Sunday, August 7, 2022

Just Another Love Song by Kerry Winfrey


Just Another Love Song by Kerry Winfrey is a pure delight.  Sandy and Hank were friends who dated in high school in the small town of Baileyville, Ohio.  They parted in college and now Hank is back in town fifteen years later.  Sandy feels like her life does not resemble the one she had planned.  Hank is a famous musician.  

It was a pleasure to watch Sandy evolve and change in the story from seeing herself as Baileyville Sandy to realizing who she could truly be.  Hank was the kind of guy you could not help but love and want to be your friend too. I enjoyed all the small town references and the cast of characters who lived in Baileyville.  From Sandy’s best friend Honey, the town veterinarian, to Hot Pants Ed who dances and performs magic the secondary characters  were relatable, interesting, and kept me laughing.  Baileyville was the quintessential small town.  Watching the planning of the town festival was hysterical and very relatable to this fellow Ohioan. 

Kerry Winfrey brings a certain delight and charm to her stories that makes me smile!  Just Another Love Song hit all the right notes for me.  It was charming, had wonderful characters, and had depth that kept me engaged.  I highly recommend this book.  

Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for the advanced copy. All thoughts in this review are my own



Kerry Winfrey is the author of the romantic comedies WAITING FOR TOM HANKS and NOT LIKE THE MOVIES,  both published by Berkley. Her next book, VERY SINCERELY YOURS, will be out in 2021. She’s also the author of the YA novels LOVE AND OTHER ALIEN EXPERIENCES and THINGS JOLIE NEEDS TO DO BEFORE SHE BITES IT, both from Feiwel and Friends. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely baking a pie or watching far, far too many romantic comedies. She lives with her family in the middle of Ohio.


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Sold On Love by Kathleen Fuller

 

Sold on Love by Kathleen Fuller is the third in the Maple Falls Romance Series.  I am a huge fan of the town of Maple Springs, and felt like I was coming home to see my friends in this story.  It was fun to revisit characters from previous stories including Riley, a real estate agent, and Rusty who owns his own auto repair shop. 
 
This seems like an opposites attract kind of story, but I believe it is more about two people with similar values who come to love and appreciate each other.  The secondary characters gave the story depth and had their own issues we watched play out.  The author did a wonderful job developing all of the characters and we watched them grow and matured throughout the story.

This delightful story weaves  in themes of forgiveness, the value of relationships, and learning to figure out what really matters in life.  I am a huge fan of this series and was glad I could return once again to Maple Falls, Arkansas.   I highly recommend this story. 

I was given a copy by the publisher and not required to write a positive review. 

With over a million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, the Amish Letters series, the Brides of Birch Creek series, the upcoming Mail Order Brides of Birch Creek, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. She has also contributed to numerous novella collections.

She and her husband James live in Arkansas and have three adult children. When she’s not writing, Kathleen is avidly crocheting, reading, and traveling, sometimes all at the same time. She runs the Facebook group Books & Hooks, which combines her love of books, crochet, and collecting recipes that she’ll never have enough time to make.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Love and the Dream Come True by Tammy L. Gray

 Love and the Dream Come True by Tammy L. Gray is the third book in the State of Grace series. If you have been following along in the series this is Cameron’s story! He is now a struggling singer who is not doing well, and has decided to come home for his sister’s wedding. Lexie is the single mom who has had a crush on Cameron for years.


In this character driven story the backstory and chemistry between Cameron and Lexi had my heart from the beginning. As I watched them grow, change, and mature I was avidly rooting for them to have a happily ever after. The author does an amazing job tackling the big issues we all face without being too heavy. She touches your heart deeply while still making room for you to laugh and smile.

I was so invested in Love and the Dream Come True and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a story about genuine forgiveness, redemption, and the power of kindness. I am so glad I read this book and I highly recommend it to you.

“The only person you can control, Lexie, is you. Don’t spend your life as a grumbling spectator in someone else’s story.”

I was given a copy by the publisher and not required to write a positive review.




Tammy L. Gray lives in the Dallas area with her family, and they love all things Texas, even the erratic weather patterns. Her nine modern and true-to-life contemporary romances include 2017 RITA award winning, My Hope Next Door, and show her unending quest to write high quality, culturally relevant stories with relatable and flawed characters.  

When not taxiing her three kids to various school and sporting events, Tammy can be spotted crunching numbers as the financial administrator at her hometown church. Writing has given her a platform to combine her passion with her ministry all while sharing the messy, yet remarkable journey that is a faith-filled life

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Rookie Mistakes By Kelly Bandas


QOTD: What kind of Rookie mistakes have you made parenting or in a job?  When we were in the Honolulu airport while traveling to adopt our first son  I opened up a full baby bottle from the bottom and dumped it all over the airport and my new son.  I can still see myself sitting there thinking what on earth am I doing?  Why did I do that?  Definitely a rookie mistake as I was very new into the game.


I am so thrilled to be participating in the ROOKIE MISTAKES tour with @tlcbooktours. Thank you to @wpublishing @thomasnelson @kelly_bandas for the gifted book . You have to love this cover! My daughter helped me accentuate the heavenly vibe of the book cover. So why is that guinea pig in heaven? (you will find out when you read the book) 


Book Blurb:  In her highly anticipated nonfiction debut, comedian Kelly Bandas uses her trademark humor to recount stories of growing up and becoming a semi functional adult in a dysfunctional world.


