Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Customizabooks-Twas the Night Before Christmas

So this won't be your typical book review from the Mother Daughter Reading Team. Today we are diving into new adventures with a book that is an App. The App comes to us from one of the hottest new things out there for kids, Blackfish Children's Books.
We all know how great apps are, many of us read books on apps on our smart phones now. But this, this is for the kids and the holidays! Everything we love all wrapped up into one! What better time of year to to find this app with the holidays right around the corner.

 We asked Blackfish Children's Books for a little description and here is what they shared with me:

One of the best-loved and most frequently read Christmas stories of all time, this classic has been updated and customized for the iPhone and iPad. Beautifully illustrated, engaging, and interactive, our version allows you to continue sharing this magical story through the generations.


There are interactive objects on every page that kids love to touch and watch what they do. Try and find all of the objects throughout the story. At the end, the book tells you what you still need to find

Recorded narration with words that highlight as it is read

Record your own Narration

1 Purchase gets you both iPhone/iPod and iPad versions

Easy to use navigation, customization, and page turning effects

Music throughout the book

C's Review- This is the coolest book we have seen yet. It is pretty pictures of course and I love Santa. But I can listen to the guy, or make someone else record it or I can even record my voice on my sisters Ipod. It was really easy to record on and I like to listen to myself , but I sound kind of funny. I love that I can read it all year long after mom has put away the Christmas stuff. I just wish there were more books ( SIDE NOTE: I interrupt her review to tell her there are more stories) OMG mom really, what books?  Can we read them all now?  Can I record them? 

Mom's Review- Well nothing quite warms my heart like the excitement of my little girls so I knew I was thrilled with this from the moment I showed it to my daughters. But as I began to really play with it I was struck by two things. one was how real it looked on my screen. Check out this image below, I feel like that reindeer is staring in my eyes. Also the ease of this app/book in terms of recording. I recorded some pages, made a mistake and it caught it and guided me through so I didn't mess up my story. I love that the navigation buttons are clear and the kids never once got lost maneuvering through.I love that this held the attention of a girl reading Little House on the Prairie books and a girl who is reading picture books. It really was family fun all around. 

 My husband and I decided to surprise the girls by recording together the book on each of their I-Pods to listen to in bed on Christmas eve and guess what you can do that too!

Here's a few simple ways. One you can go buy the app yourself here:

Or you can enter our drawing below and win a promo code for your very own copy! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Some other praise for the book

A much loved classic for the holidays! This one is so rich in graphics, life, interaction, and overall quality that it is certain to become a favorite for your kids!" --

"if you are looking for a nice traditional version of ’Twas The Night Before Christmas, illustrations with a warm, cozy feel, fun interactive elements, seasonal music and sound effects this is well worth downloading." -- 4/5 stars -- the iMums

*We were not compensated in any way for this review. We just downloaded the app, loved it and wanted to share it. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Season for Sin

Title: A Season for Sin
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pub Date: September 12th  2012
Author: Vicky Dreiling
Received From: NetGalley

Introducing the Sinful Scoundrels...

The Earl of Bellingham is nothing is not a creature of habit:  money, meals, and mistresses must be strictly managed if a man is to have a moment's peace.  It's a system that works splendidly for him--until now.  With his oldest and dearest friends succumbing, one by one, to wedded bliss, Bell is now restless and a trifle lonely.  Enter the Sinful Scoundrels--Colin Brockhurst, Earl of Ravenshire, and Harry Norcliffe, Viscount Evermore--who drag him back into society and draw his rakish eye to the ton's new beautiful young widow.  Bell isn't after a wife, but a challenge.  And Laura Davenport should fit the bill quite nicely..

A short introduction to the new series to come brings us the Earl of Bellingham or Bell. Bell is a bit set in his ways and after a recent loss of mistress looking hard for another.  He seems to be setting his sites on the one Lady Chesfield who is setting her sites on finishing off the raising of a young boy. She doesn't come off as a strong character. Quite honestly none of these characters really speak to me in this story but I think it is a factor of not having the time to go into their lives and personalities. It is a bit disappointing to find so much lacking in this short novella, but if you think of it as a great preview and plan to read it right before the publication date of What a Wicked Earl Wants then i think you'll get far more out of this book!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Meant to Be

Title: Meant to Be
Publisher: Random House Childrens Books
Pub Date: November 13th 2012
Author: Laura Morrill
Received From: NetGalley

     Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question. 
     It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be"). 
     But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love. 
     Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

I am a huge fan of fun books that let me relive the moments of my youth that I enjoyed so much! With Meant to be what I found was an experience I never got to have. But even thought i'm not re-living.. I was  living in the moment in this book. It was really great to see Julia who is for sure a bit stuffy and stuck in her ways to begin with come out of that shell she's been hiding under. The class trip to London was one that changed the lives of both Julia and Jason. it is always great to see the depth of a character grow over a story and that really happened with Jason  These two had some crazy adventures and in the end found they were seeing one another in a new light. I'd consider this a good fun YA read!Photobucket

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

Title: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
Publisher: Harlequin UK
Pub Date: October 5th 2012
Author: Rachel Cohn David Levithan
Received From: NetGalley

"I've left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please."
Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

 Two teenagers stuck in the city over the holidays with no family around find one another when Lily leaves a Red Notebook with a dare in it in a bookstore. Dash happens to be the one to find it and the adventure takes off there. The reader is taken on a journey unlike any I've seen with the usual teenage angst added in to the places they send one another and the amount of time it takes till they meet in person. I found it so fun to follow this journey! Dash opens his heart in this notebook, sharing things with a mystery girl. Life isn't exactly all roses and cupcakes for either teen. But they handle things like Lily's disappointment in her parents choices, and Dash's mad at the world moods are lightened a bit by Lily. The one piece of the book I didn't care much for was the whole becoming infamous and what for. the authors descriptions of the actions by the mothers in the book made me gasp. Really who acts like that? I am for sure a protective mom but I felt like this just gave teens more reasons to hate adults. Overall I'd say it is a cute fun book and a easy read!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Title: Skinny
Publisher: Scholastic
Pub Date: October 1st 2012
Author: Donna Cooner
Received From: NetGalley

Find your voice.

Hopeless. Freak. Elephant. Pitiful. These are the words of Skinny, the vicious voice that lives inside fifteen-year-old Ever Davies's head. Skinny tells Ever all the dark thoughts her classmates have about her. Ever knows she weighs over three hundred pounds, knows she'll probably never be loved, and Skinny makes sure she never forgets it. 

But there is another voice: Ever's singing voice, which is beautiful but has been silenced by Skinny. Partly in the hopes of trying out for the school musical - and partly to try and save her own life - Ever decides to undergo a risky surgery that may help her lose weight and start over. 

With the support of her best friend, Ever begins the uphill battle toward change. But demons, she finds, are not so easy to shake, not even as she sheds pounds. Because Skinny is still around. And Ever will have to confront that voice before she can truly find her own. 

Ever is one of those characters that you just fall right in love with.I mean honestly she isn't perfect, in fact she is kind of mean in the start of this book, but I felt like I got her. Maybe it's because I too listen to Skinny far to often, but from the very first chapter I was sucked into this book. Ever being a large weight decides to undergo gastric bypass surgery after hearing the Skinny in her head share what she thinks people really think of her. The surgery isn't a end all cure but it is a beginning point where things start to change for Ever and the author writes the story and the characters in a way that you really see all sides of it and them. Books like this are something that should be in the hand of all teens!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Stork Trilogy- Giveaway

If you've been following along all week you know I've been spending the week with the Stork Trilogy by Wendy Delsol. I reviewed each of the books, did an interview with the author and now today I am giving away all three of the books signed by the author!

Stork- Paperback




Flock- Hardback


Join in now these are three books you won't want to miss, for yourself or as a gift to the reader in your family!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Stork Trilogy- Author Interview

Now that you've had a chance to check out my thoughts on all three of the books in the Stork Trilogy. I am excited to see how many of you went out and got these books, ordered them, or added to your must read list! Now let's find out a little more about the amazing mind behind the story!

Wendy Delsol

1)  You have a great trilogy of books, when you started out with Stork had you planned to write three, or did the story just build that way?

Once I began plotting out Stork, I knew I had sufficient material for future books, but I wrote the first as a stand-alone novel. Stork was the project that landed me an agent. In our very first conversation, she asked me if I had considered future books with the same characters. We shopped it to editors as a potential trilogy.

2)  What was your inspiration for Stork? The idea is so beautiful and really intrigues me I just have to know where you came up with it!

