Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - 11/18/2015


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights "upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating."  I always find a lot of new books I want to read through this meme.  So here is my selection for the week, I love this author and her new one sounds like her other books, suspenseful and exciting.  Let me know what you are wishing for and make sure you join in.



Missing Pieces by Heather Gundenkauf
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publish Date: 2/2/16

Description

A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband's family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf

Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia's accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack's past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

All About Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon + Special Price + Giveaway



Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon is an adult romantic comedy that is on sale on Amazon for only $0.99 until November 30th. Hollie Porter Builds a Raft, the second book, is now available for sale as well. It's a great time to start the series! To celebrate the sale we're also giving away a $25 Amazon gift card & audiobook CD of Must Love Otters 

Book Title: Must Love Otters
Author: Eliza Gordon
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Recommended Age: 17+
Release date: Oct. 29th, 2013

About the Book:
Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.

Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.
***
Hollie Porter Builds a Raft is now available for sale!

raft (noun): when two or more otters rest together,

often holding hands, so they don’t drift apart


Hollie Porter has put her old gig as a 911 operator and sad single girl in an attic-bound box, right where it belongs. She’s rebounded nicely from her run-in with Chloe the Cougar in the wilds of British Columbia, and this new life alongside concierge-in-shining-armor Ryan Fielding? Way more fun. After relocating to Ryan’s posh resort at Revelation Cove, Hollie embarks on an all-new adventure as the Cove’s wildlife experience educator, teaching guests and their kids about otters and orca and cougars, oh my.

When darling Ryan gets down on one NHL-damaged knee and pops the question of a lifetime, Hollie realizes this is where the real adventure begins. It’s all cake tasting, flower choosing, and dress fittings until a long-lost family member shows up at the Cove and threatens to hijack her shiny new life, forcing Hollie to redefine what family means to her. What is she willing to sacrifice to have one of her very own?

As Ryan’s words echo in her head—“Our raft, our rules”—Hollie has to face facts: a raft isn’t always tied together with blood and genetics. Sometimes it’s secured by love and loyalty… and occasional help from the clever creatures that call Revelation Cove home.
About the author
:


Eliza Gordon has excellent taste in books, shoes, movies, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone. In real life, she’s an editor, mom, wife, and bibliophile and proud parent of one very spoiled tuxedo cat. Eliza writes stories to help you believe in the Happily Ever After; Jennifer Sommersby, her other self, writes YA and is repped by Daniel Lazar at Writers House.

GET IN TOUCH:


**
***
GIVEAWAY:
$25 Amazon Gift Card 
Must Love Otters audiobook CD 
Open Worldwide
Ends November 30th, 2015
Prizing is provided by the author. Must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 17. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.




***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***

Monday, August 10, 2015

What Are You Reading Monday #19




Come post weekly and see what others are reading too just so you can add to your tbr - I always do! For more information go to Book Journey and join in!

Books Completed This Week (links go to my review):

Reading Now:
  • Nation of Enemies by H.A. Raynes (ebook, netgalley, review coming mid-August)
  • The Boleyn King by Laura Anderson (audiobook, audible)
Next: 
  • Brother Odd by Dean Koontz (audiobook, library)
  • Write For Me by Michelle Holt (ebook, review)
  • Vexed by a Viscount by Erin Knightley (ebook, novella, review)
  • Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter (ebook, review)
Other Reviews Completed This Week:
Summary -
Busy week with sports practice resuming for my oldest son.  I haven't had to ferry him back and forth (thank goodness for one of the other moms), but I have attended one scrimmage game, one parent meeting and taken him to scouts one evening this week.  All while working a 40-hour week and cooking supper on occasion.  My husband has been a wonderful help this week when my energy was flagging.  He took oldest son to get his cleats.  This is momentous because my husband has nothing to do with sports.  He likes to hunt and fish and doesn't care for the rest.  He will watch our kids' games and cheer them on, but that's where his support begins and ends.  However we both had a sleepless night and he knew I needed a nap instead of running back into town to get cleats so he took our son and I took a nap. It was amazing.

