Welcome to "Laurie Here - Contemporary Fiction and MORE - Book Reviews"! Join me while I escape my life by going into the wonderful world of books losing myself between their covers where I live the lives of the characters and their amazing stories for a little while! Let's learn about the authors, too! I write "honest" book reviews about my experiences and tell you how the trip was! You may want to follow along with me, too!
I originally talked about this #ReadAThon HEREand you have until THIS FRIDAY, JAN 30th to sign-up to participate! The links to sign-up are at that link, so click on it and learn MORE!
GOALS - Okay, first off I guess I have to say I am an ADHD reader, or maybe it just depends on the kind of mood I am in! LOL! I do hop and skip around, book to book! I can't seem to stay with ONE book no matter HOW great it is, or maybe it's the mood, again, however, I DO FINISH THE BOOKS even if I do hop from book to book, and that is okay! We ALL read differently, and I still enjoy books JUST as much! Although, when there IS a GREAT book, it is hard to put it down!
Finish: "Skinny Bitch Gets Hitched" by Kim Barnouin - it's taking me FOREVER to read this, isn't it! I like it a lot, but I lost it for a while over the holidays, found it after, and am now reading it! I want to finish this one because it will be going to a winner from a Hop I participated in! I don't want to choose the winner until I'm done, so . . . the pressure is on ME to finish it! I will!!!
For the second time in just a few short months, Clementine Cooper’s professional reputation hinges on one restaurant review. Clementine’s No Crap Cafe is poised to score the Holy Grail of publicity: a mention in the New York Times Sunday travel section, if Clem’s veggietastic lasagna can bowl over the food critic.
Clem has no time for distractions. Or surprises. But when her meat-eating millionaire boyfriend Zach Jeffries shocks her with a sweet and romantic marriage proposal, of course she says yes! Now she has to plan the most important menu of her life while fending off her domineering future mother-in-law’s extravagant plans for the wedding.
As if there wasn’t enough on her plate, Clem decides to open a second restaurant on her parents’ farm, Clem’s No Crap Outpost against Zach’s advice. Just when she needs his support the most, Zach grows distant. The only person who really seems to understand is Clem’s friend and biggest competition, the cute vegan chef Alexander Orr. Putting out fires in the kitchen is easy; but in her relationship? Suddenly, her time with Alexander feels . . . hotter . . . and Clem starts to wonder if the charming carnivore she’s engaged to is really the man she should spend her life with.
"TRY" to finish this next amazing book - "The Bishop's Wife" by Mette Ivie Harrison - is the one I've been enjoying the MOST, but also is the one I've had the greatest difficulty 'reading' because the size of the font in this Advanced Reader's Print Copy. Is is SO TINY AND DARK! Again, being an Advanced Reader's Copy, this is the print version of the book, and I would have thought I would have had more trouble reading this if it were the ebook because of font and the color of it other than the print copy! I have thought about purchasing the ebook so I can make the font larger in case the ebook's font is just as tiny as the print book, too. What it is is if I am tired in the evening, or if I try to pick this up in the morning after I wake up, I cannot see the font without it being blurry. Yes, I have vision difficulties, but never have they interfered with a print book! The best time of day to read this book is in the afternoon, but it doesn't always work out that I can read it 'only' in the afternoon.
I could and probably should contact the publisher and tell them of my woes with this book, and perhaps I'll do that. This IS a great book! As I said up above, this book really grabbed my attention! You DO want to read this one from start to finish, and I WANT to sit and finish this one straight through, but that darn font! I am NOT going to say I WILL OR WON'T finish this because I can't state I will for 'sure'. So this one is a 50/50 if I can or cannot see it!
There is something about this book that I just want to keep reading and reading and reading! If only I could!!!
In the predominantly Mormon city of Draper, Utah, some seemingly perfect families have deadly secrets.
Linda Wallheim is a devout Mormon, the mother of five boys and the wife of a bishop. But Linda is increasingly troubled by her church’s structure and secrecy, especially as a disturbing situation takes shape in her ward. One cold winter night, a young wife and mother named Carrie Helm disappears, leaving behind everything she owns. Carrie’s husband, Jared, claims his wife has always been unstable and that she has abandoned the family, but Linda doesn’t trust him. As Linda snoops in the Helm family’s circumstances, she becomes convinced that Jared has murdered his wife and painted himself as a wronged husband.
