Saturday, December 20, 2014

#REVIEW - The Christmas Grandma Ran Away From Home by Nancy Warren


Description:
For every woman who's ever felt overwhelmed and under-appreciated at Christmas comes the story of a decent woman, a widowed grandmother, respected matriarch of a big, noisy family who snaps one holiday season and decides to run away for the holidays. Little does she realize what adventures are in store.


Long time widow Sandy Forbes is breaking out this Christmas. In her 71 years on earth she has stuffed and cooked 55 Christmas turkeys, baked hundreds of pies, turned out thousands of shortbread cookies and hoisted enough pine trees in her living room to reforest the Amazon.
Her family love her. They come to her for every occasion, eating, drinking, squabbling and then leaving her with a mass of dishes andcrumpled holiday wrap. But this is the year everything changes. When she wants someone else to take over for one year, the family lays a big guilt trip on her and Grandma rebels. Sandy’s giving herself a gift this Christmas. She’s running away from home for the holidays.


MY TAKE:
5 STARS!
I picked this book on my own because the cover and title caught my eye! This book is a hilarious in the beginning because you just can’t help but laugh out loud at this family’s reaction to Grandma’s decision NOT to cook Christmas dinner this year! When she tells the family, I was in stitches over some of their reactions, and you will be, too! This would be her 56th christmas dinner cooking a turkey, and it’s time for a change for her for many reasons I believe many women can resonate with! This is a serious reality for many women who do always get stuck hosting all of the holiday dinners when no one else in the entire family gives it a second thought, nor do they ever offer to host the holidays dinners, or bring a dish themselves, and the worse part is it’s taken for granted!
I think this is a great book to bring this issue out into the open for all the women who are at the end of their rope with this! It’s not ‘just’ that ‘one’ day of cooking. It’s the expected, the holiday decorating, the cleaning of the house only for it to get trashed the day of, the shopping, being the mediator for all the issues between ALL the  relatives who have issues with each other prior to the event, during and after, or those who like to cause issues while amongst the family the day of. There is doing all the cooking the day before and the day of, and in the end to be left with mounds of dishes no one has even offered to help to clean up, a filthy house, and pure exhaustion! All of this is tiring for anyone at any age, but Grandma is not a spring chicken anymore! Grandma is 70-72yrs old! (I found a little editing error about her age in three different places, but does it really matter? No.) In this extremely short novella, Grandma decides to take control of her ‘own life’ this year and decides she is NOT going to cook the turkey christmas  dinner #56 this year. Instead, Grandma is going to do something and go away somewhere she wants to go! . . . but where? She still works at the post office, so she goes through the postcards there until she comes upon one that has a beautiful sounding name. This city seems to be calling her name, which is Blossom Creek, Oregon! That’s IT! That is where Grandma is going!
Grandma’s kids, however, have a COW! They are LIVID at her. What? Grandma is NOT cooking the Christmas turkey for dinner this year? What’s wrong with her, as they bicker with her back and forth! They think she’s lost it, so much so the family doctor knows about her trip before she even tells him and he asks her if she thinks it might be Alzheimer’s disease! Oh! This is sad for poor Grandma. ALL this woman has done for her family ALL these YEARS and not ONE person even offers to cook the meal for her instead of her cooking it again? Family!
I can relate to this woman! Bless her heart for doing it ALL these years all on her own and never complaining once before! I could see my own mother cook turkeys and hams year after year, every single holiday, too, with the entire family depending on only ‘her’ cooking it and you could see how tired she was in her face when the meal was over. She was a little at fault about that, though. She would not allow anyone else to bring a dish. She would say this is not a potluck dinner, it’s a family dinner. (Okay?) When I was able to do that type of cooking, I did it, too, and it is tiring no matter what age you are, and here we have a woman who is 70-72 years of age who is just tired of ‘the family and the stuff that goes with it’, she just needs a break! I don’t blame her one ounce for not needing to go out of town to get out of cooking . . . again!. It’s a  thankless job! Sure, everyone says it’s, ‘Oh, so good’, and hopefully they thank you by helping with the dishes, but she doesn’t even get that! Instead one year her family had a fight/combined food fight in her house! That was the real reason behind this decision - she had had it! NO ONE ELSE EVER OFFERS TO COOK! By ALL means, Granny, RUN!