Can you believe the spark for the series came from the TV series Unsolved Mysteries? Long ago, there was a story about a very young boy who claimed pre-birth memories of hovering and choosing his mother. It freaked me out. Enough that I remembered it years later when brainstorming something unique in the paranormal genre. I added the idea of white witches or human Storks (borrowing from our cultural symbol of the bundle-bearing bird), who act as intermediaries between the undecided of awaiting souls and potential mothers.

3) Now that the Stork Trilogy is over what's on your plate in terms of a new book or series?

I have two books that I’m presently working on. One is a modern-day Pride and Prejudice. I use politics and religion as the gulf between my Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy. I’m about two-thirds of the way through this manuscript but can’t yet decide the age of my protagonist (which could potentially change the genre from adult to YA).

The other is a dystopian and deals with fertility manipulation and its unforeseen consequences. As it’s a work in progress and I’m not done plotting, I can’t share much more than that (as even I don’t know where things are headed).

4) You ended Flock very definitively, have you ever thought about doing a follow up short story into the lives of Katla and Jack 10 years from now?

Gosh. Ten years into Katla and Jack’s future. Hmm. No, I haven’t thought that far in advance. They’d be twenty-seven and twenty-eight respectively. I know that they’re both college educated by then. I see them still together. Beyond that, I guess I will leave it up to the reader to imagine their paths.

5) You have another book out called the McCloud home for Wayward Girls, what can you tell me about this book?

The McCloud Home for Wayward Girls is adult fiction. It’s the story of three generations of Iowa women who run a bed and breakfast from their historic home, once a haven for pregnant teens. A funeral brings past residents to town and sets into motion events that reveal a long-held family secret. If you like books with surprise elements, I’ve stumped many a reader with this book’s plot twist. 

You can find out more about Wendy Delsol here:

You can also purchase your own copies of Wendy's books here!

And don't forget to come back tomorrow for a giveaway of all three autographed books!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Stork Trilogy- Part Three FLOCK

Title: Flock
Publisher: Candlewick
Pub Date: September 25th, 2012
Author: Wendy Delsol
Received From: Purchased

Flock (Stork, #3)

After surviving her (shall we say) intense adventure in Iceland, Katla is psyched to be back for a blissfully uneventful senior year of homecoming and fashion explorations. But her hopes of dodging unfinished business are dashed by the arrival of two Icelandic exchange students: Marik, an oddly alluring merman-in-disguise, and Jinky, a tough gypsy girl. It seems Katla not only enraged the Snow Queen by rescuing her boyfriend, Jack, she also was tricked into promising her frail baby sister to the water queen — and Marik has come to collect. What’s worse, Katla doesn't dare confide in anyone lest she endanger them, so even her soul mate, Jack, is growing suspicious. And now Katla’s stork dreams, her guide for matching babies with mothers, have become strange and menacing as well. Hold on for a thrilling finale as the heroine of Stork and Frost calls on her wits (and her wit) to protect those she loves and face a final mythic disaster.

I waited with major anticipation to get a copy of Flock. I attended the book launch party for this one and it was so great to meet Wendy the author and see her family there supporting her! I couldn't wait to read the book and may be guilty of reading the fist few pages in the parking lot before driving home!

Once again the cover knocks my socks off. I really love the first thing I see of each of these books. Katla has now fully embraced her role as a Stork. She knows all about Jack's ability and feels comfort in that they are together again with the evil Brigid behind them. but once again things don't go quite how Katla planned. With the return of some familiar faces and a deal she made standing over her head the pressure is sure mounting for Katla this year. The biggest piece of the plot that intrigued me is how in Frost Brigid sort of pulled Jack form Katla and now Katla is pulling back from Jack. But I was also really interested in the stronger abilities that Katla had as a stork, no longer just dealing with the three chosen mothers, Katla can and does some interesting things. But the real piece of the book that blew my socks off was the ending. I didn't for one moment expect to see this and I really love it. Many books don't end on this note and I cannot say a word for fear of spoiling it. But it really is an ending!

