Friday, July 03, 2015

Book Spotlight: Ana of California by Andi Teran Plus Special Giveaway!!!

I'm so pleased to share this book and special giveaway with you. When I first heard about this book - a modern take on Anne of Green Gables, I just knew I had to read it...I loved the Anne of Green Gables series as a young girl. I just started reading this book and am really enjoying it and will be posting my review within the next few weeks. In the meantime, the publishers have a really special giveaway to offer - a copy of this new book and a copy of Anne of Green Gables - see below for details and to enter.

Title:  Ana of California  
Author: Andi Teran     
Published: June 2015, Penguin Books
Format: Paperback, 368 pages      

A modern take on the classic coming-of-age novel, inspired by Anne of Green Gables

In the grand tradition of Anne of Green Gables, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and The Three Weissmanns of Westport, Andi Teran’s captivating debut novel offers a contemporary twist on a beloved classic. Fifteen-year-old orphan Ana Cortez has just blown her last chance with a foster family. It’s a group home next—unless she agrees to leave East Los Angeles for a farm trainee program in Northern California.

When she first arrives, Ana can’t tell a tomato plant from a blackberry bush, and Emmett Garber is skeptical that this slight city girl can be any help on his farm. His sister Abbie, however, thinks Ana might be just what they need. Ana comes to love Garber Farm, and even Emmett has to admit that her hard work is an asset. But when she inadvertently stirs up trouble in town, Ana is afraid she might have ruined her last chance at finding a place to belong.

Praise for Ana of California:

Debut fiction author Teran’s contemporary reimagining of Anne of Green Gables brilliantly captures the essence of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic story of a girl who will win your heart with her well-meaning imperfections. Library Journal, Starred Review

“Newcomers will find a smart-mouthed heroine, a small town populated by a cast of lovable characters, and zippy dialogue that keeps the plot trotting along. Anne of Green Gables fans will rejoice; . . . Ana’s high jinks will leave…readers smiling and asking for more.”—Kirkus

“Comparing Teran’s debut to its inspiration, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, would do Teran’s novel a disservice, as this contemporary take has a much quicker pace and a unique protagonist…Readers will appreciate the references to music, books, and art, and the way sharedartistic interests can bring people together.” —Publishers Weekly

“What is so memorable about this novel is the reminder that happiness is a choice, a courageous and daring opportunity to express love for the things we value. At the outset we learn that Ana Cortez is an orphan, but as we live with her during one particular summer on Garber Farm we witness the creation of family before our eyes, and admire the passion, humility and valor of one of the most tender-hearted characters in literature today—a jewel of a book.” —Mario Alberto Zambrano, author of Lotería

“Andi Teran’s first novel is vivid and fully realized, an entire universe expertly condensed into the pages you hold in your hands. Ana herself is a complicated delight, and by the end of the book I wanted to scoop her up into my arms.” —Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author


Thanks to
the publisher, I have a very special giveaway to offer. One reader can win a copy of Andy Tehran's Ana of California and a copy of L.M. Montgomery's  Anne of Green Gables.   To enter the giveaway, please fill out the form by July 10th.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and ends July 10th.

Good Luck!!! 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Blog Tour & Review: The Wrong Man by Kate White

Title: The Wrong Man   
Author: Kate White    
Published: June 2015, Harper Paperbacks  
Format: Paperback, 336 pages   
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours  

She wanted to be more daring, but one small risk is about to cost her everything­—maybe even her life.

Bold and adventurous in her work as owner of one of Manhattan's boutique interior design firms, Kit Finn couldn't be tamer in her personal life. While on vacation in the Florida Keys, Kit resolves to do something risky for once. When she literally bumps into a charming stranger at her hotel, she decides to make good on her promise and act on her attraction.

But back in New York, when Kit arrives at his luxury apartment ready to pick up where they left off in the Keys, she doesn't recognize the man standing on the other side of the door.

