BOOKS AND BLOGGING PHILOSOPHY

Philosophy is defined as a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought. Well, my theory is if I can add at least 10 new books to my Wishlist and move at least 5 older Wishlist selections to my TBR list every month, then life is a ice cream sundae. And if I can find those 10 books from at least 5 new blogs each month then that's the cherry on top.

NEW VISITORS AND OLD- WELCOME!

NEW VISITORS AND OLD- WELCOME!
Well, I've made it almost 5 years now, so for better or worse, I continue on. I tend to blog in spurts as the urge to be creative erupts. As I don't have an artistic bone in my body, you will see very few changes in the layouts. Hey, I'm a reader not an artist like so many of the awesome bloggers I follow. I know you don't always have the time but if you stopped and looked, take a half a minute and say your piece. Recommend a book that you have enjoyed or hated for that matter. Thank you to all who visit.
Oh, and I moved my Google Friend Connect info and share this buttons to the top, as without our friends, who are we?


Monday, January 1, 2018

The Perfect Christmas Gift

Growing up in a small town, Granite Falls, North Carolina,  in the 1960s was both tough and fun. My Dad had left the Navy and moved my Mom, me, aged 6 and my siblings, 4 and 2 from Long Beach, California back to their hometown of Granite Falls after serving his country on a Naval cruiser, the USS Rochester, for ten years. He would be gone for six to nine months on tours and then at home on base for three (hince the eighteen month difference between my siblings and me. He managed to get my Mom pregnant every other time he came home:). He had the opportunity to visit Hawaii, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Philippines and many other places that a farm boy could only dream of. 
He didn't feel it was fair for my Mom to carry the whole load alone for raising three small children without any relatives for backup and took what the Navy taught him as a welder back to this small town where he worked for the next thirty years for what was to become PNG. We lost him pretty early to a massive heart attack at only 56. 
Granite Falls  was the typical Hallmark/Mayberry smalltown. The kids walked to school, to the library, downtown and all over with no worries or fears. The downtown area had a Five & Dime where as kids anytime we had a nickle to spend, we would visit. You could go there and "shop" for hours and see (what seemed to us) thousands of items to buy, mostly penny candy.
Every Christmas our aunts (who were very young teenagers and always glad to walk us downtown as it meant they got to flirt with the boys at the drugstore) would take us on our annual Christmas shopping trip to the Five & Dime to spend our carefully hoarded coins for presents for our Mom & Dad. This year we knew exactly what to get my Dad as he had been watching TV one day and we heard him say to my Mom "Now THAT'S what I want for Christmas this year!" We were so excited to be able to get this "perfect" Christmas gift because we knew it was something he had seen and we knew we could actually afford it.
Now remember back in the 60's the guys wore their hair slicked back like James Dean or for you younger guys Fonzie.
My Dad had the thickest, curliest, black hair (most of the Williams' in my family had that awesome trait) and I was always jealous that my siblings had it while mine was dishwater blonde, thick and curly, though it did morph into a rich dark brown later on. We thought his hair was so beautiful and looking back at pictures of him and his siblings now, they looked like Hollywood models.
Well, to continue with the "perfect Christmas Gift", it was a tube of Brylcreem. Brylcreem is what my son today calls hair product and it is still available for sell, who knew!


An Icon 
Since 1928.

Brylcreem was an instant hit with British soldiers during WWII. It quickly became standard issue for military pilots, who had a reputation for being cutting edge and sophisticated, to keep their longer hair perfectly in place during intense air battles.

Through the decades the look has stuck. From slick 50’s ad execs to today’s red carpet. 89 years later, the look continues to be an icon of men’s style.

Their earlier punch line had been "A Little Dab'll Do Ya" and the 1965 commercial my Dad  had seen was "Are you man enough to try it?" Here is the commercial thanks to Youtube. Actually it was rather creepy. Between the actor, music,  and the tone, it reminded me a bit of the opening sequence for a Twilight Zone episode.



