned for Tru while married to another man. She knew she made a mistake. She never stopped loving him, even while she was married and had children with another man. She is terrible! My heart aches for Tru because he deserved so much more. He suffered heartbreak for years, never loving anyone, keeping his heart guarded and protected for someone who couldn’t be bothered to give him her whole heart.

If you’ve read this far, thanks! I can’t believe how strongly I feel about this book but it just really didn’t sit right with me. It’s in no way a swoony romantic tale of love throughout the ages like some of Sparks’ other novels. I was obviously, highly disappointed.

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Book Review

{Children’s} Book Review:How Do You Say Good Night?- 4 Stars

This is the perfect bedtime story book!

 

Zoey the Zebra goes all over the land to find out how different animal families say good night. Everyone has their own traditions that make it special and just right for their family. I think it would be great for older kids to read together with their parents and start a good night tradition of their own. Younger kids will enjoy it for the beautiful illustrations and clever ways to say good night! This book not only shows the different bedtime routines but the various ways to thank God for his blessings. It is a sturdy cardboard book great for little hands to help turn the pages.

 

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

 

Get your copy on Amazon!

author interview, Book Review, Life

Author Interview & Giveaway! Featuring Aven Ellis

Hey yall! I’m so excited for today’s post! I thought it would be fitting to share one of my favorite authors with you today for my first ever author interview here on the blog!

If you have followed my blog for some time you know I am a huge fan of Aven Ellis. I won a giveaway in 2014 (!!!!) for her book Waiting for Prince Harry from her Dallas Demons hockey series and have been a loyal fan ever since.

She is my go-to author when I am in a reading rut. I love her stories, and I love her as a person. She is a genuine friend who is fun, witty, sweet, and quirky, and that all comes through in her characters making them super relatable. She writes romantic comedies, some about sports such as hockey and baseball, as well as a royals series! Some things you can be sure of with Aven’s books-she will make you laugh and swoon, sometimes cry, but she will ALWAYS give you a happy ending! Her characters and stories just have a way of lifting you up and giving you an escape from the real world for awhile.

So without further adieu, let’s get on to the interview!

 

Favorite book you’ve written? Oooh Tough! But since I’ve written 18, three-way-tie: The Aubrey Rules, A Royal Shade of Blue, and Squeeze Play. 

How did you get in to writing? I wrote my first short story when I was eleven. I have been writing stories ever since! 

Fave Starbucks drink? They rarely offer it, but the chocolate cherry mocha latte. 

Pick one: Aldi or Trader Joes? ALDI! I love a bargain! 

What comes first- title, or story? 
Depends. I’ve done it both ways. 

What about character name or character description?
I see the person before the name. In Connectivity, Mary-Kate was Sydney but it kept bothering me, like that wasn’t right. Then I was flipping channels one night and stumbled on the credits for  Full House and saw Mary-Kate and I knew that was my name for her. 

What is your can’t live without lipstick shade?
Right now I’m digging a pink metallic called Love me Later by Cover Girl. 

What is your writing process? Do you have a set routine every time?
Yes. I always write a two sentence summary for the book first. Then I write a blurb. Then I sketch the characters and lay out the internal conflicts. This part is very research intensive, and I dig into things like Psychology Today and other emotional conflict reading to get to the heart of the character. I also know their fashion style, their hobbies, all the little quirks that make them real. 

If you could only watch one TV show for the rest of your life, what would it be?
GAH I love TV so this is hard! I would say Victoria on PBS. OBSESSED I AM!!! 

What can readers expect next? 
Swing and a Miss, the second Soaring Eagles series book, is coming out Saturday, November 10th! The Princess Pose, Modern Royals #2, will be my first book in 2019. 

 

Thank you so much Aven for allowing me the pleasure of interviewing you on my blog! If you would like to win an ebook copy of any of Aven’s novels, leave me a comment telling me YOUR go-to author! Make sure you’re following my blog also! I have reviews for all of her novels here on the blog so browse around and give some of her stories a shot-I know you’ll love them!

*Winner will be picked randomly. The giveaway will end Wednesday, November 14th.*

 

Pre-Order Aven’s upcoming new release, Swing and a Miss on Amazon

Blurb:

Law School? Starting in the fall.
Romance? Who has time for that, see law school.
Fainting in the arms of your secret celebrity crush? Mortifying.
When your celebrity crush asks you out? HA HA HA yeah right that’s so not happening.
Until it does …

For Katie McKenna, passing out and landing in the arms of Washington DC Soaring Eagles baseball player AJ Williamson is one of those moments she’d rather forget. Embarrassed beyond belief, she tries to pretend the incident never happened. She puts the escapade behind her, choosing to spend the summer preparing for law school–and admiring AJ safely from afar.