Run she did! When she got to her destination, she felt a bit overwhelmed. She had to do things she has not done before, but it was a new world to her. She ended up loving it! The place she chose to stay was nice, and Grandma even finds a HUGE SURPRISE there! This is well-worth the very short read! You might even enjoy this so much you’ll want an entire book about Grandma when this one is done! This little novella is worth every penny of the 99cents it cost to read!
Enjoy!
Laurie

Thursday, December 18, 2014

#REVIEW - Sealed with a Christmas Kiss by Rachael Lucas



Description:
Kate has taken to life on the remote Scottish island of Auchenmor like a seal to water: she's given a new lease of life to the Laird's estate in her day job; she's befriended the once-nosy locals; and even young Laird Roddy is not quite so grumpy these days.


Better still, Kate has just had her best idea yet: they'll turn the castle into the most gorgeous wedding venue in Scotland. The pressure's on as the first wedding is booked in for Christmas Eve - just weeks away. But with a mismatched bride and groom, a hysterical PR on her case, her own relationship woes and a huge storm blowing in, can Kate pull it off in time?


Escape the stresses of the Christmas season with this warm, funny and truly inspiring novella from bestselling author Rachael Lucas.


MY TAKE:
5 STARS!
This book was one of the best novellas that I’ve read so far because it told a complete story from start to finish without feeling like there were any holes in the story. Many novellas don’t quite seem to tell a complete story, or they are rushed through and you are left feeling that it had a lot of holes in it, but not with this 88 page novella. I did not feel like this story was rushed or missing a thing to it. This novella started out with a wedding theme, the author stuck to the theme, and it was very enjoyable. I happened to love it!
This story was nice as I was trying to imagine what Scotland looked like as Kate went here and there, talked about the different places she was going to while she was going, such as what the river looked like, crossing it, let alone the castle and the weather! It sounded so neat! I would LOVE to go and see castles like that! She felt pretty awesome that she had this amazing boyfriend who wanted her to live here with him in this unbelievable castle. We saw Roddy more in the begiining of this story, but he really only played a small role in this story, but the role he played in the middle was unforgetable! So unforgettable that the fans of this series NEED to read this novella or you're going to miss something huge, especially if you read the first book of this series! Hint, hint!
Kate felt awestruck at times that she was living in this castle with Roddy, the man she loved with all her heart! She had a lot of places to go and a lot of things to get done as she decorated for Christmas to get ready for their first wedding here at the castle. She talked about the decorating as she went about it, but both she and Roddy were a little worried because they did not feel they were quite yet ready to hold a wedding at the castle . . . yet. Kate, in particular, felt rushed. It was the PR company who wanted them to have the wedding now when Kate and Roddy would have rather waited until the coming Summer to have their first wedding instead of doing it now because they didn't feel the castle was exactly how they wanted it to look like quite yet.
This is a story that if I were to tell you anything more than what the description says, I will be giving you spoilers, so I’m going to stay away from ruining this for you. I will say it’s well worth the read! Pick it up and take a break this holiday season! You’ll be glad you did! I chose this book and bought it because it sounded interesting, and it was. I have a new author to read more books from! That is a nice holiday gift in itself!
Highly recommended!
Enjoy!
Laurie

Monday, December 15, 2014

My 'post' for the "Bout of Books" Read-A-Thon '12' January 5th to January 11th, 2015!

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Want to post on Twitter? We've written a tweet for you. All you need to do is click to tweet and grab your tweet URL (note: this is not your profile URL).

2. Add your link to the linky in this post. You have until Tuesday January 6th at 11:59pm CST to sign up. (If the linky is closed, you're too late.)

3. On January 5th, READ!



So this is MY post for the Bout of Book 12 Read-A-Thon!
YOU can sign-up to do this, too! Just go to Bout of Books, follow the directions, then sign-up on the LINKY LIST!