Reading has been great. I'm enjoying setting up review books for the coming months and picking out other books to read.  I am starting to post on Instagram a little more, though that will take some time.  I love to look through Instagram though!


So how was your week?  Do you have an Instagram account?  If so, leave a comment with your name so I can come see your photos!  My Instagram is @myreadingroomblog.  Come see me and follow and I will follow in return.  Hopefully I will begin to take some more interesting bookish pics!  Meanwhile I am inspired by all I see on there.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt



Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: NAL

Publish Date: 8/4/2015
Pages: 368

Series: Hartley-By-The-Sea #1
Format: Trade paperback, ebook








My Review:
If you are looking for heartwarming, entertaining and real in a novel, then Rainy Day Sisters is just the book for you.  And now that I have read it and fallen in love with the village of Hartley-by-the-Sea and some of the townspeople, I cannot wait for future books in this series by Ms. Hewitt.

Rainy Day Sisters is a primarily character-driven novel.  Lucy leaves Boston after a public embarrassment to go to England to stay with her half-sister and seemingly find herself.  Lucy imagines herself on a quintessential British holiday, however she doesn't realize how far out of the way Hartley-by-the-Sea is or how two cultures can speak the same language yet not be understood. She also pictured bonding and healing with her half-sister Juliet.  However as expected in a book, things don't go as planned.  But sometimes things that aren't planned work out for the best.

Juliet extends the invitation to her sister then wonders why she did it.  She's not a total recluse, she runs a B&B but she doesn't have anyone really steady and involved in her life.  She sees the townsfolk and talks to them and she and her neighbor Peter talk from time-to-time but she doesn't even realize that she doesn't have any close bonds.  And she doesn't expect any to form with her half-sister who their mother took with them when she left England and left Juliet behind.

There are bumps in the road with the relationship between Juliet and Lucy, but I was always pulling for them.  I wasn't sure if I liked Lucy at first but she grew on me.  I liked Juliet and could relate to her (well except for the being estranged from her mother).  Both women want something more but they don't realize that they will find that something more together.

It's a great, fun novel about finding yourself and learning to trust others and trust yourself and decisions you make.  Of course the path isn't easy, but life isn't. There are funny moments, sad moments, and profound moments.  The writing is great. I think Ms. Hewitt told this story very well, interspersing humor and wit with the serious aspects.

If you enjoy women's fiction or just a great relationship read with some hints at a romance plot then this is the book for you. There is something for everyone in this one.  Sisters, friendship, romance, failed relationships, family squabbles, small village life, it's all in there.  And I loved the setting. I want to go to Hartley-By-The-Sea.  No the weather is not always ideal but somehow it does sound like that quintessential British village in the countryside.  I felt like I was there getting to know Lucy and Juliet and the townspeople.

I loved this book, the characters, the writing, the storyline and I look forward to future books in this series.  Give this book a chance and I think you will really enjoy it.  I suggest you find yourself a comfy place and just enjoy.

My favorite comfy place - a front porch hammock.
My Rating: 5.0/5.0


Summary


The USA Today bestselling author presents a heartfelt novel about two sisters struggling toward new lives and loves.

Welcome to Hartley-by-the-Sea in England’s beautiful Lake District, where two sisters who meet as strangers find small miracles tucked into the corners of every day....

When Lucy Bagshaw’s life in Boston falls apart, thanks to a scathing editorial written by her famous artist mother, she accepts her half sister Juliet’s invitation to stay with her in a charming seaside village in northern England. Lucy is expecting quaint cottages and cream teas, but instead finds that her sister is an aloof host, the weather is wet, windy, and cold, and her new boss, Alex Kincaid, is a disapproving widower who only hired her as a favor to Juliet.

Despite the invitation she offered, Juliet is startled by the way Lucy catapults into her orderly life. As Juliet faces her own struggles with both her distant mother and her desire for a child, her sister’s irrepressible optimism begins to take hold. With the help of quirky villagers, these hesitant rainy day sisters begin to forge a new understanding…and find in each other the love of family that makes all the difference.


