Welcome to "Laurie Here - Contemporary Fiction and MORE - Book Reviews"! Join me and let's escape life into the wonderful world of books together, losing ourselves between their covers where we 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! Leave a comment!
For fans of Jennifer Chiaverini and Sarah Addison Allen, The Wishing Thread is an enchanting novel about the bonds between sisters, the indelible pull of the past, and the transformational power of love.
The Van Ripper women have been the talk of Tarrytown, New York, for centuries. Some say they’re angels; some say they’re crooks. In their tumbledown “Stitchery,” not far from the stomping grounds of the legendary Headless Horseman, the Van Ripper sisters—Aubrey, Bitty, and Meggie—are said to knit people’s most ardent wishes into beautiful scarves and mittens, granting them health, success, or even a blossoming romance. But for the magic to work, sacrifices must be made—and no one knows that better than the Van Rippers.
When the Stitchery matriarch, Mariah, dies, she leaves the yarn shop to her three nieces. Aubrey, shy and reliable, has dedicated her life to weaving spells for the community, though her sisters have long stayed away. Bitty, pragmatic and persistent, has always been skeptical of magic and wants her children to have a normal, non-magical life. Meggie, restless and free-spirited, follows her own set of rules. Now, after Mariah’s death forces a reunion, the sisters must reassess the state of their lives even as they decide the fate of the Stitchery. But their relationships with one another—and their beliefs in magic—are put to the test. Will the threads hold?
Includes an exclusive conversation between Sarah Addison Allen and Lisa Van Allen
Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.
There are three ‘VanRipper’ sisters, Aubrey, Bitty and Meggie. Bitty had just returned home, and home is also known as The Stitchery. Bitty had just left her husband and brought with her her two children, her daughter, Nessa, and her son, Carson. Bitty did NOT want her children knowing about ANY references to ‘magic’ in their home. Hmmm? Probably because of the talk of the town as these girls grew up. Unfortunately, the girls had been living with and was raised by their Aunt Mariah. She passes away and leaves them the only home they know, along with the home also being known to the public and as the girls source of income, The Stitchery. They all continue to live together, while everything still pretty much stays the same, especially with Aubrey, having given up on love pretty much, as she feels more complete as she knits what she believes are the townspeople’s dreams and wishes into their clothing, all the while giving up on having her own life. Is what she does considered magic?
Meggie is a restless soul, and is only back so they girls can decide what to do with the house/store Aunt Mariah left them.
Not only are these girls trying to decide what to do, but the town also has plans of it’s own, too, that affected their home/The Stitchery.
The story was a little slow for the most part for me. It was not one that I ended up diving into and couldn’t stop reading. There are a few unusual things that happened, and I found many things about this story intriguing, at least! One of the town’s names intriguing, Sleepy Hollow! (The Headless Horseman! Oooo!) The VanRipper sisters! More references to magic!
What interested me the most about reading this book were the references to the girls sewing/knitting, actually, secrets and perhaps spells that fit whom the article of clothing was meant for. My mother was a woman who was never without a knitting needle in her hand, and she belonged to a knitting prayer shawl group who while they stitched, they prayed for the person for whom they were making the shawl for, and whatever that person needed in life. That really got me thinking about her (I lost her back in 2010) this book, and what the girls did, why they did it, and was this magic after all?
This cover sure is beautiful, isn’t it! I want to thank Random House/Ballantine Books and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book in exchange for a review. Thank you!
The Soap Queen, Anne-Marie Faiola, shows you how to make perfect cold-process soap that is better than what you can buy at the store! Simple instructions and great photography walk you through every step of 31 exciting recipes, making it easy to master the techniques you need and produce the soaps you want. You'll find chapters on colors (neon, oxides, mica), molds (milk jugs, yogurt containers, pipes), food (pumpkin, coffee, beer, avocado, oatmeal), and building (embedding soap in soap, funnel pour, swirling). Faiola offers everything you need to make your own soap, safely and enjoyably!