I am looking forward to ONLY reading books after the holidays! No more Christmas advertising - DONE! No more TONS OF MAIL! DONE! No more holiday things - done! January is a GREAT month to snuggle down and read! Heck, where I live you can't really get out easily anyway because of all the snow! So go on over and sign up! These are FUN! Especially the Challenges, Giveaways and a GRAND PRIZE, too! The BEST is getting to meet other Bloggers! That is MY favorite thing to do!

I have participated in this one other time, so this is my 2nd time around! Can't wait! These ARE FUN!

January 5th starts it all! 

Also, make sure to check the Bout of Books Blog every day of the Read-A-Thon to find out the Challenges and Giveaways for each day, and also to get the latest news for EACH DAY of the Read-A-Thon! She puts a post up each day for us and gives us the latest news! It's a MUST-DO! A FUN-DO! Remember, this is a NO PRESSURE Read-A-Thon! Just have FUN!

Enjoy!
Laurie


Sunday, December 14, 2014

The #NYTimes Top 15 (20) #Bestsellers for the week ending 12-14-14! PLUS BLOG UPDATES!


WELCOME! This post is always up by NOON every Sunday and sometimes earlier! Well, another week has gone by and I can't wait to see what books made the Bestseller list! I never read them ahead of time, only as I write them here, one by one! So I find out like you do by reading them one by one, what books made the list! It's FUN! I LOVE seeing what books hit the list each week! This is one of the reasons I love writing this post! So first, let's take a look and see what's going on at the blog!

GIVEAWAYS! There are a LOT of them going on NOW and 
ALL are ending THIS WEEK
Don't miss out! For ANY GIVEAWAYS, always look in the LEFT SIDE COLUMN to see them! Just click on the photo to enter them!

THESE ARE LISTED IN ORDER OF THE "END DATES" PLUS, THESE ARE ALSO LISTED ONE BY ONE IN THE LEFT SIDE COLUMN WHERE ALL GIVEAWAYS ARE POSTED! HERE WE GO!
*Thankful for #CASH $250 #PayPal #CASH #GIVEAWAY HOP! '1' #WINNER ENDS 12-15! Enter HERE!

#BESTOF2014 #GIVEAWAY BLOG HOP! '1' #WINNER OF #UGLYLove in #PRINT by +Colleen Hoover ! To 12-18! HERE! 

$300 HOLIDAY #PayPal #CASH #GIVEAWAY To 12-21! HERE! 

Just In the Nick of Time $250 #PayPal #CASH #GIVEAWAY To 12-22 HERE! 

#REVIEWS THIS PAST WEEK:
Christmas in July by Debbie Mason HERE!
A Christmas Reunion by Susanna Fraser HERE!

More #reviews to come this week!

Okay! Let's get to the books! 

FICTION: COMBINED EBOOK AND PRINT
ALL of these ebooks link TO the ebook. If you are interested in a different version, just click on the version you want in the grey box at the book's page! There are some AMAZING deals on some of the Bestsellers, don't pass them up because the price DOES GO UP! Enjoy!

1.  Gray Mountain by John Grisham
ebook: $  9.99
print:   $17.37



2. The Escape by David Baldacci
ebook: $10.99
print:   $12.97



3. Tom Clancy Full Force and Effect by Mark Greaney
ebook: $11.99
print:   $20.21



4. Hope to Die by James Patterson
ebook: $  9.99
print:   $12.97



5. The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
ebook: $  3.99
print:   $12.97



6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
ebook: $2.99
print:   $8.34



7. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
ebook: $  6.99
print:   $12.35



8. Revival by Stephen King
ebook: $12.74
print:   $17.04



9. Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty
ebook: $  3.99
print:   $16.16



10. Captivated By You by Sylvia Day
ebook: $7.99
print:   $9.60



11. Jason by Laurell K Hamilton
ebook: $5.99
print:   $6.47



12. You Were Mine by Abbi Glines
ebook: $  7.59
print:   $10.78



13. Forever With Me by Kristen Proby
ebook: $  3.99
print:   $13.49



14. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
ebook: $10.99
print:   $14.00



15. Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell
ebook: $10.99
print:   $ 9.74


As Always, thanks for coming by again! Here are the last 5!