Well, we did our shopping, keeping the "perfect gift" a secret and really excited because though both Mom & Dad kept guessing what we'd bought, they never got it right. 
Christmas day arrived and we opened our gifts full of excitement. Now in those days money was tight so we usually got a new outfit of clothes for school, a stocking that always had an apple, an orange and some nuts in it and generally one toy, a doll if you were a girl and a set of cowboy pistols and a hat or a truck if you were a boy. There weren't these endless piles to open like today. And we appreciated what we got and played with it for years. 
My Dad was the quiet type that always waited for everyone else to open their stuff and admire it before opening his. We were so excited and couldn't wait for him to open his gift. Finally, he gets it open, pulling each piece of tape off and excruciatingly unwrapping it without tearing the paper (back then you saved all the paper and bows to use again the next year). 
He looks at the tube of Brylcreem kind of funny and thanks us. We are so excited as we tell him we heard him telling our Mom that that was what he wanted for Christmas this year. To our amazement, he looks at my Mom and she looks at him and they both burst out laughing. My Dad laughed till he had tears in his eyes  and every time he would catch my Mom's eye all day they both would break out into laughter. He assured us that we had gotten him exactly what he wanted though he couldn't say it without falling down laughing. 
It wasn't until years later that we realized that he had been teasing my Mom when he saw the commercial and was talking about the WOMAN coming out of the tube. He faithfully used the Brylcreem over the next year with my Mom teasing him each time  and both of them laughing  for years over his "perfect gift". The one thing I remember more than anything about my Mom and Dad while growing up was the laughter and love they shared. My Dad though a very quiet man, was one who enjoyed teasing my Mom and making us all laugh. I hadn't realized till sitting here writing about this memory how that teasing quality and his ability to make us laugh is also one of the most endearing qualities of my husband's. Thirty five plus years and he still makes me laugh.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway For THE EVAPORATION OF SOFI SNOW By Mary Weber



The Evaporation of Sofi Snow 

(The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1)

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: June 6th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia


Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.
Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.
For Miguel, Earth's charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.

Mary Weber is the multiple-award-winning author of the bestselling young adult Storm Siren Trilogy, and The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series (all by HarperCollins). An avid high school, middle school, and conference speaker, Mary's passion is helping others find their voice amid a world that often feels too loud. When she's not plotting adventures involving tough girls who frequently take over the world, Mary sings 80's hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Comic-Con, and the ocean.
Mary's debut, Storm Siren, was featured in the Scholastic School Book Fairs, and her novels have been endorsed by bestselling authors Marissa Meyer, Jay Asher, Wendy Higgins, CJ Redwine, and Jonathan Maberry.

You can also find Mary's fun interviews in the paperback of Marissa Meyer's NYT bestselling, CRESS, and in Jay Asher's 13 REASONS WHY movie tie-in edition. Most recently, you can see her and her family as extras in the NETFLIX Original Series, 13 REASONS WHY.

She gets nerdy at @maryweber.com, FACEBOOK @MaryWeberAuthor, INSTAGRAM @MaryWeberAuthor, TWITTER @mchristineweber, and GOODREADS. Come say hi!!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Review For A CRUEL KIND OF BEAUTIFUL By Michelle Hazen- 4 1/2 *



Title: A CRUEL KIND OF BEAUTIFUL

Author: Michelle Hazen

Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating: * * * * 1/2
Publishers: Self Published
(Dec 4, 2017)
Paperback: 344 pages
ISBN: 978-1975889876
FTC Disclosure: ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
Copy provided for the purpose of providing an honest review.
 This does not affect my opinion of this book.

If you can’t get to the Big O, can you get to the happily ever after? 
Jera McKnight loves music, swoons for hot guys, but sucks at sex. Jacob Tate is her perfect storm: a pun-loving nude model with a heart as big as his record collection.
When a newspaper-delivery accident lands him in her living room, he’s almost tempting enough to make her forget she’s never been able to please a man—in bed or out of it. Sure, he laughs at her obscure jokes, and he’ll even accept a PG-rating if it means he gets time with her, but he’s also hiding something. And it has everything to do with the off-limits room in his apartment. 
Jera pours all her confusion and longing into her drum kit, which pays off when her band lands the record deal of their dreams. Except just like Jacob, it might be too good to come without a catch. 
She doesn’t know if her music is good enough to attract a better contract, or if she’s enough to tempt a man like Jacob to give up his secrets, even if they could fix her problems between the sheets. But if this rocker girl is too afraid to bet on herself, she might just end up playing to an empty house. 


Grab the first book in this addictive new series if you love snarky heroines, the backstage scoop about mouthwatering rock stars on the rise, and Kindle-melting sex scenes. Perfect for fans of the ragtag band families in Kylie Scott and Crystal Caswell's books.

