Friday, February 16, 2018

Coffee Break

Hello! How are you doing today? We're mid-February and that seems crazy to me. And not because I feel like time is moving fast, but I feel like this past month and a half have taken forever.

January lasted 743 days and thus far February has lasted 744. Slight exaggeration, I know. But is anyone else feeling this way? Are you falling in to the "Time is dragging" category or the "Time is flying" category?

Let's just take a break from our day. Whatever you're doing, hit the pause button, take a deep breath, grab your favorite drink, and let's chat.

What I'm doing

Being a mom. Being a wife. Being a friend. Being me.

It's easy to feel like we're getting pulled in many directions, but it's important to remind ourselves that each piece makes up who we are. The facets of our lives don't make us or's, they make us and's. And while sometimes certain aspects will have the upper hand and be more prominent, it doesn't make the other aspects less important.

What I'm watching

Masterpiece's Victoria. Season 1 of Victoria aired while I was on maternity leave last year and I watched every episode with intense interest. Season 1 takes place from 1837 when she becomes Queen at 18, to 1840 when her daughter Victoria (Vicky) is born. Season 2 picks up a month later and focuses on Victoria balancing life as reigning monarch while being a wife and mother.

What I'm reading

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, #6) The Princess Bride

I'm finally getting around to reading Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas. I've had the book since it came out last September. Pre-ordered it, in fact. Just for one reason or another I never got around to reading it.

Years ago, I read The Princess Bride by William Goldman and absolutely loved it. I've been meaning to reread it for a while, but after listening to As You Wish by Cary Elwes I knew I had to do it sooner rather than later. The audiobook is narrated by Rob Reiner, a producer on the movie, and he does an excellent job.

Send me your recommendations! What are you doing, watching, or reading?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Blog Tour: About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis (Book Review + Excerpt)

Heartbreaker Bay #5
Adult, Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date:January 23, 2018
Published By:  Avon
Website:Jilly Shalvis 

The Phantom's Apprentice on Goodreads
My review copy:
Received from the publisher

Where to get:


When love drives you crazy...

When sexy Joe Malone never calls after their explosive kiss, Kylie shoves him out of her mind. Until she needs a favor, and it’s a doozy. Something precious to her has been stolen and there’s only one person with unique finder-and-fixer skills that can help—Joe. It means swallowing her pride and somehow trying to avoid the temptation to throttle him—or seduce him.

the best thing to do . . .

No, Joe didn’t call after the kiss. He’s the fun time guy, not the forever guy. And Kylie, after all she’s been through, deserves a good man who will stay. But everything about Kylie makes it damned hard to focus, and though his brain knows what he has to do, his heart isn’t getting the memo.

… is enjoy the ride.

As Kylie and Joe go on the scavenger hunt of their lives, they discover surprising things about each other. Now, the best way for them to get over “that kiss” might just be to replace it with a hundred more.


Oh, what a way to spend Valentines Day!!

Jill Shalvis has done it again. She has captivated me with her writing and characters in her newest addition of A Heartbreak Bay Novel series. Everyone of these books can be read as a stand alone but my suggestion? Don't miss a single one.

Kylie is no stranger to taking care of herself. She's been doing it for many years now ever since her grandfather passed away in a fire. She's a woodworker and she's very good at what she does. As good as any man, or even better. She has never been the damsel in distress and has never needed a man to help her. Then her most prized possession is stolen right underneath her nose and in walks Joe Malone to the rescue. Well maybe.....

Joe is a loner. He's dangerous and has a dark past. He doesn't believe in relationships and certainly doesn't believe in getting involved with the one women who could be his undoing.

One can not help but fall in love with this suspenseful romance made for curling up with a blanket and a big mug of hot cocoa. I highly suggest you get your copy today.


Joe studied her. “I asked you once before, but now I’m going to ask you again. Is there something going on between you two?”

She tossed up her hands. “Why do you both keep asking me that about each other?”

His eyes narrowed. “I thought nothing was going on.”

“And before today, I could’ve passed a lie detector test on that,” she said.

“What happened today?”

She paused. Not because she had anything to be ashamed of, but because she wasn’t quite sure what had happened.


She sighed. “It’s nothing.”

“Try again,” Joe said and gave her the very male universal go on gesture.

She rolled her eyes. “Fine. He . . . finally made a move on me.”

Joe didn’t budge. Not a blink, not a muscle twitch, nothing, but she could’ve popped corn off the electric tension coming off him.

“Describe ‘made a move,’ ” he finally said.

She crossed her arms. “And again, how is this relevant to my case?”

He just gave her that careful stare again and she thought wow, those eyes of his should be registered as a lethal weapon, because she found herself opening her mouth and spilling her guts. “He kissed me.”

“He kissed you.”

“Yeah,” she said. “Do you know that you often repeat what I say?”

“What kind of a kiss?” he asked.

She was momentarily bewildered. “I don’t know. It was a kiss. A normal kiss. A nice kiss.” She cocked her head at him. “How many kinds of kisses are there?”

He just looked at her for a long moment before coming toward her. He backed her to the wall and pressed his big hands on either side of her head.

“There are many kinds of kisses,” he said.

Her breath had backed up in her throat, where her heart had lodged, pounding wildly. “S-s-such as?”

“Such as this one.” And then he leaned in and covered her mouth with his. At the touch of Joe’s mouth, Kylie’s brain stopped being capable of rational thought. His tongue gave a knee-weakening stroke against hers and she let out a shockingly needy moan as she clutched at him, fisting her hands in the material of his shirt at his chest. Only when he’d thoroughly plundered and pillaged and left her boneless did he lift his head and look into her eyes.