This book spiral-bound book is FULL of gorgeous, colorful soaps YOU can make all on your own with these very descriptive instructions this author has included in this book for us! Don’t worry! The author has made these step-by-step directions so easy to follow!
These hand-crafted soaps are SO beautiful, and shortly now, YOU can be making them, and showing them off! Or, maybe you could even give them as gifts, too! You are going to have people oooh'ing, and ahhh'ing you over the beauty of these bars of soap! They people are going to be trying to friend you from everywhere once they see these gorgeously hand-crafted, colorful and beautifully creative, each one an original soap you hand-crafted because they are going to want them, and want them bad! They are either going to want them as a gift from you or to make it with you! The people who see these divine soaps will be falling in love with their beauty and want some for themselves, too! As holidays approach, they are going to be wondering if they might receive these as a gifts, or I even thought this might be a fun reason to get together and make new friends while making these together! This soap truly is beautiful to have, and are one of the PERFECT gifts to give! I’m positive people who have seen these have fallen in love with these soaps. How could you not fall in love with these? Look at their beauty of just the soaps on the cover alone on this book!
One word of caution. If you have children, making these soaps would surely appeal to them, but it is not recommended children help you make this soap because it is made with lye. Lye can burn your skin quite seriously and cause some extreme health problems if not worked with properly, so perhaps this is one craft that might be best left to the adults, and to have the kids spend the night elsewhere for their own safety so they don't want to get their hands into helping you make it. It would also be easier for you not to hear them begging to do it, too! (I was a Mom, once!) With that being said, I would also suggest purchasing this book in the PRINT version, as it comes in a spiral-bound version, which is excellent! Your recipe will be able to stand right up requiring you not to have to use your hands! The ease of making these recipes using the spiral-bound version makes things so much simpler all around. (I happen to be reviewing this as an ebook from NetGalley) so given the fact you are working with lye, it only makes sense to purchase the spiral-bound book. I would HIGHLY recommend purchasing the actual print book and NOT the ebook. The problem with the ebook is (at least my Kindle does this, as well as my computer), the screen eventually shuts down to preserve it’s energy; i.e., the battery. You don’t want to be in the middle of doing your recipe, needing the next part, but you can’t get it with your hands because your ereader or tablet has shut down and you don't have an extra hand at the moment. Sometimes different books just require to be a certain kind, and for the ease and safety of working with the lye this book calls for, this is why I suggest purchasing the spiral-bound copy over the electronic version. Not every book is a good fit for being an ebook. For review purposes on my end, it’s fine because I am just reviewing this book, and I'm not making the recipes from this book. See what I mean?
The other thing you need to know is this is not something you can just decide to make at the last minute and do it in a split second, like most crafts are done. This craft requires you to plan ahead and get your supplies. Most likely, you might need to order your supplies from the internet, unless you have an amazing store near you which caters to this craft, but I don’t think there are many stores around like this, but every now and then you’ll be surprised and you WILL find them!! (This part is not in the book, but I always state this - do not discredit your local hardware store! Yes! A lot of the time they just might carry ingredients like these, so just ask! You may be very happily surprised!)
Once you have your equipment, you are now ready to make your own, beautiful, one of a kind, cold-pressed soaps! It is SO simple and FUN to do, especially watching how the colors end up swirling together! You’ll have your own designer soaps in your own bathroom to show off to any visitors, relatives, and friends! You can even give these as gifts, too! You will end up being the most envied friend to have, and have very special gifts to give those very special people in your life!
Enjoy making these! These are truly FUN to make!
I want to thank Storey Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this ebook!
Welcome! It's been another GREAT weeks of books and reading and I'm so happy to see you here! I LOVE sharing this page with you, so here goes! This post is always up NOON every Sunday, and sometimes earlier! Feel free to leave comments! I'm trying to get more of you to talk!! I'd LOVE to see it!! Thanks!!!
This next week has a LOT of New Releases coming out, and with all I've been through lately with the falling and muscle spasms, I'm a little behind! I've GOT to get back to reading! Let's say, why don't we . . .