Was this a cruel joke or part of something truly sinister? Kit soon realizes that she's been thrown into a treacherous plot, which is both deeper and deadlier than she could have ever imagined. Now the only way to protect herself, her business, and the people she loves is to find out the true identity of the man who has turned her life upside down.

Adrenaline-charged and filled with harrowing twists at every turn, The Wrong Man will keep readers riveted until the final page.

My thoughts: I love reading Kate White's books...I first fell in love with her books when I started reading her Beily Weggins series and then I went on to read her stand-alone fiction.

Right from the start, I was intrigued by this book. Once I started reading it and was involved in the story, I had a really hard time putting it down and when I did have to put it down, I couldn't stop thinking about it...I just had to know what was going to happen next. This was definitely a book where there are just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. It was hard to know who to trust and who not to in this book and so I sort of became suspicious of everyone at one point.

I really liked Kit...all she was looking to do was not be herself for once and to just take a risk, and boy oh boy, did that small risk have long-lasting consequences. That one decision while on vacation wreaked havoc on her life back home, and she and her business suffered the consequences. Luckily, she has a very understanding business partner - a business partner that, though a few decades older than her, she is able to confide in and talk through this whole mess with. As Kit begins to realize, nothing is as it seems and the more she tries to find out, the crazier and more complicated things become.

This was another winner for me by Kate White...another page turner that had me saying, just a few more pages until I found myself at the very end. The pacing will have you racing through the chapters, trying to figure out just what is going on and the suspense/mystery will keep you guessing right up until the end. While I do love these stand-alone books that Kate writes, I really do hope a new Bailey Weggins book is in the works - it's been ages since we've had a new book in that series...

About the author: Kate White, the former editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, is the New York Times bestselling author of the stand-alone novels HushThe Sixes, and Eyes on You, as well as the Bailey Weggins mystery series. She is editor of The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. She is also the author of popular career books for women, including I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve.

Authors Links: 
Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook  

To see who else is participating in Kate White's The Wrong Man tour, click here

Month in Review: June 2015

Here are my reading stats for June! 
  • Books read:  15

 Books I read: 

  1. It's You -- Jane Porter (e-book)
  2. Eeny Meeny -- M.J. Arlidge (e-book)
  3. The Guest Cottage -- Nancy Thayer (audio book)
  4. The Reckoning -- Jane Casey (audio book)
  5. Second Life -- S.J. Watson
  6. All the Single Ladies -- Dorothea Benton Frank (audio book)
  7. The Sound of Glass -- Karen White
  8. The Secret Life of Violet Grant --Beatriz Williams
  9. Tiny Little Thing -- Beatriz Williams
  10. The Silkworm -- Robert Galbraith (audio book)
  11. The Truth & Other Lies -- Sascha Arango (e-book)
  12. As Night Falls -- Jenny Milchman 
  13. The Art Forger --  B.A. Shapiro (audio book)
  14. The Wrong Man -- Kate White
  15. Bones on Ice -- Kathy Reichs (e-book)
Favorite Books of June:      
  • The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams
  • Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams

2015 Challenge Update:

  •   You Read How Many Books Reading Challenge -- Books read: 73/150
  •  Library Books Reading Challenge -- Books read: 7/24
  •  Mount TBR Reading Challenge -- Books read: 3/24
  •  Netgalley Reading Challenge -- Books read: 17/21
  •  First Reads Reading Challenge -- Books read: 30/26 
  •  E-books Challenge -- Books read: 18/25
  •  Audio Book Challenge -- Books listened to: 32/50 

*Kathryn over at The Book Date has created a Month In Review meme for those who put together these monthly posts. From now on, I'll be linking my posts up each month...Thanks Kathryn for putting this meme together!!! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review: As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman

Title: As Night Falls   
Author: Jenny Milchman        
Published: June 2015, Ballantine Books   
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages    
Source: Publicist/Author   

From the acclaimed author of Ruin Falls and Cover of Snow comes a breathless new novel of psychological suspense about a dark, twisted turn of events that could shatter a family—a read perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Chris Bohjalian, and Nancy Pickard.