“Wow,” she whispered, fully aware she was still holding on to him like he was a lifeline, but the bones in her legs had liquefied. “I mean . . .” She shook her head. “Wow.”

He nodded. “Yeah. So to be clear, that wasn’t ‘a normal kiss’ or even ‘a nice kiss.’ It was a ‘wow’ kiss. Any questions?”

“Just one,” she said softly. “Can I have another?”

Joe didn’t have to be asked twice. His mouth immediately descended again, his fingers sliding into her hair to change the angle of the kiss to suit him. It was a controlled, alpha thing to do, but she had only one thought—nothing about the usually carefully, purposely leashed Joe was in control at the moment.

And she liked it.

She had no idea how long they went at it because she was in absolute heaven. Who knew that the man could use his preferred silent mode to communicate in a way that she finally approved of?

Only when she was completely breathless and about to strip him down to his birthday suit did she manage to pull back.

“Any more questions?” he asked, also a little bit breathless, which was more than slightly gratifying. Dumbly, she shook her head. His eyes softened and he gently he stroked his thumb over her bottom lip. “And FYI? Gib’s an idiot.”

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.

Visit Jill's website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Blog Tour: The Phantom's Apprentice by Heather Webb (Book review & Giveaway)

Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date:February 6, 2018
Published By:  Sonnet Press
Website:Heather Webb 

The Phantom's Apprentice on Goodreads
My review copy:
Received from the publisher

Where to get:


In this re-imagining of Phantom of the Opera, meet a Christine Daaé you've never seen before...

Christine Daaé sings with her violinist Papa in salons all over Paris, but she longs to practice her favorite pastime - illusions. When her beloved Papa dies during a conjurer's show, she abandons her magic and surrenders to grief and guilt. Life as a female illusionist seems too dangerous, and she must honor her father's memory.

Concerned for her welfare, family friend Professor Delacroix secures an audition for her at the Nouvel Opéra - the most illustrious stage in Europe. Yet Christine soon discovers the darker side of Paris opera. Rumors of murder float through the halls, and she is quickly trapped between a scheming diva and a mysterious phantom. The Angel of Music.

But is the Angel truly a spirit, or a man obsessed, stalking Christine for mysterious reasons tangled in her past?

As Christine's fears mount, she returns to her magical arts with the encouragement of her childhood friend, Raoul. Newfound hope and romance abounds... until one fateful night at the masquerade ball. Those she cares foróDelacroix, the Angel, and even Raoul - aren't as they seem. Now she must decide whom she trusts and which is her rightful path: singer or illusionist.

To succeed, she will risk her life in the grandest illusion of all.


Who hasn't heard of The Phantom of the Opera? Most have but the story is always told from the Phantoms point of view. The premise of this author's plot is all about Christine, the heroine in the historical tale. She takes center stage from the beginning of this novel with her talent for singing beautifully and her secret love of illusions.

I was captivated by this novel from the beginning and found it very difficult to put it down between chapters. That's really no surprise to me though as I fell in love with Heather Webb's writing in her Novel Last Christmas in Paris. I think this book blows that away though. No one was who they seemed and that made this story incredible to read. Once I thought I had a handle on who a character was, they would trick me and I would be back to square one.

I also loved Christine's journey from a very young impressionable girl that his behind her father's coat tales to an independent woman who didn't want any men to decide her fate. She was breathtaking to read as she grew into her own woman. It was amazing to watch her start her own life from nothing. She was so afraid but you just knew she'd make it.

If you love historical fiction with an classical setting, interesting characters that continue to surprise you through our the story and beautiful writing, The Phantom's Apprentice is for you.

About the Author

HEATHER WEBB is the author of historical novels Becoming Josephine and Rodin's Lover, and the anthology Fall of Poppies, which have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Elle, France Magazine, and more, as well as received national starred reviews. RODINíS LOVER was a Goodreads Top Pick in 2015. Up and coming, Last Christmas in Paris, an epistolary love story set during WWI will release October 3, 2017, and The Phantom's Apprentice, a re-imagining of the Gothic classic Phantom of the Opera from Christine Daae's point of view releases February 6, 2018. To date, her novels have sold in ten countries. Heather is also a professional freelance editor, foodie, and travel fiend.

For more information, please visit Heather's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 5 Review at The Maiden's Court
Tuesday, February 6 Review at The Lit Bitch Feature at A Bookaholic Swede  
Wednesday, February 7 Review at Just One More Chapter Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Thursday, February 8 Review at A Bookish Affair
Friday, February 9 Review at Trisha Jenn Reads 
Saturday, February 10 Review at Bookish
 Monday, February 12 Review at Creating Herstory 
Tuesday, February 13 Review at Linda's Book Obsession
Wednesday, February 14 Review at Clarissa Reads it All 
Thursday, February 15 Review at 100 Pages a Day
Friday, February 16 Review at Baer Books
Monday, February 19 Review at Cup of Sensibility Review at Let Them Read Books Review at Bookworms Anonymous
Tuesday, February 20 Feature at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, February 21 Review at Writing the Renaissance
Monday, February 26 Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

During the Blog Tour we are giving away two paperback copies of The Phantom's Apprentice! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules 
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Giveaway is open to US & Canada residents only.
Only one entry per household.
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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