Stay tuned for tomorrows interview with Wendy Delsol and Friday's Giveaway of all three of these books autographed!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Stork Trilogy -Part Two FROST

Title: Frost
Publisher: Candlewick
Pub Date: October 11th, 2011
Author: Wendy Delsol
Received From: Author
Frost (Stork, #2)
After the drama of finding out that she's a Stork, a member of an ancient and mystical order of women, and that her boyfriend, Jack, is a descendent of the Winter People able to control the weather, Katla Leblanc is delighted when all signs point to a busy and peaceful Christmas. That is, until the snowstorm Jack summons as a gift to Katla turns into the storm of the century, attracting Brigid, a gorgeous scientist who, in turn, attracts Jack. Between the school play, a bedridden, pregnant mother's to-do lists, and keeping an eye on her aging grandfather, Katla doesn't have time to question Brigid's motives or deal with Jack's increasingly cold behavior. But Katla's suspicions mount when Jack joins Brigid on a research expedition to Greenland, and when the two of them go missing, it becomes clear that Katla is the only one who can save her beloved Jack from the Snow Queen who holds him prisoner. Adventure, romance, and myth combine in this winter escapade for teens who like a bit of fire with their ice.

Now that we are well versed in the abilities of both Katla and Jack we get to join then in their holiday celebrations. Katla is finally beginning to feel settled into her new home and life but things of course won't stay easy. Jack in a moment that I myself see as lovely and heartwarming wants to provide Katla with her winter wonderland and in doing so finds that he may not have as much control over his power or is possibly far stronger than he thinks he is! Soon after this massive storm Brigid comes to town. Beautiful and poised she is there of course to research and learn about the weather event. But it turns out she may have a different motive all together. 

Jack and Katla's relationship begins to change a bit too. Katla has responsibilities coming out of her ears right now and Jack is really getting into the weather research. But does he seem a bit to standoffish and cold towards Katla? Katla being the ever strong and resourceful lead character knows there may be a bit more going on then meets the eye at this point and when Jack and Brigid are missing it is Katla through some amazing skill, power and resourcefulness who can be the one to bring her Jack home. Once again these characters really flow and work together and separate. In the second book of the series the author really beings it to the table with the ease of the story! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Stork Trilogy- Part One STORK

Title: Stork
Publisher: Candlewick
Pub Date: October 12th 2010
Author: Wendy Delsol
Received From: Author

Stork (Stork, #1)

Family secrets. Lost memories. And the arrival of an ancient magical ability that will reveal everything.

Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life.

First of all the cover of this book just blows me away. Literally I am bowled over by the beauty and the colors and the look of it, if that doesn't intrigue you to check out this book then the story sure will! Katla is a fantastic lead character in that she has depth, and an amazing new power. Katla upon moving from her home in California to the Midwest experiences something many of us a never will, a draw towards a building in her new home. Here she discovers that she is a part of a group of women with an amazing mysterious power. The idea of this is so intriguing and cool it really just blows me away. So not only is Katla a part of this group she holds the role as a second chair, oh and I did I mention the age difference? Very interesting to see these older women adapt to a teenager in their midst. 

 Katla also finds herself meeting Jack. Jack is a standoffish as they come in the beginning and Katla gets the feeling he is angry with her. Reminding me some almost star crossed lovers.But really this relationship grows and changes. Jack become the one who will be by her side come hell or high water. Together these two make a fantastic duo. It really is heartwarming in the book to see young adults who are enjoying time with one another and not focusing on the usual angst of teenage dating. I give major kudos to the author for writing these two so well! Katla has a voice and a presence in almost the whole book with some great lines and a witty personality and Jack compliments, ads some mystery and really shapes the book together

This week will be all about the Stork Trilogy, A review of each book, an author interview and a chance for you to win all 3 books! 

Stay tuned!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Last Chance Christmas

Title: Last Chance Christmas
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pub Date: September 25th 2012
Author: Hope Ramsay
Received From: NetGalley

Dear Reader,
I've been wishing for a miracle for my oldest boy, Stone, and this Christmas my prayers might just be answered! 

Her name is Lark, and she's here in Last Chance, looking into her father's past-and stirring up a whole mess of trouble without meaning to. As the chief of police, Stone sure has his hands full trying to keep up with her. Ever since his wife died, Stone's put everything into raising his daughters and dodging the Christ Church Ladies' Auxiliary matchmakers. And it's clear Lark has been through some trouble and could use a place to finally call home. I only hope Stone can let go of the past soon enough to keep her . . . 

Goodness, I need to stop talking and finish up Jane's highlights so we can make the town tree-lighting. You come back by because the Cut 'n' Curl's got hot rollers, free coffee, fresh-baked Christmas cookies-and the best gossip in town.