  • NAUGHTY & NICE, by J. S. Scott and others (Golden Unicorn Enterprises)
  • DARK PLACES, by Gillian Flynn (Broadway)
  • THE MARTIAN, by Andy Weir (Crown)
  • THE CINDERELLA MURDER, by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke (Simon & Schuster)
  • EDGE OF ETERNITY, by Ken Follett (Dutton)
  • Thursday, December 11, 2014

    #REVIEW - "Christmas In July" by Debbie Mason


    Description:
    Grace Flaherty had given up hope of ever seeing her husband again. After all, it'd been over a year picked this up since he went missing in combat. So when he strides through the door of her bakery in downtown Christmas one sunny afternoon, she can hardly believe her eyes. But her happily-ever-after is going to take some effort - because Jack has no memory of his family.


    All Jack Flaherty remembers about Christmas is that he couldn't wait to leave town. Now he's a local hero with a wife and son he doesn't know. Even as he struggles to rekindle the romance with his wife, he knows in his heart what he wants: a second chance at love.


    MY TAKE:
    3 Stars
    WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. There really is no good way around them for this book if I am going to tell you about it.
    I picked this book up from Amazon because I love celebrating Christmas in July for a day or a week when stores have sales and such, even watching Christmas movies on TV (Hallmark did that this past summer for Christmas in July) but most of all I wanted to read a great Christmas story as this is the season for them now. I believe this was the largest disappointment for me that it did NOT take place during Christmas. This is a new author for me, too, one I have to get used to her writing. 
    The descsription of this book as to 'when' this story occurred was not listed, so I did the worse thing you can do, I 'assumed' this took place during the Christmas season, my fault. I assumed, and we all know what assume means! The book takes place in the town of Christmas. This book is a full novel, not a novella like most of the Christmas books out there, and in case you are the type of person who is wants ONLY 'clean' romances, this is not fully clean, as it did have a few scenes hot scenes in it. for one week
    Spoiler: I will say at the end of the book they 'did' make a week, from the 24th to the 30th a celebration of Christmas, though, so perhaps in her later books she may do something with this time of the year. I don't think knowing that WILL spoil the end of the book, but it can't hurt to list it.
    So poor Grace Flaherty gave up on her marriage on the day her husband would turn 35, because by now he had been presumed missing in action for over 1-1/2 years. She has heard nothing from him or the military. She has a little boy and must get on with her life for the sake of her son. She starts a business of her own, a bakery. She LOVES it!  
    One day Jack ends up walking into the bakery. There he is, full of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (I am glad there ARE books out here that involve this because it is a huge problem where soldiers are NOT being treated for it. This 'is' all the buzz in Washington as of the date I am writing this review, 12-11-14. Congress has decided something needs to be done about it because we have too many soldiers out there that are dealing with this. With this author writing a book like this, I hope someone has read this and is using it for this problem. GREAT job by this author, Debbie Mason!) 
    Jack has lost ALL of his long term memory, all of it from the point of the accident and behind. As a saced prisoner of war, when he woke up in the hospital he was in, the only memory he had was from that point on. He didn't even know he was married, but did find his way back to Grace, and without Grace's knowledge. He had had an affair with a fellow MIA woman, Maria DeMarco. Maria does make an appearance in this book later in the story assuming she'll get Jack back. 
    Jack's memory problems do bother Grace at times and she tried to be as understanding as she could be, but she expected since he had never met his own son which bothered her, she thought Jack would be more of a father figure than what he turned out to be. With as much work as it took Jack to try to remember things and things he had to learn to redo, Maria is on his mind. Grace's nerves were running short, as they should have been. Jack didn't really seem to be working on remembering things. It took a LOT of work by Grace to help Jack. There were so many problems between the two of them, Maria especially being one, as he still remembered her. Grace really couldn't be too angry about that since Jack didn't know who he was, but still . . . she couldn't help it as she IS his wife. There were so many obstacles for them to overcome, and it seemed like one after another and another. It just wasn't pleasant reading with all of them. Maria comes back, too. She thinks Jack is hers, and they have to deal with that, but even after then, more problems occur and this is where I felt the book was just dragging on. This is where I did not want to finish the book. I'm glad I did because there was another good twist at the end
    Did I really 'like' this story? Yes and no. It seemed to drag on and on towards the end of this book, and that is what bothered me the most. I was ready for it to end, and I got to the point where I didn't want to pick the book back up again to finish it, but I did. There was a huge twist at the end of the book as I kept getting closer to the end, I was happy with how it turned out, but . . . another twist? Can't we wrap this up?
    This is my opinion about this book. Other people loved this book, even giving it 5 stars, so I guess I need to read more from this author.