AJ, however, can’t forget the brunette with the green eyes who he caught that night on the concourse. She was funny. Quick. Not afraid to be herself. Intrigued, AJ wants to know more–and makes his move.

When Katie and AJ meet a second time, she finds herself no longer seeing him as AJ, the baseball player, but as Andrew Joseph, the man she is falling for. As her feelings grow, so do her doubts. AJ is known for his wanderlust, and his contract is up this year–will he even be in DC next season?

Katie has her own worries. Law school is going to consume her and is notoriously hard on relationships. The last thing she wants is for AJ to be a casualty of that. With the start of school looming closer, and her heart falling faster, Katie worries if she will be able to give AJ everything he deserves.

Can these two people find a way to realize they are worth the risk for the other to take? Or will their chance at love result in a swing and a miss?

 

Other Places to Find Aven:

Blog

Instagram

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

beauty, Life, makeup

Makeup Look and Palette Review-Pur Cosmetics Midnight Masquerade

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite fall themed makeup looks I’ve done so far this season using the Pur Cosmetics Midnight Masquerade Palette I received in my October Boxycharm Box!

 

Here are the swatches. You get six eyeshadows and four face products that can also double as eyeshadows! All in a small, travel friendly palette with a little mirror. Every shade is smooth and pigmented except for the matte brown eyeshadow; you can see in the swatch I had to work with it a little.

Pur Cosmetics is cruelty free and free of gross things like petroleum and parabens!

Now for the look!

Makeup details:

On the eyes:

Sneak Peek (matte brown) in the crease, Showtime (shimmery dark blue) on the outer portion of the lid, Mask Off (shimmery golden green) on the inner portion of the lid, Exposed (silver) on the inner corner and on the brow bone to highlight.

On the cheeks:

I mixed the two blush shades Hidden Secret and Reveal for my blush and used Twilight to highlight!

On the lips:

Becca Cosmetics and Chrissy Teigen Glow Lip Gloss in Malibu Soleil.

 

If you’re interested in trying Boxycharm, it’s $21 a month, and if you sign up before the end of October using my link and code- Whitn-QPNTHJXU  we’ll both get a Dr. Brandt microdermabrasion exfoliator!

Every month you receive 5-6 full sized products and it’s always an amazing value packed with awesome makeup and skin care products!

This palette is also for sale on the Pur Cosmetics website for $38.

 

Book Review

{Children’s} Book Review: My Christmas ABCs (An Alphabet Book)-5 Stars

 

My Christmas ABCs is a beautifully illustrated book that gives an example of a Christmas themed item that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet. There is fun glitter detail on every page! My son loves touch and feel books and I think he enjoyed the scratchy, sparkly glitter in this book. It’s a sturdy cardboard that is great for little hands. There’s not many words on the page so it’s excellent for those with short attention spans!

The vibrant colorful illustrations capture little ones and make it fun to sit and read together. I only wish each letter example rhymed to make reading it flow better, but it’s still a nice book to read. It’s not overtly religious and preachy, but certain letters reference the true reason for Christmas and there are no references to Santa.

I am grateful to Thomas Nelson and Book Look Bloggers for a copy of this book! I’m excited to add it to my son’s book collection and look forward to reading it again and again as we get closer to Christmas!

Book Review

Book Review: The Other Mother by Carol Goodman-5 Stars

I need to start this one off with a disclaimer. While I loved the suspenseful, thriller aspect, this book deals heavily with postpartum anxiety/depression/psychosis. I struggled with PPA and this book really hit home with me and brought back some of those fears I had when my son was really little.  I actually had nightmares over some of the scenes that occur. I give the author kudos for including a warning at the beginning of this book as well as an interview with an author who wrote a book that deals with postpartum psychosis.

Daphne is a new mom to Chloe. She becomes friends with Laurel, who also has a daughter named Chloe, at Mom Group. They are both dealing with first time mom/new mom struggles. Laurel is everything Daphne is not- elegant, rich, polished, skinny…but not long after meeting they are acting the same, dressing the same, going to the gym together, Daphne is losing weight and changing her hair to be like Laurel’s.

When Daphne decides to flee with her baby from her controlling husband, she takes a job as an archivist, posing as Laurel, for her favorite author. Schuyler, the author, lives on the grounds near a mental hospital that her father ran. Daphne/Laurel is already dealing with psychosis, but being near this institution and going through Sky’s father’s medical records is making her start to question things even more so.

This book will really make you be suspicious of everyone! Who is who? Who did what? Is anything and anyone like it seems? Told in narrative as well as journal entries by both Laurel and Daphne as well as Edith, a patient, the plot flows quickly and sucks you in.

This book was very complex and surprising. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, the author drops a bomb and completely shocks you! I would recommend but only if you are aware of the heavy subjects this book deals with. I know I would not have been able to read it in the 6 months after my son was born.

