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Showing posts from June, 2016

Mini Reviews (15)

  The Imperial Wife by Irina Reyn I love Catherine the Great.  She is one of my favorite historical figures so I was really excited to read this book.  It focuses on a Russian art specialist named Tanya Kagan in present times and the young Catherine the Great in her early years in Russia.  I was completely sucked into this story and I could not put the book down.  I enjoyed reading about Tanya's work and her life as a Russian immigrant.  I loved this book until the last few chapters.  The ending was awful and so unexpected.  It made me hate Tanya in so many ways and it was just really disappointing.  I had so much hope for Tanya and to have all of that crushed in the last few pages was so frustrating. I'm giving this book 3 stars because 90% of it was really good. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Virgin's War by Laura Andersen I LOVE this series so much.  I am so sad to see this trilogy end but this b

Review: "The Perfect Neighbors" by Sarah Pekkanen

Synopsis:  Newport Cove is one of the safest neighborhoods in the US, where spontaneous block parties occur on balmy nights and all of the streets are named for flowers. Here everyone lives out the American Dream – cute kids, strong marriages, burgeoning careers – but what really goes on behind closed doors? Kellie Scott has just returned to work after a decade of being a stay-at-home mom. She’s adjusting to high heels, scrambling to cook dinner for her family after a day at the office—and soaking in the dangerous attention of a very handsome, very married male colleague. Kellie’s neighbor Susan Barrett begins every day with fresh resolutions: she won’t eat any carbs, she’ll go to bed at a reasonable hour, and she’ll stop stalking her ex-husband and his new girlfriend. Gigi Kennedy seems to have it all together—except her teenage daughter has turned into a hostile stranger and her husband is running for Congress, which means her old skeletons are in danger of bein

Mailbox Monday (60)

I have lots to share in my Mailbox Monday post today! Hey y'all! It's been a busy weekend and I'm so glad I have Monday off tomorrow. Yippee! We celebrated my daughter's birthday yesterday so it's kind of been a whirlwind for the past few days. I say this ALL the time but I really need to stop buying books.  Last week I had a Barnes and Noble coupon burning a hole in my pocket and then I found that a book I had been wanting went on sale (a really good sale) so I couldn't help myself.  I now should be fully stocked on non-fiction and am seriously considering the need to stop buying books for the rest of the year. Purchased (from Amazon and Barnes & Noble):   The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson John Adams by David McCullough Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore What books did you pick up this week?

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts (16)

Happy Thursday! I'm linking up with Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts over at Bookishly Boisterous. 1.) I have to stay away from eBay.  It's the devil! I just bought all of these Nancy Drew books to add to Julia's collection.  When she gets older, she is going to have a fully stocked library of my favorite childhood books.   In addition to the books I've purchased for her, I still have a bunch of my old books (like Anne of Green Gables, Chronicles of Narnia, etc.) at my mom's house.  I can't wait until she is old enough to read these! 2.) I'm in a huge reading rut right now.  I want to read all the things but I seem to keep picking up duds.  I've only read two books this month; I have two more that I'm working on but I probably won't get beyond that.  I really need a good book to get me back in the swing of things! 3.) We are having my daughter's third birthday party this Saturday.  I've done a really good job of scaling

Book Blast and Giveaway: "A Moment Forever" by Cat Gardiner

A Moment Forever (Liberty Victory Series #1) by Cat Gardiner Publication Date: May 28, 2016 Vanity & Pride Press eBook; 600 Pages Genre: Historical Romance In every footlocker, hope chest, and heart full of secrets there is a story waiting to be discovered and told. In the summer of 1992, a young writer is bequeathed the abandoned home of a great-uncle she never knew. The house has a romantic history and is unlike any home she has ever seen. Juliana Martel felt as though she stepped into a time capsule—a snapshot of 1942. The epic romance—and heartache—of the former occupant unfold through reading his wartime letters found in the attic, compelling her on a quest to construct the man. His life, as well as his sweetheart’s, during the Second World War were as mysterious as his disappearance in 1950. Carrying her own pain inflicted by the abandonment of her mother and unexpected death of her father, Juliana embarks on a journalist’s dream

Mailbox Monday (59)

It's time for a quick and dirty Mailbox Monday post!  Happy Sunday y'all!  I only received one book this week but I thought I would share anyway.  I am so behind with my reading so it's a good thing that only one came in.  I had an awesome reading month in May but June has been a super slow one.  I've been wanting to read this one for a while so I'm glad I my library hold finally came in! From the Library: All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior I hope everyone has a great week!  Leave your link so I can check what your books for new books!