Linda’s husband asks her not to get involved in the unfolding family saga. But Linda has become obsessed with Carrie’s fate, and with the well-being of her vulnerable young daughter. She cannot let the matter rest until she finds out the truth. Is she wrong to go against her husband, the bishop, when her inner convictions are so strong?
Inspired by a chilling true crime and written by a practicing Mormon, The Bishop’s Wife is both a fascinating look at the lives of modern Mormons as well as a grim and cunningly twisted mystery.
Finish: "Dress Shop of Dreams" by Menna van Praag
I LOVE this book! I LOVE this cover!!! I LOVE the story in this book! 'This book' is TRULY 'magical'! There is magic at work with the Grandmother, so . . . I can't really put this one down!
For fans of Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen, and Adriana Trigiani, The Dress Shop of Dreams is a captivating novel of enduring hopes, second chances, and the life-changing magic of true love.
Since her parents’ mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta’s dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta’s charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta’s needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires.
Etta’s dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter. Cora’s studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever. Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt’s collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora. But magic spells—like true love—can go awry. After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she’s set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora’s life in extraordinary and unexpected ways.
I think this Goal Post is GREAT for ONE week, maybe a little too much, we'll see! I know I won't have the reviews done this week, unless they just roll off the keypad! See you next when I update! And I'm starting Monday morning - 8:10am . . . NOW!
Welcome! It's been another week of great books! I'm anxious to see what books hit the bestseller list! This post is always up by NOON every Sunday and sometimes earlier!
I'm going to start with . . . BLOG UPDATES:
GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK! ***"Thirty three going on . . . Girlfriend?" by Becky Monson $100 for a chance to to #win! #BOOKBLAST #GIVEAWAY to 1-28-15! HERE! ***"Dreaming of #CASH $250 #PayPal #CASH #GIVEAWAY!" Ends 1-30-15 so hurry and enter HERE!
Reviews this week: "A Home for Lydia, The Pebble Creek Amish #2" by @VannettaChapman HERE
"Loving Lucianna: A Hearts in Autumn Romance", by @JoyceDiPastena HERE
Reviews this coming week:
*Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
**The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag
***Skinny Bitch Gets Hitched by Kim Barnouin
Mark your calendars for the week of: JANUARY 26th to FEBRUARY 1st! It's A READ-A-HON! @AWintersRespite Starts Monday, January 26th, and goes to Sunday, February 1st, 2015! Read MORE about it HERE!
If you would like to join, go to the LINK listed above - there is still time!
OKAY! ON TO THE BOOKS! STANDING OVATION!!! #18 - Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
This book was originally self published on April 2nd, 2013 by an Independent Author - no more! She was swiped up by Harper Collins almost IMMEDIATELY! This book has been on the New York Times Bestselling List for almost a FULL COMPLETE 2 YEARS NOW! It is currently #18, as I have it listed, but this is almost 2 YEARS! This author DESERVES CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Wow!!!!!! How AMAZING!!!! I bought this book shortly after it was released and I NEED to read it finally! That is MY goal!
I just thought we should all take a look at this book and give this author congratulations! Congratulations, Christina Baker Kline!!!!!!! You ROCK!!!!!!!
It is NOT OFTEN we see books THIS GREAT "stay" on the NYTimes bestseller list like this one continues to do now for almost 2 YEARS!!!
She is definitely an author to read and to study how she writes if any of you are going to write! She has MADE her american dream come true! CONGRATS, again!!!!
Hi Everyone! You do NOT have to do "this post" in order to sign-up for the Winter's Respite Read-A-Thon, but I always find for my ease, and yours, that it is best if I do do it like this and I can look back HERE easily in case I need anything, (especially the Twitter hashtag and handle! LOL!) Plus, I LOVE to ADVERTISE THESE! You CAN write one of these up, but if you write out a "Goals Post" for what you are going to read, link it in this SAME LINKY - just ADD "GOALS POST" after your name. That way when they see you have '2' links signed up, they know one is to sign up and the other is your Goals Post. Michelle says it's good to post a "Goal Post" so people know what your plans are, what you are going to be reading, etc.! You have until Friday, January 30th, during the Read-A-Thon to sign-up! PLEASE READ THE GUIDELINES HERE because it answers everything! This is where I have gotten a lot of this information. Here is what Michelle has to say! A Winter's Respite is just around the corner. Yikes! I hope you're ready to come in from the cold and curl up with a good book, or two. So...official dates areJanuary 26 through February 1. YOU DO NOT NEED A BLOG TO JOIN IN ON THIS READ-A-THON. Please go to the blog HERE and READ THE GUIDELINES! Guidelinesfor the read-a-thon can be foundHEREor you can access in the tab at the top of the blog. Any information you need about the read-a-thon can be found there. (Click on the word 'blog' OR 'HERE' to go to the website.) We will have one Twitter chat - I will announce the date and time in the starting post. The Twitter Handle is@SeasonsofReading The Twitter hashtag is#WintersRespite Please dobe sure to check the guidelines HERE!, as it explains all about signing up and starting the read-a-thon. Sign up in the linky below (HERE). Be sure to grab the button at the top of this post (there's also a grab code below the button in the sidebar HERE!). Michelle is looking for prize donations so if anyone would like to contribute, let her know in the Contact Form at the many links to the blog.