Sandy Tremont has always tried to give her family everything. But, as the sky darkens over the Adirondacks and a heavy snowfall looms, an escaped murderer with the power to take it all away draws close.

In her isolated home in the shadowy woods, Sandy prepares dinner after a fight with her daughter, Ivy. Upstairs, the fifteen-year-old—smart, brave, and with every reason to be angry tonight—keeps her distance from her mother. Sandy’s husband, Ben, a wilderness guide, arrives late to find a home simmering with unease.

Nearby, two desperate men on the run make their way through the fading light, bloodstained and determined to leave no loose ends or witnesses. After almost twenty years as prison cellmates, they have become a deadly team: Harlan the muscle, Nick the mind and will. As they approach a secluded house and look through its windows to see a cozy domestic scene, Nick knows that here he will find what he’s looking for . . . before he disappears forever.

Opening the door to the Tremont home, Nick brings not only a legacy of terror but a secret that threatens to drag Sandy with him into the darkness.

My thoughts: I have been looking forward to this book coming out for a while. I've only read one of Jenny's books so far, Ruin Falls, which I loved, but I do have her other book on my shelf just waiting to be read. I love her style of writing and her characters. I had the pleasure of meeting Jenny a few months ago and am going to see her while she is on tour for this book next month and I can't wait. I posted a short Q&A she did for this book a short while ago that will give you a little insight into her writing and her amazing book tours. You can read it here. (There was a giveaway, but it is closed and hopefully the winners have already received their books!)

So, about this book...that I read in one day...while a real-life prison break happened to be going on in my home-state. freaky is that? To be honest, it just added to the excitement of the book, because what Jenny wrote was in some way happening in real life. Luckily for me, that prison break happened miles and miles away from my house, so while I was on the edge of my seat reading the book, with my heart beating a mile a minute, I knew that I didn't have to worry about those prisoners showing up at my door.

I loved that this whole book happens in just one night. This is an intense read and the tension is palpable. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and just couldn't put the book down, turning the pages as fast as I could to find out how it would all end. Jenny Milchman creates such wonderfully vivid characters and those in this book are no exception. I loved Sandy, faults and all, and believe me, she has a few. But, she is a strong woman and as you get to know her, you understand just how strong she really is.

I also loved how this story flows back to the past. There's a reason why Nick, one of the convicts chose Sandy's house, and very slowly that reason comes out. The chapters from the past help to flush this out and they are just are creepy as the present story-line. But, of course, nothing is given too quickly or told outright - layers are slowly peeled back, revealing secrets and a past that will leave you stunned.

This book is the reason why I read psychological thrillers. Jenny Milchman gets into the mind of a psycho and this book is the result. I loved every page of this book - the tension, the suspense, the family dysfunction - it all came together in a remarkable book that I literally could not put down once I started reading. I can't wait to read more from this amazing author, and to hear her talk about her book. If you can, I highly recommend going to see her while she's on tour - here's a link to her tour schedule

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Sunday Post #77 (6.28.15)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. I'm also going to link this up with Sheila's It's Monday post over at Book Journey.  

I can't believe that this is the last Sunday in June...this year is flying by!!! It's been rather rainy this weekend, which was fine with me as it allowed me to get caught up on some reading and it was good for the grass and flowers. My dad came down last Monday and brought sore more day lilies with him that I still need to plant - I don't exactly have a green thumb when it comes to gardening, so hopefully I can get them transplanted without killing them. Right now, they are just sitting in tubs by the back door. I just need to decide where I want to put them...

Have a great week everyone!!!


