Sunday, September 17, 2017

Gastric Girl: Seven Plus Years Beyond Bariatric Surgery by Nicola Travis


Ever wonder what happens after surgery? When the weight falls off and you become “normal”? That’s the catch. There is no normal. Life continues no matter what weight you are at. This memoir walks through a bariatric patient’s life after her surgery and the seven years that follow. The journey does not end after surgery. The emotional, physical, social and economic impacts of this surgery continues to affect both the patient and those that love her.

My Thoughts

While Gastric Girl: Seven Years Beyond Bariatric Surgery isn't the kind of book that I typically read, when I received the review request for this book I was immediately interested.  I have known a few people that have had weight loss surgeries, and there are questions that have come to my mind, but it feels weird to ask them such personal questions.  So, those questions that I have tend to go unasked.  With this book I was able to see what it is really like, what it feels like physically and emotionally, to go through this life changing surgery.

This book is a memoir.  It is personal to Nicola Travis' life.  I admire people who are brave enough and are willing to open up and tell their story to a bunch of strangers!  I'm not sure that I could do it!

Thank you, Nicola Travis, for sending this book to me and for sharing your story with everyone.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Jake's Nature Guide: Rocky Mountains by Mark Danenhauer


Welcome to the Rocky Mountains! Parents, children, and nature enthusiasts alike will find Jake’s Nature Guide an easy-to-read, informative, and easily accessible guidebook on their adventures through the Rockies. Bring Jake along to help you gain a deeper appreciation of one of America’s most breathtaking areas! You will not only learn how to identify plants and animals, but gain fascinating insights along the way. For example, did you know that while gathering food a bee may fly up to 60 miles in a day?

My Thoughts

This isn't a novel that you can read front to back and then tell how you liked, or didn't like, the storyline and/or writing style.  Jake's Nature Guide is just what it says, a guide.  It is a book of facts and information about plants, bugs, reptiles, animals, and fish that you can find around the Rocky Mountains.

I enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading about the different plants and animals.  My son, who likes books like this, read it next.  He enjoyed it too!  I then passed it on to a little boy who was in my class last year because this type of book is perfect for him!

Jake's Nature Guide is definitely a great book full of facts and information.  It is obvious that I recommend it being that I have already passed it along to two other people!

Thank you, Mark Danenhauer, for sending this book to me!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Leftover by Brooke Williams


A reserved wallflower discovers that reality TV is the perfect backdrop to develop her confidence in this lighthearted rom-com. Megan Malone is the ultimate homebody. When her sister talks her into going on The Leftover, a local version of the TV show Survivor, she isn’t sure she’ll make it past the first vote. Meanwhile, Cane Trevino is nursing a broken heart by joining the show as a medic. With time away from his regular job and a dozen contestants to distract him, he hopes he can finally get over the woman he thought was “the one.”

My Thoughts

Let me tell you, I have been so excited to read this book!  It just sounds like the perfect, fun little romantic comedy!  And, since I have always been a fan of the show Survivor, this book really appealed to me.  The good news is.... it did not disappoint!!! Not in the least!

I absolutely adore Megan Malone!  I haven't read many books with characters quite like her. I mean, it seems like most books nowadays have the strong, warrior, I-Don't-Need-A-Man type of women.  And that's fine, but sometimes you want to read about an average, not a perfect and strong kind of girl.  Someone that the average girl can relate to.

The Leftover is such a fun read!  It's not intense.  It's not dramatic.  There's nothing sad or heavy in it.  It is just a really fun (I know I keep saying fun but that's what it is!), entertaining book!