Life, Mom Life, parenting

Just Another Manic…Tuesday? A Day in the Life

Today was ROUGH.

My 14 month old was pretty cranky and fussy pretty much the entire day. He didn’t nap until 3:30 in the afternoon, and even then, it was only for about an hour!  He’s busy and active, and in to everything, so it’s hard to get chores done around the house while he’s awake because he wants to “help” i.e pull things out of the laundry basket after I’ve already folded them, close the door to the dishwasher while I’m still loading it, dump the dog’s food and water bowls over, you get the picture.

But, as I sit here writing this, I’m watching him on the baby monitor and thinking back on our day. He’s been in bed for almost 3 hours. *PRAISE HANDS*  I’m grateful he wants to help mommy in his own little way. Was he really fussy all day? No, not literally, it just seemed that way. When he was happy, and we were playing in his playroom, I was teaching him shapes. He can say “circle” now! That causes me to reflect back on all he’s learned. He is so smart, and he learns so much every day. He never ceases to amaze me. He knows some sign language-he’s able to tell me when he wants more, and when he’s all done. He knows what sound a cat, dog, truck, and rooster make. He knows what “ball” and “car” are, can say the words, and can bring me those toys when I ask. He’s getting more teeth, and his current favorite past time is climbing on things he shouldn’t and standing on them. So, what does all of this mean? Well, while he is smart, and toddler-like, he’s still very much a baby. He can’t tell me why he’s fussy and upset, but he is LEARNING new words, new skills, constantly, and I’m sure that is stressing his little body and brain out. I say all that to say this-I need to give myself and him a break for acting the way we did today. And, if you’re in the same boat, keep these thoughts in mind and remember tomorrow is a fresh start!

Book Review

Book Review: The Au Pair by Emma Rous-4 Stars

Seraphine and Danny are twins. The day they were born, their mother threw herself over the cliff at their estate, Summerbourne. 20+ years later, their father dies in a tragic accident at home, and while Seraphine is going through his things, she comes across a photo of the family on the day they were born, but with only one baby in the picture. Seraphine sets out to discover which of the twins is pictured and why there’s only one of them, but she gets more answers than she bargained for. Seraphine goes looking for the Au Pair, Laura, that her older brother Edwin remembers as being the one who took the picture. While searching for Laura they come across a man named Alex who was also part of this family’s life before Seraphine’s mother died. Laura and Alex are adamant that Seraphine stay away from them and Seraphine is left with even more questions. What really happened to their mother? Has everything Seraphine thought she knew about her family a lie?

Full of shocking twists, intriguing mystery, and family secrets, if you’re a fan of mystery thrillers you will not be disappointed in this one. My jaw dropped at the end because until secrets were revealed, I had no idea and I was completely taken aback! I definitely recommend!

 

I received an ARC of this novel from NetGalley.

This does not influence my review-all opinions are my own! The Au Pair releases 01/08/2019.

Read more about it on Goodreads or pre-order it on Amazon!

Book Review

Book Review: The Bottom Line by Aven Ellis-5 Stars

 

Aven Ellis takes readers back to Chicago and to the world of the Chicago Buffaloes hockey team. This time around, Taylor Hartigan has quit her job that made her miserable and moved back to her hometown in beloved Chicago and cute Canadian Hunter Riley has just been traded to the Buffaloes.

They are both struggling with big life changes and feeling like failures, but can’t forget the moment they shared over a year ago when Hunter broke the glass at a game right in front of Taylor, making her spill nachos ALL OVER HERSELF!

Taylor and Hunter are PERFECT for each other. They understand how hard each other wants to work for what they want, they uplift and encourage each other, they have fun, and the building romance is so swoon worthy! They don’t want to let this relationship fail like they feel they have both failed in their careers, but can they realize they can be successful both in their work and in love?

As with all of Aven’s series readers get to follow up on couples from other books. I love seeing how their relationships are flourishing and seeing what they’re in to now! If you’ve enjoyed Aven’s Chicago on Ice series you will love this one.

 

The Bottom Line releases October 17th.

Pre-order it on Amazon now, and read more about it on Goodreads!

Thank you SO MUCH to Aven for an advance copy of this novel.

Uncategorized

Something New Is Coming…

Hi everyone! I’ve been thinking about something for awhile and I feel now is the time to act on it! I want to revamp my blog from just a book reviewing blog to basically, a lifestyle blog. I am now a mom (to a 14 month old!), and I luckily get to stay home with him; I still love reading and reviewing books, and I also love makeup. My goal is to create a blog of my life where I share makeup looks and reviews, product reviews, cooking/cleaning tips and tricks, mom life, and of course, book reviews. I hope you will stick with me on this new journey as I dive into something new! Please let me know your thoughts in the comments!received_658729104490469