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Author Biography
Kate is the USA Today-bsetselling author of 35 romances with Harlequin Presents, hundreds of short stories, and several historical novels and anthologies now available on Kindle. Her first women's fiction with Penguin/NAL, Rainy Day Sisters, will be out in August 2015.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in New York City, she now makes her home in a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can read about her life at http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.

Social Networking Links
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads Author Page



***I received this book from the publicist for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free. My links for Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. ***

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Fishbowl by Bradley Somer


Fishbowl by Bradley Somer
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publish Date: 8/4/2015
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover, ebook












My Review:
I'm not even sure how to convey how I felt about this novel. It's amazing but on an entirely different level. The fact that the author, Bradley Somer could weave the plot lines together like he did and make them work, make the reader care about each and every character on some level is more than amazing.  This is a book I will think about for years.  And it will make me think about the people I cross paths with more patience, care and love.  Yes there will still be that guy driving slow in the left lane that will tick me off, but this book will cause me to consider lives of others besides mine.

Mr. Somer starts us off with the tale of Ian, who at that moment in the first chapter is still happily swimming in his fishbowl on the top floor of The Seville on Roxy.  And there begins this tale.  First it's a tale of Ian's descent after he jumps out of his fishbowl, but it's also a tale of other people in the building and how even though they only know each other in passing, if even, they cross paths with each other and their lives overlap in small and large ways.  It's a story of how one small gesture can mean the world to someone.  It's a story of separate lives that touch in some way.  It's a story of people.

I loved each and every character in some way or at least I could relate to them in some way.  I was amazed at how someone I hated in the beginning was someone I liked by the end.  Each chapter alternates with glimpses into the lives of Conner, Katie, Faye, Deb, Petunia Delilah, Danny, Claire, Herman, Garth, and Jimenez and yes Ian the goldfish.  Each has a story and every story will bring out some emotion and a way to connect to each character.  By the end of the book, I felt like I was living in The Seville on Roxy and they were all my neighbors and friends.

The plot is character-driven. Learning bits and pieces about each character through the present and sometimes flashbacks, it's wonderful to move through the book and slowly put the building blocks in place to see how all the characters overlap, meet and mingle and how each touches the life of another in some way, sometimes a way that's not even noticeable. It shows a look at the beauty in the world and hope in circumstances that seem to lack hope and beauty.

I am in awe.  This book was a wonderful and entertaining read.  The characters are heart-warming, they are funny and most important, they are real. To show how much the story touched me, I still remember specifics and think on them almost a week after finishing the book.  A lot of the time, I forget what I read except for a few things after I finish reading.  Not with this one, I still feel like I am living with the characters.  It's great, it's entertaining and it's refreshing. It teaches you so many things. So go out and grab this one. I loved it.  I hope you will too.  Come join the group at The Seville on Roxy, pull up a chair and get pulled into their world, their building and their lives.  Mr. Somer is a master at making you feel right there.  Check it out, you won't regret it!

And you have to get the hardback of this just because the little surprise on the pages is adorable and so appropriate.  If you buy the ebook, make sure you get to a bookstore to check out the pages of this gem.

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

Summary

A goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. He's longed for adventure, so when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the balcony railing and finds himself airborne. Plummeting toward the street below, Ian witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents.

There's the handsome grad student, his girlfriend, and the other woman; the construction worker who feels trapped by a secret; the building's super who feels invisible and alone; the pregnant woman on bed rest who craves a forbidden ice cream sandwich; the shut-in for whom dirty talk, and quiche, are a way of life; and home-schooled Herman, a boy who thinks he can travel through time. Though they share time and space, they have something even more important in common: each faces a decision that will affect the course of their lives. Within the walls of the Seville are stories of love, new life, and death, of facing the ugly truth of who one has been and the beautiful truth of who one can become.