See you real soon, 
Ruby Rhodes

Lark has just lost her father and following his wishes she heads to Last Chance to scatter them on a mini golf course. She has no idea this quick trip is going to change her life and neither do the good folks in Last Chance. Stone is a father now raising his two young girls without their mother. After loosing his wife his life imploded and now he goes through the motions and attempts to help his daughter Haley with what he considers her problem. A sorrowful Angel as Haley calls her, is often seen in the home sadly watching Stone. 
There are some great characters and stories in this book and of course no greater time to feel loved and fall in love than the holidays! If your a fan of last Chance this is one you don't want to miss and if Last Chance is new to you hop right in and be welcomed to a family of love! Photobucket

Monday, October 15, 2012

Into The Pumpkin

Title: Into The Pumpkin
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Pub Date: August 31sth, 2012
Author: Linda Franklin
Received From: NetGalley

The fun of Halloween comes alive in this beautifully illustrated children's book.  The drawings, done each year by the author on the eve of Halloween, follow various "Halloween" characters as they prepare to celebrate this mystical holiday -- pumpkins, witches, bats, ravens, black cats, scarecrows, spiders, ghosts, and more. Should they have their party in the graveyard or the pumpkin patch? Should they dress up or simply go as themselves? Take a ride on the witch's broom and enter the pumpkin for a magical trip both you and your kids will not soon forget. Pre-K through 6th.
Linda Franklin is an award-winning artist whose work is widely exhibited in private collections throughout the United States. She is also a celebrated teacher who has launched many aspiring artists onto careers of their own.
C's Review- I was a little scared by some of the ideas in this book. the ghosts looked very spooky and it made me kind of nervous. The beginning was more fun than the end. I don't want to think of Halloween as a scary holiday.

Mom's Review- Into The Pumpkin is listed as a book for Pre-K to 6th. I feel this is a bit off. While geared towards kids it may be one of the more spooky Halloween books I've seen. The illustrations are very well done but the flowy feel of them adds some spook for sure. I think it'd be better to see these words with more cartoon based characters, or to see some kids interacting with the illustrations. That said it gets harder and harder to find good themed books for older kids and if you are in the 3rd-6th I can see this as way more appropriate!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Book of Life by Angel

Title: My Book of Life by Angel
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Pub Date: September 4th, 2012
Author: Martine Leavitt
Received From: NetGalley

My Book of Life by Angel

When sixteen-year-old Angel meets Call at the mall, he buys her meals and says he loves her. He gives her a drug that makes her feel like she can fly. Pretty soon she's addicted, and without even realizing she has run away from home, she moves in with him. Call says that if she really loves him, she'll sleep with his friend-then it's a friend of a friend, and soon she's turning tricks. When her best friend on the street goes missing, Angel is afraid. But it is when her pimp brings home a little girl who is only eleven and wants Angel to show her the ropes, that Angel realizes she has got to find a way to save herself so she can save the girl.

Heavy words, heavy heart, heavy story. Oh wow I am not even sure where to begin. this book is written in Verse and that was kind of a foreign idea to me. I think I like that style of writing but I feel like maybe this book just contained to much heavy content to pull of verse. Angle is a young girl who is drawn into the life of prostitution, quickly taking the readers with her into a dark and scary world. When her John brings home an 11 year old girl Angel does all that she can to protect her. I liked seeing her take on a role so similar to her name. But I just couldn't stop screaming in my head and the men in this book, the Pimps, customers etc. I really wanted to love it but I think the ideas in here and the reality just shook me a bit to much. 


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Are You Sleeping Little One?

Title: Are You Sleeping Little One?
Publisher: Abeville press
Pub Date: August 14th, 2012
Author: Hans-Christian Schmidt and Cynthia Vance
Received From: NetGalley

Are You Sleeping Little One?

Introduce young children to how baby animals sleep with this whimsical board book. With lyrical bedtime rhymes, it describes the sleeping habits of over a dozen animals, including species both common and rare, from ducklings to sloths, bats to giraffes! Its gentle rhymes and sweet, soothing pictures are the perfect way for little ones to end the day.

C's Review- This is a cute book, I liked to see all the babies with their mommies. It is interesting that not all of the babies have a specific name separate from their mom. Like a baby kangaroo is a joey but a baby sloth is just a sloth. I liked all of the rhymes and pictures in this book too. 