#FitReaders Weekly Check In (10)

I haven't done one of these in a long time but I am linking up with #FitReaders today.  It's hosted by the Geeky Blogger Book Blog and That's What I'm Talking About. I've been working really hard to get back in the groove of doing serious exercise.  For most of the year, I have just exercised by walking; there's nothing wrong with that but my body needs more strenuous exercise in order to lose weight.  I also really need to build some muscle back up because my body just feels awful lately (I feel like an old lady!).  I started doing Couch 2 5K again; this is my third time doing it and I love how it helps my body get used to running again.  I just finished week 3 yesterday so I'm really excited about that. For the past two weeks, I have exercised 5 days.  Three days a week I have been doing the C25K runs and then the other two days, I have been doing Jillian Michael's "Ripped in 30" DVD.  I really love that workout.  It's har

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: "Bela's Letters" by Jeff Ingber

Béla's Letters by Jeff Ingber Publication Date: February 18, 2016 Paperback; 596 Pages ISBN: 978-0985410025 Genre: Historical Fiction “Béla’s Letters” is a historical fiction novel spanning eight decades. It revolves around the remarkable life story of Béla Ingber, who was born before the onset of WWI in Munkács, a small city nestled in the Carpathian Mountains. The book tells of the struggles of Béla and his extended family to comprehend and prepare for the Holocaust, the implausible circumstances that the survivors endure before reuniting in the New World, and the crushing impact on them of their wartime experiences together with the feelings of guilt, hatred, fear, and abandonment that haunt them. At the core of the novel are the poignant letters and postcards that family members wrote to Béla, undeterred by the feasibility of delivery, which were his lifeline, even decades after the war ended. Amazon | Barnes & Noble About the Author Jeff is a financi

Mailbox Monday (58)

Another Mailbox Monday post coming at ya! It's been a good week overall and I picked up a bunch of new books this week.  We're working on getting ready for my daughter's birthday in a few weeks so I'm not sure when I will have time to read everything but I'll try to fit them in when I can!  It's been super hot here this weekend so we've had lots of pool time this weekend; it's been so relaxing that I'm not sure I want to go back to work tomorrow! Anyway, here is what I picked up this week. From the Library: The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva The Obsession by Nora Roberts     For Review (from the publisher):   The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen Purchased (for nook): America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum     What books did you pick up this week?

Mini Reviews (14)

The Tsarina's Legacy by Jennifer Laam This book is the sequel to The Secret Daughter of the Tsar (which I really liked) and follows Veronica as she travels to Russia to claim the role as the heir to the Romanovs.  The story flashes back and forth between Veronica's story and the story of Grigory Potemkin who was one of Catherine the Great's lovers.  I really enjoyed the Potemkin story line; it was unique and intriguing.  The rest of the story was just okay; Veronica's story was slow and I had a hard time staying interested in what was happening to her.  I also found the past and present stories to be poorly connected so it almost seemed like they were two separate books.  3 stars. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye This was a fun read and I loved the combination of historical fiction and fantasy!  The magical aspects were neat and I really enjoyed the descriptions of St. Pe

Mailbox Monday (57)

Hi y'all! I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday again this week. I swore this year that I would cut back even more on review books but that does not seem to be happening! I have found so many that I want to read and can't say no to so oh well! Purchased for Kindle:     The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel For review (from the author):     The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring For Review (from NetGalley):     Karolina's Twins by Ronald H. Balson   What books did you pick up this week? 

May 2016 Wrap Up

Hey y'all!  May is over and summer is here!  I'm so excited to be done with my class (I got an A) and I'm ready for summer reading, the pool and binge watching NetFlix! May was my best reading month for the year! I have read 26 books so far and my goal is 52 so I am half way there.  At this time last year, I had read quite a few more books but I'm pretty happy that I stayed on track considering how crazy the past few months have been.  I did set two reading goals for May (read a non-fiction and a book I own) and I managed to accomplish both of them.  I think for June I am going to shoot for two non-fiction and two books I own so we'll see how that goes!  I also am going to try to post something on the blog at least once a week.  I really miss the blog but need to get the motivation to work on it. I didn't do so hot with the rest of my May goals but oh well! I just started Couch to 5K again this week so I am excited to work on that over the summer as well. He