Last week on the Blog:                              
* Book Spotlight & Excerpt: A Week at the Lake by Wendy Wax (Plus Giveaway!!!)
Review & Giveaway: Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams
* Review: The Sound of Glass by Karen White
#FitReaders: Weekly Check-in June 26

Books Read:                      
* The Silkworm by Robert Galbrait (audio book) 
* The Truth & Other Lies by Sascha Arango (review e-book) 
* As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman (review book)
Currently Reading:          
* The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel (review book)          

* The Wrong Man by Kate White  (review book) 
* The Liar by Nora Roberts (review audio book)
* The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro (library audio book)

Books Up Next:                               

* Ana of California by Andi Teran  (review e-book)
* Orphan Number Eight by Kim van Alkemade  (review book)

Recent Giveaway Winners:
As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman - Britney Adams & Amy B

Current Giveaway:
* A Week at the Lake by Wendy Wax...Ends 6.29.15
* Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams...Ends 6.30.15

Coming Up on the Blog:
* Book Spotlight : Ana of California by Andi Tehran
(with Giveaway!!!)
* Review: As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman  
* Month in Review: June 2015  
* Review: The Wrong Man by Kate White
* Review: Die Again by Tess Gerritsen
Book Haul:    
From Library:
* The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro (audio book)


* Overseas by Beatriz Williams
* Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love & Reunion by Various Authors
* Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (audio via Audible)
* I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
(audio via Audible)

* We Are Ourselves by Matthew Thomas (audio via Audible)
* Truth or Die by James Patterson


Saturday, June 27, 2015

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-in June 26

I seem to be getting back in the groove a bit. Having those weekly fitbit challenges really seems to motivate me - I was part of three this past week, and I loved it!!! Testing is finally coming to a close at work, which means less time out and about and more time working from home - yeah!!! That also means I can get back to my regular workout routine. I also need to plan out my training schedule for the upcoming marathon I plan on walking in October...that will be here before I know it...
Here's how my week went:  

Jun 20:  5,522 steps
Jun 21:  7,298 steps
Jun 22:  20 minute fitness walk with dog,  10,861 steps
Jun 23:  20 minute fitness walk with dog, 10,775 steps

Jun 24:  3 mile fitness walk (45 minutes), 15,249 steps

Jun 25:  2-20 minute fitness walks, 13,868 steps
Jun 26:  15 minute fitness walk with dog, 12,108 steps
Audiobooks listened to this week :

  • Finished The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, narrated by Robert Glenister.
  • Started The Art Forger by B.A. Sharpiro, narrated by Xe Sands
How did your week go? You can find this week's link-up here.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Review: The Sound of Glass by Karen White

Title: The Sound of Glass   
Author: Karen White    
Published: May 2015, NAL  
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages   
Source: Publisher  

The New York Times bestselling author of A Long Time Gone now explores a Southern family’s buried history, which will change the life of the woman who unearths it, secret by shattering secret.

It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt.

Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother.

Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country.

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Karen White and all I can say now is, what took me so long to pick up this author's work? I really enjoyed this one and will certainly be reading more of her books as soon as I can fit them in!

This is a multi-layered, multi-generational tale that sweeps you up and doesn't let you go. The story is told from alternating viewpoints, that of Merritt and Loralee and, while mostly told in the present, it does occasionally jump back to the past, that of Edith's perspective. What I loved most about the book is that the pace seemed just right - not too fast, but not too slow either - it just meandered along, slowly revealing all that needed to be revealed at just the right moments so that we gradually see the whole picture of what really happened. 

I loved each of the three main female characters for their own reasons. They all had unique qualities about them that make them stand out. While at first they might rub you the wrong way, they tend to grow on you and by the end of the book, you can't help but feel for them and want all the best for each of them. I especially loved Loralee's Journal of Truths - she had some pretty good nuggets of wisdom that she was writing down in that book, some on the light side and some a little heavier, but good food for thought nonetheless.

This is the type of book that seems to have it all - secrets that are revealed, a little mystery that needs to be figured out, a romance that develops, a look at domestic violence and it's impact on everything, and relationships in general as well as relationships between step-parents and step-siblings. But even with all this, the book never seemed bogged down - it was still a delightful read and really shows us that glass isn't always as fragile as we believe it to be. I cannot wait to read more of Karen White...if you've read her before, what should I pick up next?


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