Mom's Review- This was a really good little book for young ones because as I have learned repetition is great but many books cover the same animals over and over again. In this story we get to see some of the traditional Parent/Child animal combo but there are new ones as well and quite a few of them. I love getting to share with my kids that bats and bees are not just scary but also loving parts of families. While we are past most board books this one is long enough the entertain a young preschooler and mine enjoyed it thoroughly. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

How Lucky You Are

Title: How Lucky You Are
Publisher:Grand Central Publishing
Pub Date: September 4th, 2012
Author: Kristen Kusek Lewis
Received From: NetGalley
How Lucky You Are

In the tradition of Emily Giffin and Marisa de los Santos, HOW LUCKY YOU ARE is an engaging and moving novel about three women struggling to keep their longstanding friendship alive. Waverly, who's always been the group's anchor, runs a cozy bakery but worries each month about her mounting debt. Kate is married to a man who's on track to be the next governor of Virginia, but the larger questions brewing in their future are unsettling her. Stay-at-home mom Amy has a perfect life on paper, but as the horrific secret she's keeping from her friends threatens to reveal itself, she panics. 
As life's pressures build all around them, Waverly knows she has some big decisions to make. In doing so, she will discover that the lines between loyalty and betrayal can become blurred, happy endings aren't always clear-cut, and sometimes you have to risk everything to gain the life you deserve.

Nothing really warms my heart like true friendship. I have been the lucky recipient of it more times than I can count and I know that it is a true blessing. In How Lucky You Are we meet three friends, Waverly a bakery owner who is struggling with money and worried in her life. Amy a stay at home mother to a young girl who's husband a doctor seems to have a secret. Kate a young woman on the verge of protecting her husband and furthering his political career. From the get go I can see that Waverly feels that she needs some rescuing, but in reality as you will find maybe she has a bit more of the rescuer in her than she thought. Things aren't quite what they seem in her two friends home. As I well know it is often those you least suspect going through the most. Watching these three women handle their challenges and triumph over some hard obstacles was heartwarming and true!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Fine Color of Rust

Title: The Fine Color of Rust
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pub Date: September 4th, 2012
Author: P.A. O'Reilly
Received From: NetGalley
The Fine Color of Rust

Loretta Boskovic never dreamed she would end up a single mother with two kids in a dusty Australian country town. She never imagined she’d have to campaign to save the local primary school. She certainly had no idea her best friend would turn out to be the crusty old junk man. All in all, she’s starting to wonder if she took a wrong turn somewhere. If only she could drop the kids at the orphanage and start over...
     But now, thanks to her protest letters, the Education Minister is coming to Gunapan, and she has to convince him to change his mind about the school closure. And as if facing down the government isn’t enough, it soon becomes clear that the school isn’t the only local spot in trouble. In the drought stricken bushland on the outskirts of town, a luxury resort development is about to siphon off a newly discovered springwater supply. No one seems to know anything, no one seems to care.
     With a dream lover on a Harley unlikely to appear out of nowhere to save the day, Loretta needs to stir the citizens of Gunapan to action. She may be short of money, influence, and a fully functioning car, but she has good friends. Together they can organize chocolate drives, supermarket sausage sizzles, a tour of the abattoir—whatever it takes to hold on to the scrap of world that is home.
     A delightful novel for fans of Jennifer Weiner, Fannie Flagg, and Maeve Binchy, The Fine Color of Rust is a wonderful reminder that sometimes it really does take a village—and a healthy dose of humor—to change the world. 

The lifestyle in this book is something so foreign to me that the characters which are so lovable really made the book interesting. A woman carrying on her life after a man has left her it's always a story that warms my heart.  I love to see perseverance and this is for sure a theme. Loretta is a single mother raising two kids and working to save the school in her town. The lovely neighbor next-door Norm  an older man who has befriended her adds so much to this tale. With his son who has just returned home and some issues of his own. When  the school issue is resolved and the  husband returns with his new "friend" I anticipated some good drama, the calmness here really made me see the depth of Loretta. She has been burned a time or two but she continues on! With some humor and interesting traditions this is a book I couldn't pass up.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Booby Trap

Title: The Booby Trap
Publisher: Pixel Entertainment
Pub Date: September 1st, 2012
Author: Anne Browning Walker
Received From: NetGalley
The Booby Trap

Welcome to The Booby Trap, a seedy bar where waitresses' skirts are high, necklines are low and customers show up for the eye candy.
When brainy, beautiful, Harvard Ph.D. candidate Bambi Benson wants to study the women of the the Booby Trap for her dissertation, she goes undercover and joins them.  All is going well for Bambi until handsome local celebrity Trip Whitley enters the scene.
Hoping to shock his high-society family by dating a bimbo, Trip offers to pay Bambi to pretend to be his girlfriend.  She accepts his offer and bides her time, waiting for the right moment to reveal her true identity and teach Trip not to judge based on appearances.
After a series of dates carefully orchestrated for their publicity value, Bambi's trap is set.  But there's one problem: the predator might have fallen in love with her prey.

