Book Review

Book Review: Watching You by Lisa Jewell-4 Stars

Watching You is about a neighborhood full of messed up people. The story starts out with a murder. We don’t know who has been killed or where except it’s in a house and a red boot tassel has been left at the scene.

Tom, the headmaster at a local school, his wife Nicola, and their son Freddie live in a nice neighborhood. Freddie sits in his upstairs bedroom creeping on the neighborhood out his window. Everyone, including some of Tom’s students, loves him, bordering on obsession. His wife caters to his every whim, and if Tom isn’t around, doesn’t even acknowledge her son as everything she does is for her husband. A few doors down from them live Joey, who lives with her husband, her brother, and his wife. Joey is a sad sap who is obsessed with Tom and is always watching him, swooning over his every move. She is struggling finding a job, as is her husband, which is why her brother, a surgeon, let them move in so they can get back on their feet. Also on the street is Jenna, a student at Tom’s school, and her mother, who is delusional and on the verge of a mental breakdown. She blames Tom for something and watches his family constantly. Everyone in the neighborhood seems to be watching someone else, but why? When you find out who has been murdered, it seems pretty obvious who the killer is, but when you piece together all the secrets the various neighbors have uncovered you might begin to question who the suspect is!

In my opinion this was a pretty good mystery, but I typically prefer more fast paced psychological thrillers. The revelations at the end were stunning, I just felt it was a bit bogged down and slow moving at times, but the last bit was crazy!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Review

Book Review: Swing and a Miss (Washington DC Soaring Eagles #2) by Aven Ellis- 5 Stars

Welcome back to DC, the home of the Soaring Eagles baseball team! Katie is still reeling over the night she fainted on her crush, baseball player AJ Williamson after getting the chance to meet him thanks to the fact her best friend Hayley dates his teammate, Brody.

Katie’s always loved baseball. She’s had a crush on AJ the baseball player forever, but when she gets the chance to really know the real him, she begins to fall for Andrew Joseph, who is more than a baseball star-he’s a lover of Fraiser, old movies, and amusement parks.

All of the interactions between the two of them just seemed so real and genuine. I loved how AJ stopped in to the coffee shop where Katie works after his game and they spent ours talking, and sharing coffee and pastries, and when they spent the day riding roller coasters together!

Of course, with new relationships come doubts that can threaten to tear a couple apart. Katie will be starting law school soon and knows it will take up all of her time. AJ is a celebrity, and he’s never felt settled in his life thanks to his parents moving him around constantly. Will Katie’s past celebrity crush cause AJ to have doubts that he isn’t good enough and that she just wants to be with him for the baseball part of him? Will he be okay with the fact that Katie’s schoolwork leaves little time for love and fun?

This is such a sweet romance! Even if you don’t like baseball you will still appreciate the relationship and fun moments between Katie and AJ!

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review!

Add it on Goodreads

Find it on Amazon

beauty, makeup

Makeup Tutorial: Colourpop Element of Surprise

Hey yall! I finally have another makeup tutorial! For this look I used the Colourpop Element of Surprise Palette.

photo from colourpop.com

 

For this look I used Labyrinth (second row, last shade) as my transition color, then I went in with Silk Street (first row, third shade) in the crease. I added Blank Canvas (last row, first shade) to the outer corner to deepen. Then I applied NYX Glitter Eyeshadow Primer and patted on Rayon (first row, last shade) on the outer portion of my lid, Subdue (second row, second shade) in the center, and Feels (first row, first shade) on the inner portion of my lid. I also applied Feels to my inner corner for highlight. The lower lashline is a combination of Labyrinth and Silk Street. I absolutely love how this look came out. The duochrome shimmers are gorgeous! Also, this is such an affordable palette at only $16!

 

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Full makeup details: 

Primer– Dr. Brandt Pores No More Luminizer Primer all over with Strivectin LINEblurFector Instant Wrinkle Blurring Primer only in my t-zone.

Foundation– Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation in the shade Mont Blanc

Undereye Concealer- Tarte Shape Tape in shade Fair Neutral

Bronzer/Contour- Pur Cosmetics Sculptor Palette in the shade Inventor

Highlighter– Laura Geller Diamond Dust Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator

Blush– Too Faced Luminous Peach from the La Belle Carousel holiday collection

Mascara– Stila Huge

Brows– The Brow Gal Instatint Eyebrow Gel in shade Brown Hair 02

Setting Powder– Pretty Vulgar The Powder Room

Lips– Bodyography Lip Liner in the shade Timber topped with Tarte Glitter Lip Paint in the shade Insta-Famous

Lastly, I set all my makeup with the Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray.

 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Berry eye looks are some of my favorites to do!

 

Book Review

{Children’s} Book Review: When Do I Love You?- 5 Stars

My son and I both enjoyed this fun story book with different animals and their families declaring when they love them. It has adorable pictures and cute rhymes such as “When do I love you, little lizard? Would I love you in a blizzard?”

It’s a great way to remind little ones how much they are loved and in many different places and ways. My son is always getting this book out of his book basket for me to read!

I received a copy of this book free from Thomas Nelson and the Book Look Bloggers program in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Find this book on Amazon!

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.

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.