 In this debut collection of essays, Kelly shares:

·         Funny, fast-paced, and uplifting stories

·         Encouragement for women who are tired of feeling like they will never measure up—and kind of don’t want to anyway

·         Inspiration to find your voice, your power, and your people


Kelly shares everything from laugh-out-loud accounts of Oregon Trail-themed first kisses to heartfelt insights gleaned from navigating life as a Christian feminist doing her best not to screw up being a parent of a child with a disability, in a trans-racial family.


Rookie Mistakes is the call-to-action millennial women everywhere have been waiting for.


My Book Review:  I laughed so hard as I read each essay.  The author has an enjoyable way of sharing a story that makes you laugh and ponder deep truths at the same time.   What a gift!   As the parent of seven children including three children through international adoption with disabilities, I enjoyed hearing her family's adoption journey in parts of the book.  She does a fabulous job here!  


In Rookie Mistakes the author shares her struggles, stories, and faith in a relatable way that speaks humorously  to women. This is a quick read with insight and truth that I greatly recommend.   


I was given a copy by the publisher and not required to write a positive review.


Kelly Bandas is a writer and comedian best known for her popular Instagram and TikTok videos satirizing everything from millennial motherhood to social media culture. Whether she’s hosting her not-at-all Outlander support group or speaking up about things that really matter, Kelly’s mission is to always empower and lift up other women through community, inclusivity and laughter.


Monday, July 25, 2022

Flying Solo by Linda Holmes




Flying Solo by Linda Holmes and narrated by Julia Whelan  was such a delight.  I am a new fan of audio books, and I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Whelan’s narration of the story.  I was so glad I listened to this story, it had a certain charm and there were parts I felt like I enjoyed more having it read to me.

 

The story was about a decoy duck that was taken and the process to get it back.  But, honestly there was so much more.  So many truths about life and figuring out who you are.  Reminding us that we only know a part of the people we love and the importance of really listening to understand them.   I was so invested in the characters in the story and found myself wanting to meet them in Maine.  I enjoyed the story and  highly recommend it.


I was given a copy by the publisher and not required to write a positive review.



I'm a podcast host, novelist, culture critic, radio maker, interviewer, Twitter liker, Twitter fearer, dog owner, former lawyer, one-time college a cappella singer, occasional bread baker, photography dabbler, and very lucky weirdo. 
My dog’s name is Brian. He was rescued in Spain, where they have a surplus of speedy dogs like him, so he was brought to the United States where he had a better chance of being adopted. He was named Brian by the rescue (which seems to give all its dogs people names), and when I adopted him, it seemed like he’d had enough upheaval, so he kept his name. I take a lot of pictures of him. You can find them on Instagram at @primodogcontent.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Bayou Sweetheart by Lexi Blake



How can you not fall in love with that gorgeous corgi dog on the cover?  Bayou Sweetheart by Lexi Blake is the fifth in the series of the  Butterfly Bayou. I have not read the other books, but still was able to enjoy. I found this a Notting Hill type of story.  A movie star, Lexi Blake,  comes to the Bayou and falls in love with local deputy, Major Blanchard, after saving his life and his dog from a  bog. 

The story follows their journey as both characters soul search to find out what really matters to them and they both have to decide if they want the past to dictate their future.  The secondary characters are funny and add to the story including a cast of rogue racoons. 


Bayou Sweetheart  has small town charm, great characters, and the right dash of humor to be a good summer read.  A perfect beach read.    


Thank you to the publisher for my copy and I was not required to write a positive review.   


New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband and three kids. Since starting her publishing journey in 2010, she’s sold over three million copies of her books. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings.


Sunday, July 17, 2022

The Bodyguard by Katherine Center


WOW! I thoroughly enjoyed The Bodyguard by Katherine Center! The story centers around Hannah who is a female bodyguard charged with taking care of Jack, a famous movie star. The story is told by Hannah in the future, and is delightful.
I loved every minute of this story with the amazing banter, relatable characters, and laugh out loud funny scenes. It was a pleasure to watch the characters grow and change and I loved being able to root for them. The epilogue was so funny I read it three times.

The author is a master story-teller who weaved marvelous life lessons into the story. I highly recommend and encourage you to make your 2022 better and read The Bodyguard.

I was given a copy by the publisher and not required to write a positive review.


Katherine Center is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of What You Wish For, How to Walk Away and Things You Save in a Fire. She’s also written five other bittersweet comic novels about love and family, including The Bright Side of Disaster and Happiness for Beginners. Her fourth novel, The Lost Husband just became a feature film starring Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb. Katherine’s work has appeared in Redbook, O Magazine, InStyle, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Real Simple, Southern Living, and many others.

USA Today says, “Katherine Center writes amazing heartwarming novels.” The Dallas Morning News says, “Reading a book by Katherine Center is like having a long lunch conversation with an old friend you haven’t seen for a while — familiar, cozy and satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way.” And #1 NYT bestselling author Jodi Picoult says of Things You Save in a Fire, “Just read it, and thank me later.”

BookPage calls The Bright Side of Disaster, “beautifully penned and truly memorable.” People calls The Lost Husband, “A sweet tale about creating the family you need.” And InStyle says of Happiness for Beginners, “If you’re anything like us, you’ll read this book in one sitting.”

Katherine’s novels have been published in translation all around the world. Her books have made countless Best-Of lists, including Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2019, Goodreads’ Best Books of the Year 2019, BookBub’s Best-Loved Books of 2019, the Indie Next Great Reads List, SheReads’ Best Women’s Fiction 2019, BookList’s Top Ten Women’s Fiction, and many, many more.

Katherine is also a speaker on writing, and reading, and how the stories we tell impact our lives—and she recently gave a TEDx talk on how stories teach us empathy. She lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas, with her awesome husband, two sweet children, and their fluffy-but-fierce dog