Sometimes taking a risk is the only way to move forward with our lives. As Ian the goldfish knows, "An entire life devoted to a fishbowl will make one die an old fish with not one adventure had."


Amazon        B&N          iBooks         Book Depository


Author Biography

BRADLEY SOMER was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in Canada and holds degrees in Anthropology and Archaeology. His short fiction has appeared in literary journals, reviews and anthologies. His debut novel, Imperfections, published in Canada, won the 2013 CBC Bookie Award for debut of the year. Bradley currently lives in a little old house in the city of Calgary, Canada, where he works on his writing projects and tries to ignore the wild growth that his backyard has become.


Social Networking Links
Website
Twitter


***I received this book from the publicist for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free. My links for Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. ***

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Author Interview: Bradley Somer, author of Fishbowl


I recently read an amazing book that was sent to me by St. Martin's.  When the publicist offered me a chance to send the author questions, I jumped at the chance.  Devising the questions was easy because I was 2/3 of the way through the novel and it was so interesting, crazy and real that I was excited to ask questions.

The book is Fishbowl by Bradley Somer. I will have my review up of this wonderful, fun, zany and real novel tomorrow.  But for now to whet your appetite for his new book, enjoy what the author has to say.  Please welcome Bradley Somer to My Reading Room and feel free to comment about the interview, I would love to hear your thoughts.




Q:  I'm reading Fishbowl and loving it so far. I love how the interactions between characters and events are connected. It's so intricate and fun. I love seeing a connection before you explored it in the next chapter or reading it after I had read it from another point-of-view.  But it struck me that it had to be hard to keep up with where you wanted to go. So, how did you keep up with how the characters/events were connected?
Happy to hear you're enjoying it! There were a lot of moving parts to keep in line in Fishbowl. Part of the fun of writing it was all the little puzzle pieces, things that get a mention early on and become much more relevant to the story farther down the line. The answer to your question... a lot of notes and tons of re-reads, while it was being written and after the rough manuscript was complete. There were also a ton of little rewrites to make sure it all fit together when it was supposed to fit together.

Q: We have two goldfish that were won at our Seafood festival so I never expected them to last a day but the oldest is at least 4-years-old now.  That said, I loved the parts about Ian. Do you currently have a pet goldfish?
How hilarious, in a skewed sort of way... goldfish given out at a seafood festival? I don't have a goldfish at the moment but I did growing up. We also had a few guppies that later became lots of guppies. Lots and lots of guppies. Those things are their own renewable resource.
Crystal: I never thought of the irony of goldfish as a prize at the seafood festival - that is hilarious, now I'll never look at it the same.  Not to mention that I actually wonder if our goldfish are looking for a life of adventure . . . 

Q: Where were you when the idea for Fishbowl first came about?
I was actually in an vacant penthouse apartment with a downtown view. There was an empty fishbowl sitting on a worn-out folding table on the balcony. There were the quiet sounds of life coming through the apartment walls, people moving inside the building and traffic noises from outside. That was the seed for the story. Fishbowl's original incarnation was as a short story called “Sunburnt Cosmonaut.” There was still so much more to the story though, I had to work it into a novel.

Q: How did you feel as you were writing Fishbowl?
Fishbowl was a joy to write. It was about two years in the making, concept to completion, and the whole time was just playing with all the characters, the language and the stories.

Q: What's one word that would describe how you felt when you finished Fishbowl?
Energized. That's the one word, now here's some more words... as soon as the last word was written, I was charged up to get back in and start tweaking and editing it.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time (assuming you have some)?
Free time...I have a vague recollection of that. Reading is up there, of course. I also really enjoy just visiting with friends and family. Also, I try to get out hiking when I can. Snowshoeing in the winter.

Q: What three things do you need in order to write?
Coffee, tunes and some downtime to get in the right headspace.

Q: Sum up Fishbowl in 140 characters or less.
Fishbowl is a half hour of life in The Seville on Roxy. It's the story about how we don't live our own life, we live each other's together. 