. . . hit the books!
(I need to change announcing the winners for the 2 hops and Remember Mia to NEXT Sunday due to the health issues. I'm just making you wait one more week on your toes!! LOL!!!)
For fans of Liane Moriarty and Jojo Moyes comes a riveting family drama with a dark mystery at its core, from the internationally bestselling author of The House We Grew Up In (which I absolutely LOVED!)
In the early hours of a summer morning, a young woman steps into the path of an oncoming bus. A tragic accident? Or suicide?
At the center of this puzzle is Adrian Wolfe, a successful architect and grief-stricken widower, who, a year after his third wife’s death, begins to investigate the cause. As Adrian looks back on their brief but seemingly happy marriage, disturbing secrets begin to surface. The divorces from his two previous wives had been amicable, or so it seemed; his children, all five of them, were resilient as ever, or so he thought. But something, or someone, must have pushed Maya over the edge…
With psychological nuance that gets into the heart of its characters, The Third Wife is a gripping story about a man seeking the truth behind his seemingly perfect marriage and the broken pieces left behind. MY TAKE: 3 STARS!
Adrian met, dated, and fell in love with Susie. They married, and this is both of their first marriages. They had a family of two children . . . Next . . .
Adrian met a woman named Caroline. He had an affair with her, and fell in love with Caroline. Adrian divorces Susie, his first wife, along with his two children, and he marries Caroline. This was Caroline’s first marriage, and now Adrian’s second. They have three children together . . . Next . . .
Adrian meets and falls in love with Maya, divorces Caroline, his second wife along with his second family of three children, and now he marries Maya, his third wife. They were trying to have a family, too, until a bus runs her over.
The police tell Adrian that this is either an accident or a suicide. A suicide? Maya was so happy, or wasn’t she? No. This could not be a suicide. It had to be an accident.
Now Adrian has no wife, two ex-wives and the five kids from his previous two marriages. Adrian tries to spend more time with his kids,
Adrian is also left with Maya’s cat named Billie. Does he want to keep this cat or get rid of it? Adrian has never been a cat lover, so he puts an ad out to see if anyone is interested in adopting the cat. This is when we meet June, a very mysterious woman who no one knows, and she decides to ‘date’ Billie the cat to see if they are a good match before she commits to adopting him.
This mysterious woman, June, plants a seed in Adrian’s head that perhaps Maya’s death was not accident or a suicide, but possibly a murder. A murder? What? Who? How? Everyone gets along so well in this large family that he just does not understand how this could possibly be a murder? Or, was it a murder? There were some things that could possibly point to murder, and Adrian knew her death could not be a suicide, but then again finds out Maya had a secret that he never would have guessed. For one thing, he blood alcohol content was more than double than what she would normally drink. This is the trigger that gets Adrian to look further into Maya’s life to learn more about what really happened. What was women’s fiction has now turned into a thriller of a story.
What really happened, and can Adrian find out the truth?
I LOVE Lisa Jewel’s writing, but I was a little disappointed with the writing in this book. It is so different than the other two books I have read by her. I have read After the Party and The House We Grew Up In and I loved both books, but the second book I really loved. Comparing that second book to this book, we see a lot of family interaction.
Lisa Jewel’s writing is getting much stronger in regard to family interaction, and that was nice to see it getting so much stronger, but what had me disappointed with this book was the length. I felt it got boring at times. I also lost my interest several times, and I felt this book could have been edited down quite a bit. I got tired of reading it at times, and I did not want that to be happening. I also had to force myself to keep reading this one. Just think, I almost put this one down and never would have found out what really happened! I could have missed the most important part! The longest part was from the start to halfway through, and perhaps a tad longer to about the 60% mark. (I read the egalley.) That really is quite a lot.
Adrian did learn a lot about himself because of Maya’s death, that he learned he really needs to grow up, really focus on settling down and growing up in that way. He does not want to keep repeating the mistakes he has already made. Maybe I just didn’t like him so much because of his history with women? There is a LOT of it.
