Book Review · Contemporary Romance · FIction · Romance

Crush: The Tail of Two Vineyards

I again had the opportunity of working with Goddess Fish Promotions, for this book tour for Crush: The Tail of Two Vineyards, by Joye Emmens. I have never read anything by Joye Emmens, and when I read the synopsis of this book, it immediately jumped out as one I needed to read! And, boy, I am sure glad that I did!!

Synopsis

Meet Olivia. Each summer, since she was little, she has spent at her grandparents vineyard, Clos de Harmonie in central California. Now college age, Olivia is in school and achieving her masters degree in Viticulture and Enology – more specifically winemaking. In her last year of school, Olivia accepts an internship and a vineyard in France.

Meet Luke. Luke’s family own’s the vineyard in France that Olivia will be interning at. The attraction between Luke and Olivia is strong and instant. After Olivia finishes her internship, she and Luke want to continue their romance, however Olivia must return to California due to a family emergency. Once in California, Olivia is thrust into a role of getting her grandparent’s vineyard certified as biodynamic.

Throughout the time Olivia is focusing on her grandparent’s vineyard, Luke is in France working on his own family’s vineyard. Will Olivia and Luke be able to keep their romance alive, while working so far apart? Will Olivia give up working on her grandparent’s vineyard to seek a long term romantic relationship with Luke in France? Make sure to read Crush: The Tail of Two Vineyards to find out!

Review

I absolutely LOVED this book. This book was so easy to get into and the writing style kept you turning the pages!! I read almost 1/2 of the book the day I started it!!! I loved Joye Emmens’ writing. Her wonderfully descriptive writing allowed you to know and like each of the characters instantly. In addition, her writing allowed you to feel like you were both in Central California as well as in France. I could picture myself walking the vineyards with Olivia and Luke, and see what they saw. It as so, so easy to see exactly what the characters were experiencing and doing in my head. Joye Emmens’ writing allowed a movie of the whole book to play in my head throughout and it was VERY easy to get lost in this book!!!!

The only thing that I did not like about this book was the ending. I felt that the book ended very abruptly and that the story was not finished as the book ended. The book left me wanting to know the rest of the story of Luke and Olivia and each of the vineyards they worked on. I hope that there is a squeal to this story, so I can find out what happens!!!

Overall though, this book was FANTASTIC!!! I can wait to read other books written by Joye Emmens!!!

Rating

Excerpt from the Book…

Professor Clark, my graduate adviser, walked to the podium. The guest speaker followed. With his lean build, he glided across the stage. He stood tall and relaxed in a white linen long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans. While the professor introduced him, he scanned the audience, and his eyes landed on me in the front row. I sat up straight and wished I’d worn something more flattering than jeans and a T-shirt. Mom always told me never leave the house without looking your best. His brown eyes met mine before he took the podium.

So, this was Lucien Laroche. I was to be his ambassador for the weekend. Professor Clark had asked me to take Lucien to consult with two wineries near Santa Barbara. Since I was going to my nana’s vineyard in the valley already, it worked out perfectly.

“Biodynamic agriculture springs from a spiritual worldview called anthroposophy,” Lucien Laroche stated. His French accent had me. “A biodynamic farm is a living system. A self-sustaining ecosystem that is responsible for creating and maintaining its health without any outside or unnatural additions. Each farm has its own unique characteristics.”

I followed his every move. His presence held my attention. My undivided attention.

GIVEAWAY!!!!!!

Joye Emmens will be awarding a $20 Amazon/Barnes and Nobel Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour!!! Click HERE to enter into the giveaway!!

Adult Fiction · Book Review · Contemporary Sports Romance · FIction · Romance · Women's Fiction

Cross Crease

This month, I was again a part of a book review tour hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions. They had a number of books this month to choose from to review, and Cross Crease by Elizabeth Hartey sounded great – I mean who doesn’t love a book about hockey that also has a good love story in it. So, I signed up right away and couldn’t wait to dive into this book!!!

Synopsis

Meet Heaven – since the age of 14 she has been in love with hockey goalie Damon Wolfe.

Meet Damon Wolfe – the biggest-off-the-ice player in the NHL and Heaven’s best friend.

But, Heaven has a problem. At the age of 21, all she wants to do is loose her virginity to Damon Wolfe. It seems like the perfect plan to her, only there is one problem…Damon Wolfe doesn’t want to ruin the friendship that he and Heaven have built over the years. All Heaven wants is for Wolfe take her virginity and teach her about sex.