I am so happy that The Leftover popped up on my tbr.  I really needed a good, fun (There's that word again) book!  Thank you, Brooke Williams, for sending this book to me!  I hope to read more from you in the future!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Can't Buy Forever by Susan Laffoon


In the early 1950s, Odessa Drake (Dessa) is rescued from a bleak existence with a single mother. She takes a chance on the unknown to work in a boarding house owned by a widowed great aunt in Mineville, New York. Dessa is devoted to Aunt Flo and especially a young man, Nicholas, who appears and takes shelter in the attic, the only available space. Four years pass. She looks forward to each day because of his presence, in spite of the tedious work. Dessa is now eighteen and knows little more of Nicholas than the day he arrived to work the mines. She knows only he is a remarkable man who has a limp and she trusts Nicholas explicitly. There is a familiarity both recognize and an unshakeable bond develops. Nicholas has reasons to keep his past buried. Dangers loom and become evident when Nicholas gets too close and exposes their bond. What is the mystery behind this threat? To discover the answer, they escape by railway heading West, colliding with treachery and uncovering secrets, mile by mile. Their journey is impossible, but, they are supported by friends who risk their lives to make sure a great love and lineage is preserved. Or is it? None will forget their odyssey as they proceed to their destiny farther than they imagined.

My Thoughts

The summary of this book sounds wonderful.  The cover looks great too!  I was immediately intrigued and excited to read this book.    I jumped into the first chapter and liked it pretty well, although when you read this book you are kind of thrown into the story without much of a backstory.

As I continued reading, a few things started to bother me.  First of all, the writing style was a bit hard to follow.  It was pretty choppy and it jumped around to the point that I would feel like I missed something so I would go back a bit to see if I accidentally skipped something.

Then the way Odessa loved Nick... without even knowing much about him or his life!  It was kind of weird.  And the way he basically took ownership of her rubbed me the wrong way.  I wasn't a fan of that at all.

Things became more and more confusing with every chapter.  Actually, probably with every page!  I still don't think I fully understand the book.  I'm pretty disappointed, to be perfectly honest.  Can't Buy Forever became harder and harder to read the further I got into it.  I really wanted to just quit but I had already gone so far I wanted to see it through.

I hate when I'm not able to give a good review but sometimes it just happens.  In my opinion, this is a 2 (maybe 2.5) star book.  I feel so bad but I have to be honest!

*Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Nest by Terry Goodkind


#1 New York Times bestselling author Terry Goodkind reinvents the thriller with a provocative, page-turning walk among evil.

Kate Bishop thought she was an ordinary woman living and working in Chicago. But when she unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a police investigation into a brutal murder, Kate makes a shocking discovery: she has the ability to identify killers just by looking into their eyes.

Trying to grasp the implications of this revelation, Kate is drawn deep into a world of terror. She is tracked down by Jack Raines, a mysterious author with shadowy connections to those who share her ability. He tells Kate that her unique vision also makes her a target, and only he can help her.

Now, hot on Jack and Kate’s heels are a force of super-predators, vicious and bloodthirsty killers who will stop at nothing until Kate is dead. But even as she fights for her life, Kate still isn’t sure if Jack is really her salvation, or another killer coming to slaughter her.

An explosive mix of action and suspense, Nest is a landmark new novel from worldwide bestselling author Terry Goodkind, and a complete reinvention of the contemporary thriller. Travel with Goodkind on a dangerous journey to the back alleys of the darknet, to the darkest corners of our minds, and to the very origins of what it is to be human.

My Thoughts

Ok.  I am still so torn!  Did I like this book?  Ahhhh!

So, I think I did like Nest but there were a few things that I had some problems with.  But first let me say this...

The storyline was actually very good!  As a matter of fact, I was completely sucked in within the first two chapters.  The drama, suspense, and terror in the beginning was exactly what I was expecting when I picked this book up.

Actually, I loved the book and then was annoyed by it, then loved it and then was super annoyed by it again!  This went on over and over thought out the entire book.  I guess that is why I'm having a difficult time deciding if I really like this book or not!

Here's the deal, like I said already, the first two chapters were great.  They were very suspenseful and had me extremely interested.  The third chapter was good but then there were several chapters that were just plain info-dumpy and boring.  The information that was given was probably important but it just went on and on with no action involved.  Seriously, it was just basically conversations between two people for several chapters in a row.

Then, finally, there would be another great and exciting chapter!  Sometimes maybe even two in a row!  However, there would then be several more info-dumpy chapters in a row yet again.  This continued throughout the rest of the book.  In my opinion, Nest is a 428 page book that could have probably been less that 300 pages if all of the long, long conversations could have been condensed.

Now the ending...

Oh.  My.  Word.