Authors, this is a great way to promote your book! Contact me via the contact form link just below the header.
Sign up HERE!I'll see you back here for this Read-A-Thon!
A Home for Lydia, the second book in a new romantic series from popular author Vannetta Chapman, centers again on the Plain community of Pebble Creek and the kind, caring people there. As they face challenges to their community from the English world, they come together to reach out to their non-Amish neighbors while still preserving their cherished Plain ways.
Aaron Troyer simply wants to farm like his father and grandfather before him. But instead he finds himself overseeing the family’s small group of guest cabins nestled along the banks of Pebble Creek. That also means he must work with the cabins’ housekeeper, Lydia Fisher.
Lydia is the most outspoken Amish woman Aaron has ever met, and she has strong opinions about how the guest cabins are to be run. She also desperately needs this job. Though sparks fly between boss and employee at first, when the cabins are robbed, nothing is more important to Aaron than making sure Lydia is safe.
Together they work to make the vacation property profitable, but can they find out the identity of the culprit before more damage is done? And is Lydia’s dream of a home of her own more than just a wish and a prayer?
This is one of my favorite Vanetta Chapman novels to date! It was very enjoyable! I have to admit I noticed on Goodreads I read this book and finished it on February 26th, 2013, and I forgot to write this review! That was a serious oversight! I'll admit, though, liking this book as much as I did, it was kind of nice writing the review and visiting Pebble Creek, Wisconsin, again! There is a point to my telling you this, too, and this shows you how much this novel stood out with me so much so that now, almost 2 years later, I can still remember every detail in this book and write this review! So this book picks up where Book One ends, “A Promise for Miriam: The Pebble Creek Amish Book One”. You do not need to read these in order to enjoy these books, it’s just a little neat to have some of the other characters from the previous books make reappearances as with any series of books, but really this book can be read as a standalone all on it's own.
Aaron has now come back here to Wisconsin after he learns his Uncle has passed away left him these cabins to run. This is not something he loves to do as farming is his first love, but he can’t farm right now as he must get these cabins ready to rent out to the English who like to vacation the 'simple way'. What he was not planning on was Lydia still working at the cabins. He feels she didn’t she got much work done, so at first Aaron was kind of rude to Lydia. He really undermined her ability to work, which really bothered Lydia, too. Lydia was lucky in that she got to work with one other character I just loved, and that was nine year old Grace, daughter of Miriam and Gabe's. She worked closely with Lydia, and Lydia did as much as she could for her, too. Later, after Aaron started working on the cabins in disrepair and getting them ready for the English, too, it was then he realized maybe he was a little harsh on Lydia as he learned there was a LOT of work to do with those cabins. Lydia really did enjoy cleaning, decorating, and getting the cabins ready a lot more than she ever would have thought she would have liked, and she really stood up for herself against Aaron, too! I really liked how everyone worked together to make it happen to be the success they all wanted for the cabins. This did end up bringing Lydia and Aaron closer together at the same time, too. All of a sudden a lot of ruckus happens and some things and some of their money is stolen. Now they have to figure out who did it because Lydia does not want it to happen again. (Leave it to this author to throw in a little mystery here in her stories!) Lydia steps in here and does a great job of trying to figure out just who and how they did it. In the meantime, you’ll have to pick this one up to read to find out if anything further happens between Lydia and Aaron! I received this book for FREE from the publisher, Harvest House Publisher through NetGalley in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Welcome! It's been another week of GREAT books! This post is always up every Sunday by NOON and sometimes earlier! Thank you for stopping by! What's going on at the blog this week? LOTS! Right now we have in the UPPER LEFT COLUMN '2' #GIVEAWAYS! One is for $250 #PayPal #CASH! The other is to win $100 #PayPal #CASH! Come on over and enter! Click on the photos to take you there!