The book was just too long in places to hold a newbie to Lisa Jewel’s writing. It needed to hold their complete attention, and I feel it lost it in several places. I want people to see how great of a writer she really is and how much she has grown in her writing, too, so I didn’t want to see people lose their interest in this book. I kept on and was happy I did.
There is a Reader’s Guide in the back, and it really asks some great questions for yourself or even for a Book Club.
I received this book from the Publisher, Atria, through NetGalley. Thank you!
Welcome!!! It's been another week of GREAT books! I hope YOU had a great week of Reading!! This post is always up by NOON every Sunday and most of the time earlier!
BLOG UPDATES: If you are reading this on Saturday BEFORE MIDNIGHT, it is the LAST DAY to enter the Just Couldn't Put It Down #Guiveaway Blog Hop! You'll see that icon in the LEFT SIDE COLUMN! (Keep in mind some blogs are a day ahead and are already done with this Hop. That's the bummer about the last day of the Hops. I hope you already HOPPED there and entered!)
**Also! "Remember Mia" will be ENDING SOON on the 21st!
I will be drawing winners for the Freedom to Read Hop, and will do so after both Hops and Remember Mia is over. I will announce the winners next Sunday!
On my mind:
I ponder this question every single time when I type this column each week, OR when I am shopping for myself for ebooks at Amazon and some cost so much that I decided to do a search to find out WHY ebooks cost SO MUCH MORE MONEY as compared to their counterpart, print books at times. Why is one book worth $14.99 and another worth HALF that at $7.99? The following is what I found.
Here is one article I did find helpful, from March 20, 2014, Ask Bethany House Why Are ebooks SO Expensive? AND from July 30, 2014 from AMAZON and HACHETTE (in a dispute against EACH OTHER - BOTH stating their case of which I take NO side in, but the subject matter matches which is what I am talking about here today - the HIGH price of ebooks!)
Amazon says the SAME THING I DO! Do NOT spend more than $9.99 OR LESS for for ANY ebook!
Both of these links (above) and are bolded for your ease to read them) so please go back and click on them to learn why ebooks cost so much, and besides that, these are VERY interesting articles!)
I must "agree" with #Amazon in this one article that states NOT to pay over $9.99 for ONE ebook, especially when they first come out "UNLESS" you are DYING to read it and just cannot wait! (I am NOT singling out #Hachette here AT ALL! Please understand just because this ONE article happens to be about Hachette, I am NOT putting them down NOR am I agreeing that they are price setting - besides, this is an OLD article and no longer applies even if it ever did.)
I am just seeing that we are looking at #NEW #RELEASES anywhere from $12.99 AND UP, and lately the price-point of $14.99 has inched up there, too!!! I think this is outrageous! (I remember a huge author last year or it might have been the year before), but that publisher priced that EBOOK at $19.99!!! WHOA!!! NO WAY!!! That WAS taking advantage of US in that case! Since then that price HAS dropped, and within about 2 weeks, that price was down to $14.99 where it STILL REMAINS!!! We have THAT book to thank for those prices. (At that initial time, ebooks were ONLY being sold at about the $9.99 price-point!)
I feel when the ebooks were selling at the $9.99 or lower price, it is of MY opinion that publishers/authors were probably selling a LOT more ebooks back then, while I don't have the luxury of having the sales reports, of course, I am just using common sense.
As the books fall OFF the list, so do the prices for 'most' books. DOWN they go! Virtually, this is the same thing as with the print books, too, except if you are in a bookstore like Barnes and Noble, I have seen the print books at some awesome sales as low as 30% to 40% OFF, BUT, ONLY WHEN THEY ARE NEW RELEASES, so that kind of blows that first article I posted because as SOON as they are no longer a NEW release, the prices go WAY back up HIGH AGAIN.
Will we ever come to an agreed price with ebooks? That is my question. My answer: if publishers want to see their sales go UP, then they should drop the cost of ebooks so they sell more. This is NOT HARD to figure out! Anyway . . .
What do YOU think of ebook prices?