I usually don't read rock & roll romances nor New Adult books as I tend to get a bit annoyed at the emotional decisions made by the main characters. Yeah, I remember those days but jeez, the constant drama tends to get old real fast now. The main reason I refuse to watch any of the numerous "reality" shows on TV either. 
But the blurb on this one sucked me in and I'm so glad it did as I throughly enjoyed it. I loved Jera, she was the type of rocker I'd want to be. She had a lot of confidence in her abilities as far as a drummer and I loved that she had moved in with her Grandmother to help take care of her all the while going to college and working. She just seemed so real! Ah, and Jacob--well he was the sweetest  guy imaginable. I loved the way he tried to take care of everyone while still being so hot and sexy. He was sex  on a stick! Plus he was smart and funny, just an awesome all around guy. I may have to stick around for the other books in this series if they are half as wonderful as this one.




Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem. Years ago, she and her husband ducked out of the 9 to 5 world and moved into their truck. As a result, she wrote most of her books with solar power in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, a golf cart in a sandstorm, and a beach in Honduras. Currently, she’s addicted to The Walking Dead, hiking, and Tillamook cheese.
Follow Michelle:  




Blog Tour & Giveaway For BACK HOME AT FIREFLY LAKE By Jen Gilroy


In Jen Gilroy’s Back Home at Firefly Lake, Cat McGuire and Luc Simard find love and second chances in a heartwarming small-town romance that fans of Women’s Fiction and Susan Wiggs’ The Lakeshore Chronicles will love!

Title: Back Home at Firefly Lake
Author: Jen Gilroy
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Forever – Grand Central Publishing
Series: Firefly Lake
Print ISBN: 9781455569618
Digital ISBN: 9781455566938

She has a million reasons to leave. Can he give her the one she needs to stay?
Cat McGuire’s return to Firefly Lake is turning into much more than she bargained for. Sure, she missed the crisp pine-scented air and the comfort of having her family around her. But being home makes her feel less like the successful single mom she is–and more like the awkward teen who never fit in. It doesn’t help that hockey-pro Luc Simard is back in town, too. Luc was her childhood crush, the hometown hero who never noticed her, and yet somehow he still makes her heart skip a beat.
Luc’s homecoming has been bittersweet. He’s lost his wife and his career, but there’s no better place to start over than Firefly Lake. Coaching the local kids’ hockey team makes him feel alive again, and he thinks his life is complete–until Cat arrives. The shy girl he always wanted to protect is now the gorgeous woman who’s stealing his heart and making him believe in second chances. But how can he convince Cat that Firefly Lake is where she truly belongs?

Now an Amazon Best Book of the Month!

Add to your “Want to Read” shelf:  Goodreads

Available at:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes


Praise for Back Home at Firefly Lake:

“When these two broken souls come together, magic happens.” – Publishers Weekly

Back Home at Firefly Lake is a charming small-town, second-chance story. With well-written and relatable characters, readers both new and old to the series will enjoy it.” – Harlequin Junkie


Excerpt:

Luc’s heart squeezed. [Cat] was embarrassed to ask her family for help, like he’d have been embarrassed asking his. Except, that would never be an issue because he had more money than he could spend in one lifetime. Money to finance the creamery expansion his dad had talked about for years, and to send his folks on that cruise they’d hankered after but could never afford because of the cost of raising four kids and putting most of them through college. Money for everything except what mattered most—taking care of his wife and their child like he’d planned.
“Pay for the hockey registration when your grant comes through.” He tried to smile. “I know you’re good for it.”
“Thanks.” Cat’s voice cracked and she took one hand away from her bag to rub it across her face. “Hockey means everything to Amy. I want her to be able to play, but she’s growing so fast right now.”
“Hockey’s an expensive sport.” He slid an arm around her shoulders and gave her a little squeeze. The same kind of friendly squeeze he’d given her all those times back in high school when she’d saved his butt in chemistry. Before today, however, his fingers had never tingled when he’d touched Cat. His body had never heated, either.
Cat started and pulled away at the same instant he did. “Hockey can be a dangerous sport too, and now Amy will be playing with boys. She hasn’t played with boys since she was seven. She could get hurt.
Like he had, hurt so bad it had ended his career. “Amy’s playing minor hockey. At her age, there is a rule about no body checking.” He tried to make his tone reassuring. “I promise I’ll keep a close eye on her.” It was his job as her coach, and he’d do the same for any kid. It had nothing to do with the strange and unexpected attraction he all of a sudden had for this woman he’d known his whole life, who he’d never really looked at until today.
A woman who wasn’t Maggie. Luc’s stomach clenched in a tangled lump of guilt and grief, tied tight with a slippery ribbon of disloyalty. Maggie was never coming back, but that didn’t mean Luc could forget her. Or that he wanted to.

Copyright © Back Home at Firefly Lake 2017 by Jen Gilroy



Other Books in the Firefly Lake Series:

Some mistakes can never be fixed and some secrets never forgiven … but some loves can never be forgotten.