Thank you Bradley for taking the time to answer my questions.  I loved Fishbowl, so come back tomorrow and see my review.  Already interested, buy links are below.  Trust me it's amazing.




Amazon        B&N          iBooks         Book Depository


About Fishbowl:

A goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. He's longed for adventure, so when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the balcony railing and finds himself airborne. Plummeting toward the street below, Ian witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents.

There's the handsome grad student, his girlfriend, and the other woman; the construction worker who feels trapped by a secret; the building's super who feels invisible and alone; the pregnant woman on bed rest who craves a forbidden ice cream sandwich; the shut-in for whom dirty talk, and quiche, are a way of life; and home-schooled Herman, a boy who thinks he can travel through time. Though they share time and space, they have something even more important in common: each faces a decision that will affect the course of their lives. Within the walls of the Seville are stories of love, new life, and death, of facing the ugly truth of who one has been and the beautiful truth of who one can become.

Sometimes taking a risk is the only way to move forward with our lives. As Ian the goldfish knows, "An entire life devoted to a fishbowl will make one die an old fish with not one adventure had."



Author Biography

BRADLEY SOMER was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in Canada and holds degrees in Anthropology and Archaeology. His short fiction has appeared in literary journals, reviews and anthologies. His debut novel, Imperfections, published in Canada, won the 2013 CBC Bookie Award for debut of the year. Bradley currently lives in a little old house in the city of Calgary, Canada, where he works on his writing projects and tries to ignore the wild growth that his backyard has become.





***Links to Amazon an Book Depository are to my associate accounts, if you purchase through these, thank you!  I will make a small amount of money to it to improve the blog and facilitate future giveaways. ***

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Genre: Suspense
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press

Publish Date: 8/4/2015
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover, ebook

ISBN: 9781501112317










My Review:
This was one crazy and suspenseful ride.  If you pick this up, be prepared to read it until you are finished.  It is that good.  I didn't get to read it in one sitting but when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about what I had read and what could possibly happen next. And then I would try and figure out what the twist would be. That made the book even better.

The characters.  Nora is our main character and the book goes from the present which is after the hen party and flashes back to before and during the hen party. It was obvious from the start that something bad has happened.  The problem is Nora can't remember what happened or what role she may have played in it.  I liked Nora; she's a somewhat reclusive writer who has a past that is hinted at through the book.  Nora was very well-developed as the main character and I enjoyed getting to know her.  I also enjoyed the unreliable narrator aspect. That is always fun for me because it keeps me guessing and has me questioning all I thought I knew about the main character. The other characters are Nina, Mel, Thomas, Flo, who hosts the party and of course Claire, who is the bride-to-be.  I really felt like I got to know each character and it felt like I was at the hen party right there with them.  If I had to pick a second-favorite character it would be Nina.  I loved her sarcastic, witty personality.  I liked how she loved deeply and cared for others even through her tough exterior.

The plot was amazing.  While the character development moved things along as the six acquaintances get to know one-another, the plot starts speeding along to what I knew would be an exciting climax/plot twist.  And I was not disappointed.  Did I guess what would happen, I did try and I got part of it right, but the twist was very "dark and twisty" (to coin a Grey's Anatomy phrase).  It was awesome, it was exciting and I enjoyed the ride through the whole book. I found the plot very believable.  I wouldn't want it to happen to me for sure, but I could definitely see it happening.

If you love gothic, psychological-thriller-type books then In a Dark, Dark Wood is just the book for you.  I loved this.  The plot kept me entertained, the characters felt like friends (or frenemies) and I enjoyed every minute of the book.  Ruth Ware can spin a tale and she has spun a great one with this book.

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

Summary
Someone's getting married. Someone's getting murdered.

In a dark, dark wood

Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room....

Some things can’t stay secret for ever





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Author Biography

Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her d├ębut thriller.


Social Networking Links
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Facebook
Twitter


***I received this book through Netgalley for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free. My links for Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. ***