This has to be one of the funniest titles for a book that I had no real idea where it was going. Bambi is not who you think she will be While she plays a waitress at a hooters type restaurant she is really a Ph.D. Candidate using her work here as research . But I love the idea of her getting into the craft to determine how to study the woman who do it. Trip is the stereotypical man you expect him to be and I had a hard time really loving him as a character. The relationship between these two is a banter back and forth and some of them each using and playing one another. There are some great laughable moments in this book but it just didn't WOW me!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Last Chance Bride

Title: Last Chance Bride
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pub Date: September 4th, 2012
Author: Hope Ramsay
Received From: NetGalley 
Last Chance Bride
Dear Reader,

My boy Stone has always been the quiet one in the family, but now he's got the whole town talking.  He and his long-time sweetheart Sharon are crazy about each other, but suddenly they can't see eye-to-eye on their future. Sharon thought they were going to go to college, then get married. But Stone had other plans--plans he didn't share with anyone.

So it looks like our resident matchmaker Miriam is going to be wrong for the first time ever. She swears Sharon and Stone are true soul mates. Well, I think between the broken promises and Sharon's meddling mother, these two kids are going to need a miracle to make it down the aisle. . . 

There's Arlene-I just need to finish her trim and then I can head over to the Watermelon Festival. Be sure to stop back by the Cut 'n' Curl for hot rollers, free coffee-and the best gossip in town.

See you real soon, 

Ruby Rhodes

I never really know what to expect when I head back into Last Chance. I've enjoyed many of Hope Ramsay's books. but I just didn't fall in love with Last Chance Bride. As a Novella or short story I knew I wouldn't get a lot of character detail or back story. But I was really expecting just a bit more. As always the story was one of interest. Stone and Sharon are younger and in love, but Stone makes the decision to head off to the marines instead of college as he and Sharon had planned. There are some moments of great story telling, like Stone having a conversation with his Aunt Arlene about his thoughts, plans and futures. If I could change one thing in this book it would really be to add just a bit more. Show the reader how this ends, or at least moves forward!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cedar Creek Seasons

Title: Cedar Creek Seasons
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Pub Date: September 1st, 2012
Author: Eileen key, Becky Melby, Rachal Phillips, Cynthia Ruchti
Received From: NetGalley
Cedar Creek Seasons

Charming Cedarburg, Wisconsin—perched on the banks of Cedar Creek and picturesque in every season—sets the mood for a new Romancing America four-in-one. Follow free-spirited forty-something Willow, who meets her opposite; twenty-five-year-old musician Francesca, who’s working with a man who sings off-key; silver-haired Claire, who gets surprised by a long-ago love; and thirty-something Beth, a shop owner who really doesn’t have time for a relationship. For these four women, there’s something magical about Cedarburg—it pulls people together, plucks the strings of their hearts, and writes a love song.

Four lovely romances all in one pretty package! I love books that contain stories of a similar nature and this one didn't disappoint. Set in a small town in Wisconsin, the four stories each take on a setting of a season of the year. It really made me think about how different times of years and acts of nature shape our lives and the things we do and feel during those times!
We begin in the winter with Willow and Wilson in a story titled A contest of Wills this is such a reat name! We are taken down a path of artists, adventure, contests, and of course love. Two ecentric characters you can't help but fall in love with yourself. As we move into the spring I feel the growth of young love and man does this story deliver. In Tune with You is the tale of Chesca and Seth, who are working together on an Easter Sunday production. They have some fun, some silly farm animals and in the end a lasting relationship. The third story Silvery Summer is a great tale of love but it adds something when those falling in love are in their senior years and a rekindling is happening. Eli and Claire once had it all, lost it along the way and through some fate and divine intervention find it again. Then we head into our final season and story. Maybe us is the tale of two working people on the same street. Beth and Derrick are beginning to like one another when a secret could stand to destroy them. this last story adds some drama but just enough for intrigue. I really love how all four books tie together without sharing a character!