Wolfe, also has a problem. The first time he met Heaven and saw her turquoise eyes, he fell in love with her (when she was 14 and had a mouth full of braces). However, at the time, Heaven was way too young for him and Wolfe was more damaged than he cared to admit to anyone. Now that Heaven is 21, not only is she his best friend, but also Wolfe feels that he needs to protect her…from him!!!

Will Heaven gets what she wants from Wolfe? Will Wolfe give in and allow their friend ship to be ruined? Check out Cross Crease to catch all the action!!!

Review

I love a good romance novel. However, the way this book started out was a bit shocking to me! In the first 3 pages there was talk of Wolfe receiving a blow job in the middle of the living room while Dak (Wolfe’s roommate and Heaven’s older brother) and Heaven were having a conversation on the computer. I defiantly was not expecting this book to be this descriptive in the first 3 pages!!!! Once I got over the shock of how quickly the book incorporated a sexual act, without having much plot line to read and to get to know the characters with, I really began to enjoy the book. Elizabeth Hartey wrote a wonderfully descriptive book of the struggles people can get into with relationships. Throughout the book, you could imagine and feel the anguish that each of the characters were feeling. You felt their sorrow and their joy. And for those wanting to know, yes, there was quite a bit of sexual scenes in the book, however, not so much that it look away from the story line in the book. In fact, the amount that were included, actually mostly added to the story line of the book and the emotions that the character’s were feeling. Overall, this was a good read. I had not read anything by Elizabeth Hartey in the past, and I was glad to have discovered her. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy a good romantic story and those that love hockey.

Rating

Excerpt from Cross Crease…

But with Pippa (aka Heaven), everything’s changed. I want to breathe her in, get to know everything about her. I don’t know how to explain it. She brings something to my life I’ve never had, a luminescence wiping away my dark past.

Believe me, I know how this sounds. A few months ago, if I had heard any other guy spewing this schmaltz, I would’ve hurled my most recent meal and called him a little bitch. Hell, I did call my teammate, Dalt, a vagina back when he was getting all moony-eyed about Nik, and she didn’t want anything to do with him.

Now? Let’s just say I understand his predicament. I want Pippa like I’ve never wanted anything or anybody. Problem is, although Pip claims she’s only looking for a quick deflowering, I know she’s girlfriend material with a capital G.

I. Am. Not. Interested in having a girlfriend, in case you misunderstood my previous confession. Never had one. Never want one. By now, you must see where this is going.

But to be clear, let me reiterate. Pip is a girl and she’s a friend but with a big slash between the two words. She is, in fact, the only girl/friend I’ve ever had. I enjoy hanging out with her like I would any guy friend. Except, in Pip’s case, a small problem has developed. Or should I say, a rather big, hard problem? I don’t drool over any guy friends when they’re walking down the beach. I don’t get hard every time I think about one of them, or dream about pounding balls deep into them. Eww. There’s a thought I’ll never be able to erase from my mind. See my dilemma here? To say the friendship lines have been blurred when it comes to Pip is the understatement to end all understatements.

Giveaway!!!

Click HERE to be entered into a drawing to win a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Nobel gift card from author Elizabeth Hartey!!!

Christian Inspirational · Non-Fiction

Wait

Synopsis

What are you waiting for?

Everyone has endured the endless traffic light, the queue that goes nowhere, the elevator music piped through the phone line. But what of those periods in your life when everything seems on hold? When you can’t do the next thing in your professional or personal life because you can’t get to it?

Waiting—be it for health, a life partner, a child, a job—can be an agony. The persistently unrealized goal feels like an endless road. And hope’s constant deferment can be exhausting. A firm answer against the thing you’re hoping for—”no”—might be easier than this constant lack of closure. It might be easier to give it up.

But what if waiting means to be something else? Waiting doesn’t have to mean idleness. Our prolonged state of need might teach us to look beyond the desired goal to something infinitely better. We find lessons on this throughout the Bible and, if we are paying attention, in our own lives.

Rather than fostering frustration, periods of waiting might have great truths to tell us. It might show us that hope is worthwhile. Waiting might even be a gift in and of itself.