Reviews - Loving Lucianna, A Hearts In Autumn Romance by Joyce DiPastenaHERE! Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher "coming" later this week! I see this made #16 on the list!! Congrats, +Colleen Hoover and +Tarryn Fischer Woo-hoo!!!
Okay! Let's get to the books!
FICTION: COMBINED EBOOK AND PRINT - All books go to the ebook version. If you are interested in a different version, while you are at the ebook, just click on the version you would like to purchase and it will take you there! Enjoy the list! 1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr ebook: $11.99 print: $13.60
Sir Balduin de Soler gave up long ago on love. He never had the means to support a wife until an unexpected advancement in his fifties allows him to reassess his future just as the lovely Lucianna enters his life.
Lucianna Fabio harbors a secret, painful memory from her past that has kept her unwed, as well. Now in her forties, she thought herself too old to marry until she meets Sir Balduin. Now suddenly their lonely autumn lives feel very much like spring again . . . until Lucianna’s brother appears without warning and threatens to revive the secret that will destroy Lucianna’s second chance at love.
"Loving Lucianna" is the first in Joyce DiPastena’s new "Hearts in Autumn" romance series, medieval romances revolving around heroes and heroines “in the autumn of their years.” Because you’re never too old to fall in love!
I am finding I enjoy Historical Fiction more and more, the more I read. The cover of this book really appealed to me, (I know! Don't judge a book by the cover! LOL!) but after reading the description, I had to read this one! I love stories that take place during the Medieval Times, and talk about escaping reality! Of course this is a Historical Romance, with a little mystery and suspense to it as well. It is a clean romance, which is refreshing, and was just released on October 11th, 2014, and it takes place during the Autumn, and in the Autumn of their lives as Lucianna and Sir Balduin de Soler were older, Siri called it 'in the Autumn of their lives'. I thought that was pretty neat the author planned the release during the Autumn. Older people can find love, too.
This book is number two in a series, as the first book is "Illuminations of the Heart". I wish I had read that first because that would have tied up a lot of loose ends in this book that I didn't quite understand. Although, this author really does us a great favor (unlike any other I have ever read before) and in the front of the book, she gives us a 'Cast of Characters' from the first book! We are able to flip back to it in case we forget who is who, and I 'did' use this! I thought this was terrific! It was helpful as I did find myself flipping back there a few times while trying to figure out who was who, and what part they played, good, bad, or just a relative. Their names are Italian and French, so they are difficult names to follow/remember. Bless her for doing that!
Lucianna Fabio grew up in a convent and we first meet her when she was nine years old. She took a younger girl under her wing, Elisabetta, who did nothing but weep from the first day she was left there. This really helped Elisabetta, now long gone. Lucianna has an incredible talent for embroidery. The nuns at this convent at times would allow her to just sit and sit embroider she was that talented. Lucianna loved doing it. She would stare at the bolts of silk threads and the fabrics waiting to be sewn upon. I can relate to how she felt about these because I love embroidery, too. There is an almost 'craving' to want to touch and sew with these threads upon these fabrics, and while doing so, you can retreat inside yourself and feel enjoyment that is indescribable to most other people who cannot embroider or sew. I loved her mentioning this throughout the book. This was magical for me.
This story picks up in the Autumn somewhere in the 1100's, the Medieval Times, when she is with her fiance', Sir Balduin de Soler who is in his fifties, and she is in her forties, so we have an older couple which is a change from what I've been reading. It is nice to show that older people fall in love just as much as the younger people do. They were to be married in three weeks. They are currently shopping for fabrics a christening gown for a Siri's new baby who would be here soon. She is a young woman Lucianna had mothered for so many years, and this would be her first child. Lucianna wanted extra special fabrics to make the christening gown with, and she planned to embroider on top of it, too, white on white.
Lucianna notices a man she knows and does not want her fiance' to see her with, but she must talk to him and get him to leave. He is trouble. She has some secrets about herself that would ruin her life if anyone found out, especially about this man, Serafino. Serafino just gave me a bad feeling and I didn't like him. It turns out my gut feeling about him is correct as we later learn.
This happens to be Lucianna's second marriage.
There we have the set-up of this story with more to come, but I must leave the rest to you so you can enjoy it! I am looking forward to going back and reading the first book, and any others after this one. This author has written quite a few books that take place during the medieval times, too. You'll have to check out her Author Amazon page! Enjoy!
I received this book from the author in exchange for a review neither positive or negative, just my own opinion.