With ebooks, it STILL IS the 'wild, wild west' out there, of which I don't appreciate being price-gouged. SOMETHING needs to be done! I don't have an answer for that??? I'll think of one!
Edit: I just got to read the FULL article about the OLD disagreement between Hachette and Amazon, (I have no idea what Amazon had this to say about ebooks now, but "I AGREE with state!" AND I guess I should have been more vocal as to 'why' I feel the way I do about ebooks, so here is what Amazon said and how I still feel:
“With an e-book there’s no printing, no overprinting, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out-of-stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books,” the company wrote. “E-books can be and should be less expensive.”
I agree! There is so little cost for retailers that I don't understand the 'why' publishers make ebooks so expensive? I DO agree that the amount the retailer makes, that 30% IS HUGE for the author and for us! However, that is across the board - EVERY Retailer, even Barnes and Noble or ANY e-retailer takes that amount/hit.
This does make me wonder what the author gets paid in the long run?? I hope WELL!! THEY are our bread and butter, or else that Retailer is NOT going to get money from me. There is only 70% to spread out, so I really wonder how that works? GOOGLE TIME!!!
Okay, here is one article I found HERE from 2011, but I would assume (even though assuming is never good to do as my teachers back ALL through Jr High and High School constantly told us 'if you assume, it makes an 'asouf) that the pay structure would still be the same.
I also want to make sure ANY AND ALL AUTHORS (especially my favorites!! And especially dp) get paid, and get paid WELL so they continue to write with a vengeance!
I'll continue to look this up and see what else I find. I'll continue this article as a Part 2, and give what I find 'when' I find it!
I hope you have found some inspiration to read this week with these books or even others you may already have! Here are the rest of the books, up to #20!
MANWHORE +1, by Katy Evans (Gallery)
PROTECTING JESSYKA, by Susan Stoker (Susan Stoker)
DARK PLACES, by Gillian Flynn (Broadway)
IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT, by Judy Blume (Knopf)
QUEEN OF FIRE, by Anthony Ryan (Ace)
Welcome! It's been another week of GREAT BOOKS! I hope you've had a GREAT week of reading! This post is always up by NOON every Sunday and sometimes earlier!
Hi everyone! Well, I have a funny one for! Last night I laid sideways on my recliner which is a cuddler and it felt GREAT! That is, until I fell asleep! I fell OFF THE CHAIR!!! It hurt like HELL! The joke is on me, though! I went to bed laughing at my husband, (I recently got a NEW mattress topper which FINALLY allows me to sleep IN my bed! Ahhhhh! We'll see how long it lasts????) Anyway, I figured I'd be sore today, but I NEVER thought it would hurt THIS BAD!! Yep! I can hardly move! The worst part is just sitting here I'm DYING today! Anyway, let's get on to bigger and better things like BOOKS!!!
BLOG UPDATES FIRST: Please look in the UPPER LEFT SIDE CORNER! 2 #GIVEAWAY HOPS are going on! PLUS, ONE BOOK is being given away that I reviewed this week by the publisher! Sign up for both! I'll list it in the Reviews for this week.
#REVIEWS THIS LAST WEEK:
Those Girls by Chevy Stevens - HERE!
Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt HERE! This is the Review with the Giveaway for the book from the Publisher! Get your entries in! Either click on the word HERE OR click up at the TOP of the LEFT SIDE COLUMN! Good luck! It's an EXCELLENT book!
The Thrid Wife by Lisa Jewel - will be posted THIS COMING WEEK! No, I did not get it read all the way - almost! Excellent story, again! Make sure to read the review!
Good luck winning Remember Mia and with the 2 Giveaway Hops!!!
Okay! Let's hit the books!
FICTION: COMBINED #EBOOK AND #PRINT!
I have ONE QUESTION: What is it with the PRINT BOOKS COSTING LESS THAN THE EBOOKS??? My 2nd question: Publishers, what is your answer? I would REALLY like to know, as well as these people who are reading this post. Thank you for your answer!!