Review

This is a book that I have not actually read yet; however, I am super excited about this book and what it has to offer. I honestly feel like I am always waiting on everything. Life, school, a long term relationship, happiness, etc., etc. The list goes on and on. And if I had to venture a guess, I would bet that I am not the only one that feels like their always waiting. As I read excerpts from this book, this one really hit home…

The first lesson of waiting is that we are on the outside. Like the boy on the sideline; like the not-engaged friend who pins wedding gowns on Pinterest; like me squinting for lines that fail to emerge on the pregnancy test; none of us–whether or not we are actively waiting– is where we want to be. This might not seem true, of course. This actually might seem patently untrue. You might be happily ensconced in a loving family, a marriage, a tight-knit circle of friends. You might belong to a country club or a sorority, a church, a civic group.

But, like that of all who wait, the human condition is actually a condition of being on the outside, an unhappy state that writers and poets have noticed since time out of mind. It’s true of all of us, but we manage to obscure it from ourselves with all manner of distraction: accumulated wealth and possessions, meaningful or frivolous activity, even what is truly good and beautiful.

The problem is that you can’t contend with something if you simultaneously ignore it. And the fact of our exile–the fundamental state of all human existence–is not going away.

Waiting can teach us this.

Wait by Rebecca Brewster Stevenson

I am excited to read this one, and it is defiantly on my TBR list in the near future!!!

Author Bio

Rebecca Brewster Stevenson is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has a master’s degree from Duke University and has lived in Durham, North Carolina for over 20 years with her husband and three children.

Before dedicating herself to writing full time, Rebecca worked with Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill to develop the curriculum for their humanities department; she also worked as an English teacher at public and private middle and high schools in Durham and Pittsburgh.

Rebecca’s debut novel Healing Maddie Brees was published in 2016 to literary acclaim. Her beautifully crafted personal essays on her blog “Small Hours” have earned her a strong audience of readers who enjoy her explorations of themes relating to family, marriage, faith, writing, language, literature, and film.

To connect with Rebecca, visit her at rebeccabrewsterstevenson.com or follow her on Instagram @rebeccabrewsterstevenson.

Giveaway

Rebecca Brewster Stevenson will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Enter to win HERE!!!

Book Review · FIction

The Second Chance Supper Club

This month I was able to be a part of another book tour with Suzy Approved Book Tours. As mentioned before this is something that I had always wanted to be a part of since I started my bookstagram journey in January. I had not read any books my Nicole Meier and the synopsis f the story sounded great, so I quickly jumped on this tour!!!

Synopsis

Meet Julia Frank – a broadcast journalist who is fighting to keep her name and face relevant in the fast moving media world.

Meet Ginny Frank – chef and owner of a clandestine supper club, run out of her home, and hidden in the Arizona desert.

Julia and Ginny have a relationship that every sister dreams of having. Best Friends. A bond that could never be broken. Then tragedy strikes and the sisters are pulled apart by anger and resentment.

For three long years the sisters do not talk to each other. Each goes their own way, until one day Julia shows up on Ginny’s doorstep after she makes a career ending blunder at work. A blunder that destroys Julia’s reputation and puts her job on the line.

When Ginny opens the door, during one of her supper club dinners, and sees Julia on the doorstep, the first thing that runs through her mind is “No More Drama.” She has enough with her only employee, her daughter Olive. While her heart is hard and full of anger, Ginny decides family is family and pulls Julia in to help her make it through the two supper parties she has scheduled that night.

As Julia stays with Ginny and helps her with her supper club, old wounds are opened and the sisters are forced to confront betrayals, pain, anger, and resentment from the past. Will the stress of keeping the underground supper club a secret and providing unique meals to those that visit the supper club be too much? Or will working together allow them to find common ground and clear up the past?

​Review

I absolutely L-O-V-E-D this book!! This was a book that I got lost in every time I picked it up. Nicole Meier’s writing is wonderfully descriptive. Nicole Meier does a fantastic job describing each of the characters and the situations they are in. You feel like to you right there, living life with them. You feel the emotions that each of the characters go through.

The story line in this book was both realistic and cute. This book was light-hearted, but still kept you guessing about the decisions that each character was going to make for their life. I could not wait to turn the page to see what happened next!!!

Unit this book, I had not read any books by Nicole Meier, but now she is a must read author! I can’t wait for future books of hers to come out!!!