Charlotte Gibbs wants nothing more than to put the past behind her, once and for all. Yet now that she's back at Firefly Lake to sell her mother's cottage, the overwhelming flood of memories reminds her of what she's been missing. Sun-drenched days. Late-night kisses that still shake her to the core. The gentle breeze off the lake, the scent of pine in the air, and the promise of Sean's touch on her skin…True, she got her dream job traveling the world. But at what cost?

Sean Carmichael still doesn't know why Charlie disappeared that summer, but after eighteen years, a divorce, and a teenage son he loves more than anything in the world, he's still not over her. All this time and her body still fits against his like a glove. She walked away once when he needed her the most. How can he convince her to stay now?

Add to your “Want to Read” shelf:  Goodreads

Available at:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes


Praise for The Cottage at Firefly Lake:

“Gilroy’s debut contemporary is packed with potent emotions…[the] protagonists tug at the heartstrings from the beginning of the story and don’t let go. Long on charm, this story invites readers to come in and stay a while.” – Publishers Weekly

“Memories, regrets and second chances are front and center in Gilroy’s fantastic debut.” – RT Book Reviews

Summer on Firefly Lake

Sometimes love is better the second time around.

Mia Gibbs spent her marriage putting her husband’s needs before her own. And now, after a painful divorce, she’s building a new life for herself and her two daughters back home at Firefly Lake. The last thing she needs is a man to complicate things. But former bad boy turned friend Nick McGuire—and the one kiss they’ve shared—has turned everything upside down.

Attorney Nick McGuire wasn’t meant to be a family man. His career has always been his focus, and after taking time out to help his mother, he’s ready to get back to the city…until Mia and her daughters arrive at Firefly Lake. Mia is beautiful and intriguing, and it doesn’t take long to realize being “just friends” will never be enough. As the summer nights turn colder, Nick will have to choose between the life he’s always wanted…and the woman he can’t live without.

Add to your “Want to Read” shelf:  Goodreads

Available at:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes


Praise for SUMMER ON FIREFLY LAKE

“Has charm to spare… The delightful supporting cast and expertly plotted story add depth and richness to this tale, leaving readers eager for another visit to Firefly Lake.”—Publishers Weekly

“4 stars! Gilroy’s second Firefly Lake novel encapsulates the quaint, busybody small-town feel and the slippery slope of friends becoming lovers quite well… Engaging…[a] fast-paced page turner.”—RT Book Reviews



Jen Gilroy lives in a small town in eastern Ontario, Canada where her Irish ancestors settled in the nineteenth century. She's worked in higher education and international marketing but, after spending too much time in airports and away from her family, traded the 9-5 to write romantic women’s fiction to bring readers' hearts home.

Jen likes ice cream, diners, vintage style and all things country. Her husband is her real-life romance hero, and her teen daughter teaches her to cherish the blessings in the everyday.

The Cottage at Firefly Lake, the first book in her Firefly Lake series, was a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® award in 2015. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon Award 2017.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

 Rafflecopter for Back Home at Firefly Lake Blog Tour Giveaway:

Jen is offering one (1) lucky Grand Prize winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a paperback copy of Back Home at Firefly Lake. Five (5) runner-up winners will receive a paperback copy of their choice from the Firefly Lake series! This giveaway is open internationally. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Review For ABDUCTION By Cynthia Eden


Title: Abduction
Series: Killer Instinct #1
Author: Cynthia Eden
Genre: Murder 
Rating: * * * * *
Publishers: Harlequin Intrigue
(Feb 21, 2017)
Paperback: 272 pages
New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden has 
killer instincts when it comes to breathtaking suspense! 
Once the town troublemaker, Sheriff Hayden Black became the teen hero who saved young Jillian West from a savage kidnapper. He never got over their brief affair. Now the ex-SEAL and the burned-out FBI agent have reunited in their Florida hometown and rediscovered their powerful attraction. But as they hunt down a long-forgotten killer, will they get a second chance at happiness? When a series of accidents begins to plague Jill, Hayden won't let her fall victim again. There's too much history between them…and too much desire.

In typical Eden fashion, this book will keep you gripping the page till the very end. This was a great start to a series that I plan on binging as I've just picked up the whole series! Eden never fails to keep the action and the romance going. Besides being a great suspense it contains another of my favorite romantic tropes- second chance romance. 

Killer Instinct Series
1.Abduction (2017)
2.Hunted (2017)
2.5. The Gathering Dusk (2017)
3. After the Dark (2017)
4. Before the Dawn (2017)
5. Into the Night (2017)