I was like, NO! No, No, No!!!

And then... wait, what?!

Oh, that ending!  That was enough to make me want to see what happens next!  Wait though, will there be a sequel?  I'm not sure, but with that ending there certainly can be!

So, here's the thing, I really enjoyed the actual story itself but the chapters full of just pure information made Nest harder to read.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Smugglers and Scones by Morgan C. Talbot


Pippa Winterbourne runs Moorehaven, the Oregon Coast’s quirkiest bed-and-breakfast and former home of world-famous mystery writer A. Raymond Moore. Guests come there to write their own crime novels. When a real-life murder takes a local’s life and washes a handsome boat pilot into her arms, Pippa is yanked into a deadly plot of her own. A tangle of secrets crashes past into present, and Pippa must uncover clues dating back to Seacrest’s Prohibition days, including a secret Moore himself hid from the world.

Juggling her book-writing guests, small-town intrigues, secret club agendas, and a possibly fatal attraction, Pippa must sort fact from fiction to know who to trust before a desperate killer claims a final revenge nearly a century in the making.

My Thoughts

There are some books that, to me, are cozy books.  I'm not sure if that makes any sense to anyone else, but for me, that is how I describe certain books.  It doesn't mean that the book was sweet, warm, or a fuzzy feeling kind of book.  It just means that there's something about it that makes me want to curl up under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate or hot tea and read it.  I said all that to say this... Smugglers and Scones is a cozy mystery book.

When Morgan C. Talbot sent me an email with the review request for Smugglers and Scones, I was pretty excited.  The synopsis sounded really good and I couldn't wait to get started.  Unfortunately, it did take a little while before I could get to it because I had so many on my list to get through first.  When I finally got to it I jumped right in!

I absolutely love the way Morgan C. Talbot writes!  Her style just flows and brings your imagination right into the story.  I wanted to visit the bed and breakfast and meet all of the quirky authors that were staying there.  I love Pippa and Lake so much!  When I finished the book and looked at the cover, I was so excited to see the words "Moorehaven Mysteries: Book 1."  That means there will be more!!!!  I hope to see the progression of Pippa and Lake's relationship!

Anyways, in case you haven't figured it out, I loved this book and I definitely recommend it!  It has humor, a bit of romance, mystery, danger, and suspense.  Pick up a copy and see for yourself!  Thank you, Morgan C. Talbot, for sending this book to me!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Love at the Fluff and Fold by Kitty Bucholtz



Cassie Lane and Danny Kessler have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Then he up and married Bright Shiny, the new girl in town, and all of Cassie’s hopes were dashed.

But now Danny is long divorced, and Cassie barely escaped getting hitched last Christmas. Cassie’s uncle, Willie Larson, loves these kids and he’s tired of watching them dance around their attraction to each other. It’s time to push them back together.

So he tells them he’s dying. Simple plan. He needs them to work together to help him prepare his estate and plan his funeral. Secretly.

But the quirky, lovable folks of Loon Lake find out and believe the ruse. Soon Uncle Willie is hiding in the bathroom and his great plan is falling apart. Can true love win out over well-meant deception?

This sweet, small town romantic comedy follows the short story, “Welcome to Loon Lake,” in The Strays of Loon Lake series.

My Thoughts

Love at the Fluff and Fold is the second book that I have read written by Kitty Bucholtz.  I loved the first one and I loved this one just as much!  Kitty has become a dear friend of mine since I reviewed her book, Little Miss Lovesick.  She invited me to do a monthly guest post on her blog and I gladly accepted!  We have been friends since then!

With that being said, it's a bit scary to read a book that a friend wrote!  What if I don't like it?!  What if I feel the need to write a negative review?!  Well, there was no need to worry at all with Love at the Fluff and Fold!  I loved it!  Kitty's books are so good!

Cassie is such a sweet character.  I loved ho loving she is.  She wears her heart on her sleeve and I adore that about her.  Danny, though he has his frustrating moments, is perfect for Cassie!  He just needed to figure it out!

This is such a good book and I am so blessed to have been a part of Kitty's Beta readers group!  Thank you, Kitty!  I loved it and I'll gladly read your books any time!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.