Rating

Action/Adventure · Book Review · Fantasy · FIction · Paranormal · Urban Fantasy · Young Adult

Witches Protection Program

I recently reconnected with Goddess Fish Promotions to be a reviewer of up and coming books. When I first read the symopsis of this book, I said to myself, “I just have to read this book.” I was excited to read this this author, Michael Okon, and see what his writing style was like as I have not ready any of this author’s other works.

Synopsis

Meet Wes Rockville – a law enforcement agent that has disgraced his family name. His father, Harris, has fired him from his job in a federal undercover branch that has been created to perform jobs that local law enforcement couldn’t handle. Harris gives his son one more chance to prove himself in a secret government organization that is 232 years old: The Witches Protection Program.

There is just one problem. Wes does not believe in witches. He is skeptical that they are real and living under the noses of him and everyone around him. Wes’ first assignment is to protect Morgan Pendragon. Her aunt, Bernadette, is the head of Pendragon Cosmetics, a billion dollar cosmetics company. Wes’ job is to figure the company’s diabolical plan to take over the world. Will Wes be able to accept that witches are real? Will Wes and long time veteran witch protector and Wes’ new partner, Alastair, be able to stop the company’s plan before it is too late?

Review

When I first read the synopsis of this book, it intrigued me right off the bat. Growing up I loved watching shows like “Charmed.” (And if you must know, I still enjoy watching it, but the original series, not the new one on the CW 🙂 ) You always here about the bad witches or the “Wicked Witch” in movies like “Wizard of Oz.” I was fascinated by the prospect that there could be good witches that protect the world for the greater good.

As I started to read the book I was not sure if it was going to live up to the expectations that I had given the book after reading the synopsis. The book started out a little slow for me and I was not sure where it was going to go, however after reading 30+ pages, the book really picked up and it was full of the action and adventure that I expected. The book was full of great writing and descriptions that made it easy to imagine exactly what was happening. The descriptions Michael Okon provided in this book made the book an excellent and exciting read. Once started, I could not put this book down. I hope that there will be more books written by Michael Okon that will continue to story of Wes, Alastair, and the Witness Protection Program!!!

Rating

Raffle

Michael Okon will be awarding a $50 Amazon Gift Card, then 5 signed copies of the book (US ONLY) to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour!!! Click the link below to be entered into the raffle for a chance to win!! Good Luck!!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3145

Excerpt from Witches Protection Program

The narrator filled in more information. “It wasn’t until this land became my land that the government decided to create an organization to protect women at risk. The Davina Doctrine went against everything that the Willas stood for. Even though they ran the risk of persecution, the Davinas chose to work with law enforcement to expose the evil deeds of the rival sisterhood. President George Washington established secret legislation under Title VI of the Control Act of 1792. The law was enacted to protect the good witches that exposed the evil deeds of their sisterhood.”

The screen went dark. There was only a chair in the center of a dimly lit stage. A single spotlight focused on the top of the blond actress’s head. Wes was right; it was the actress he’d suspected. She had a hit sitcom and two Emmys, and there was some recent Oscar talk about her last movie.

“Yes. There are witches. Living among us. They are women who believe in using their power to protect love and life. And then there are some who use their powers for all the wrong reasons.”

The camera came to rest on her beautiful face. She winked saucily as she placed a triangular witch’s hat on her head. “Welcome to the Witches Protection Program.”

Alastair smiled broadly. “I love that part.”

“That was Jennifer Anis—”

Non-Fiction · Self-Help

Stop Self Sabotage: Six Steps to Unlock Your True Motivation, Harness Your Willpower, and Get Out of Your Own Way

Ever since I started my bookstgram journey in January, I wanted to get involved with book tours and review books that are coming out. I recently was accepted by Suzy into her book review group called Suzy Approved Book Tours. I was so exited to review my first book for Suzy’s Book Tour!

Synopsis

How many times have you made a New Year’s resolution in January, only to give up on yourself just a short time later? In Dr. Judy Ho‘s book, Stop Self Sabotage, she helps you take a look at all the different ways that you sabotage yourself. Though different assessments,tools, and therapeutic strategies, Dr. Ho helps you understand and modify your thoughts and behaviors by helping you understand the triggers that you have and gain insight into your values. In addition Dr. Ho will help you make a plan to stop the cycle of sabotage to gain a more positive future.