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    BEST OF 2014 #GIVEAWAY HOP! #ENTER 12-11 to 12-18! 1 #Winner #UGLYLove in PRINT!

         Great thanks to our Sponsors, Bookhounds and I Am A Reader! Thank you!!!

    Welcome to the BEST OF 2014 #GIVEAWAY HOP!

    INTERNATIONAL #GIVEAWAY! - As long the Book Depository can deliver to your address!
    US - This book will come from #Amazon!

    '1' #WINNER! You will receive ONE #PRINT COPY OF #UGLYLove by +Colleen Hoover !

    Even "I" don't own the print copy! So many of us bought and ordered the ebook version of this book so we could GET IT IMMEDIATELY when it released at midnight the day it did! I remember! That was MY intention! I wanted it and I was going to read is RIGHT THEN! DONE! However, don't we ALL want the PRINT VERSION? I DO!!! This is going to be one of MY Christmas presents from ME to ME! LOL!!! My husband and I don't buy for each other - strange, huh! I AGREE!!! So I make UP for it! HA, HA!!! I may even go a little overboard at times, too! LOL!!! And NO shhhh about it!! I deserve it like ALL OF YOU deserve a chance to win a FREE copy of this, too! We ALL LOVE Colleen Hoover, and here's your chance! Just fill out the form below! Good luck, but most of ALL, ENJOY IT!! Frame it if you would rather do so, make a framed collage out of it if you want to keep it in pristine condition, seal it in glass, or, read it! You can do whatever you want to do with it! (I'm thinking of a framed collage!!! Ooooo! Maybe I'll try to keep it behind glass to 'try' to keep any dust off of it?? Hmmm??? What do you think?



    HERE IS THE FORM YOU NEED TO FILL OUT! IT'S RIGHT BELOW! THE OTHER BLOGS IN THIS HOP ARE BELOW THE FORM WITH OTHER #GIVEAWAYS LISTED, TOO, ALL ON THIS BLOG! YOU COULD WIN A LOT OF CASH!!! There is NOTHING better than winning a TON of PAYPAL CASH at the Holidays!!! Good Luck!!






    BEFORE YOU GO - LOOK IN THE LEFT SIDE COLUMN AT THE TOP! You'll see a TON of #PAYPAL CASH GIVEAWAYS, ONE AFTER THE OTHER WHICH YOU CAN ENTER STILL! There should be 3 of them! WOW!! Go ahead and enter! If you get lost, click on the HOME button OR I will have THIS GIVEAWAY listed in the SAME PLACE - THE LEFT SIDE COLUMN shortly! Click on it and you'll be back HERE to be able to see the other blogs! There is another Blog Hop ENDING AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT - THE PHOTO IS A HEART OF STARS! IT'S THE 2014 DEBUT AUTHOR GIVEAWAY HOP! ENTER IT! YOU MIGHT WIN A LOT!!!

    THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH FOR COMING BY! I REALLY APPRECIATE IT!!! Here are ALL the OTHER BLOGS PARTICIPATING IN THIS HOP! HOP TO THEM AND ENTER THEIR GIVEAWAYS, TOO! GOOD LUCK!!!


    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!



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