Review

This is one of the first self-help books that I have read and I have to admit that I was looking forward to it. Like most people, I am one that sets numerous resolutions all through the year and then one thing or another happens. And then it is 3 months later and I still have not done anything about that resolution. I was exited to read Dr. Ho’s book and see how I can improve myself.

My first thought when I got this book is that was going to be one of those books that lightly talks about the author’s life and what she has been through that caused her to write the book. I was a little disappointed when I started reading the book , and it was more like a text book than a simple read. This was not a book that I could sit and read in just one session. It is a book that you need to take your time with and focus on one chapter at a time. There is a lot of great information provided in the book, it just takes time to read through all the information and process it. While I had a bit of a tough time reading through the book initially, because of the fact that it is written like a text book, it is definitely a book that I will read again, even more slowly than the first time, so I can really apply the skills this book teaches to my life. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to make big changes in their life and keep all those goals and resolutions that they have set for themselves!

Rating

Adult Fiction · Book Review · FIction · Historical Fiction

Summer of ’69

I don’t know about you, but I love a good Elin Hilderbrand book!!! When I hear she had a new book coming out AND it was getting great reviews, I naturally had to have it!!! In addition, I am part of book club, The Bee Hive Book Club, where each member is part of a 12 member team. Each member picks a book for their team and then journals their thoughts in a notebook while reading the book. At the end of the month, the member mails the book and the journal they have to the next member of the group. When 12 months is up, I will get my book back and the journal back with thoughts from 12 different people!!!! Naturally I chose Summer of ’69 for this exchange!!! There is so much packed into this book, and I can wait to see the journal responses from others around the United States! I am so excited!!!

Synopsis

This book, based in 1969, is about the Levin family and what the Summer of 1969 has in store for them. Each summer, the Levin family travels to Nantucket to spend the summer at their grandmother’s, Exalta aka Nonny to the grandchildren, home “All’s Fair.” This summer, however, is nothing like the previous summers that the Levin family has experienced.

Blair, the oldest of the children, is stuck in Boston. Blair is pregnant with twins and her husband, Angus, who is an astrophysicist and is helping NASA with the moon launch, is not home much of the time due to the upcoming mission. Plus, Blair is sure that her husband is having an affair with a woman named Trixie.

Kirby, a student at Simmons College, wants nothing more than her independence. She is all about the civil rights movement and has participated in several protests, some of which have gotten her arrested. This summer however, she wants her freedom and talks her mother and father into letting her take a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard.

Tiger has recently been called up to serve has a soldier had as been deployed to war in Vietnam. Tiger is the light of his mother, Kate’s, eyes and she is devitated when her only son is deployed.

Jessie, the youngest of the family at age 13, is suddenly an “only child” and is forced to go to Nantucket with her mother, Kate, and grandmother, Exalta. She want desperatly to stay home with her father, David, who will come to Nantucket on weekends, but Kate and Nonny will not hear of it.

This story takes a look at each of the siblings lives as well as Kate’s and Nonny’s. Each life is filled with secrets that are spilling over at the brim. Each person wants to keep their secrets to themselves, but at the same time so desperately wants to not be alone in the vast world. Are they willing to spill their secrets to become more cohesive as a family or will they ride out the summer, separate and alone?

This is this first historical novel written by Elin Hilderbrand.

Review

I am generally not one to read historical fiction…it usually is just not my cup of tea. However, as I said I absolutely love Elin Hilderbrand as an author and once again she did not disappoint. This book captivated me from page one. I have to admit that I don’t know a lot about 1969, other than the basics that we are taught in school. However, this book captured me and took me to a place where I could see the events unfolding – it was like I was there, experiencing it with the characters. I felt myself longing with the family that Tiger would come home from the war. I felt myself remembering what is was like to be a 13 year old girl. I reflected on how all we want when we are little is to grow up and be independent in the world. I thought of the secrets that we all have and how we go through an internal struggle as to whether to let those secrets out or to keep them hidden deep down. This book was fantastic in so many ways, from the description of the times and of the characters to the raw emotions that were written about in the book and felt by the reader. I can’t say enough good things about this book. Everyone should have it on their TBR (To Be Read) List!!! I have never been disappointed by an Elin Hilderbrand book, and this one showed me again what an amazing author and storyteller Elin is!!!

Rating

Picture taking bloopers… Doggy Photo bombing the picture!! 🙂