WHAT I'M READING || AUGUST 2019

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Hey, friends! I'm back with another "What I'm Reading", and this month's reads had me a little bummed. High hopes were not met. But book reviews are the best of both worlds, so I'm sharing them anyway. Scroll down to see my thoughts about this month's reads (I think you'll be surprised at which one was my favorite!).




WINTER IN PARADISE BY ELIN HILDERBRAND ||

Stars: 4

Thoughts: I have seen the name Elin Hilderbrand allllll over my social media lately. The reviews I've seen made me anxious to pick up one of her books asap, especially before the end of summer. Being the first time I've read one of Hilderbrand's novels, I had high hopes. But...I was a tad disappointed.

Let me start by saying that the storyline was really interesting. It was a refreshing twist on the "secret family" plot. But...it was a struggle to get to that point for me. I've said this before, but I have a really difficult time with too many character point-of-views, and I was totally lost in the beginning. I almost felt like I needed a notepad and a pen to keep track of the characters and their significance in the story. I'm one that likes to get to know one or two characters in depth, maybe three if they're really interesting. I also felt like the start was a bit slow, even though a significant event happens in the very beginning. Call me crazy, but the first few chapters of the book just didn't hit the mark for me.

BUT...(I know, a lot of buts) once I got through the beginning, it was worth the time. I found myself saying, "OKAY, BUT WHAT HAPPENED?" over and over again. Of course, the book ends with a major cliffhanger, which is a genius move for Hilderbrand since this is the first book of a series.

Overall, it was good. Will I read the next book in the series? Probably. Will I read any other of Hilderbrand's novels? Maybe.

Side note: I did really, really love the cover. It made me yearn to be on a crystal clear beach in the middle of nowhere (but not for the reasons Irene was, obviously).


SAFE HARBOUR BY DANIELLE STEEL ||

Stars: 2

Thoughts: Yikes...I don't think I've ever given a book two stars before. I really, really wanted to love this book. In my last book review post, I gave another Steel novel five stars. I was expecting another five-star novel with Safe Harbour.

But this was not it for me. I hate saying anything bad about books because as an author, I know how much those negative reviews sting. But the best way I can say how I felt about this book was that it was, unfortunately, boring. I almost never not finish a book, but I seriously thought about it with this one. 

I will say the ending was a serious, "Whoa, what? Did that just happen??" It was the best part of the book.

We'll see how the next Steel novel goes for me.


TRUE COLORS BY KRISTIN HANNAH ||

Stars: 2.5

Thoughts: Okay, I feel like a real jerk now because I've given less than three stars two times in a row. But I found myself in the middle of another slower-paced novel with this one, and I don't do well in slow-paced novels.

This book is long. Like almost-500 pages long. There is a lot of meat to this book. It's a great deal to take in. There is an element of suspense with a small-town murder that tears two of the main characters apart and that part was interesting to me. But I think the book still would have been interesting if it would have been trimmed down a bit.

I'm happy I found out what happened at the end, but I don't think I'll reread it.


THE CONFESSION BY JOHN GRISHAM ||

Stars: 5

Thoughts: I'm redeeming my lack of stars with this book! Remember when I said you'd be surprised at which one of these four was my favorite? Well, if you're not, I sure was. Not because I don't like Grisham (I think he's phenomenal), but because I expected to like the other books better. That aside, this book was very, very good. It's a legal thriller, but with my background in law, I devoured it. Grisham did a spectacular job at leaving the reader needing to know what happens next, and you know that's something I adore. 

The reviews on Goodreads gave this book quite a bit of negativity because it was viewed by some readers as "too political", as it focuses on the death penalty. As an author myself, I know that authors write about all sorts of things, and sometimes that means taking a point-of-view for the novel's sake. I personally don't believe it was Grisham's intention to use the book as a way to speak his opinion about the death penalty, but that's your call to make.



I need to know - have you read any of these? What are your thoughts??


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BIG NEWS FOR "ONE STEP FORWARD"!

My big bookish news is finally here!

If you’re one of my email subscribers, then you’ve already celebrated with me. But if not, it’s time to celebrate now!

There were a lot of guesses that my news was about my second book. Unfortunately, not yet (news coming soon!!). But my news is about “One Step Forward”, my first published novel!

Introducing...the newest book cover for “One Step Forward”! Redesigned from front cover to back cover, the new version of OSF is officially available on Amazon and Kindle!



Sooo, what do you think?? Do you love it as much as I do?!

If you do, I’d absolutely adore it if you’d share this post on whatever social media channel you see it on today (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter)! It’s the easiest way you can support me and my writing (and free, too).

If you need a copy of the new “One Step Forward”, you can purchase one HERE.

Need to read the synopsis before you dive in? Read that HERE.

Want an inside peek? Sign up for my newsletter and get the first two chapters for FREE.

Thank you for all of your support and stayed tuned! More bookish news coming very soon. 😄


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TWENTY BOOKS EVERY MOM SHOULD READ AT LEAST ONCE

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“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” 
- Washington Irving


My daughter, Lilli, has been in a "compliment" phase lately. It's one of the best phases she's ever gone through, and I pray she never outgrows it. She said something to me recently that really grasped at my heartstrings. We were cuddling on the couch together, watching whatever television show PBS was airing, and she looked up at me and said:

"You're the best mommy ever."

It's such a simple sentence. We were doing nothing extraordinary. I was not feeding her pounds of chocolate. Our day had not gone any differently than our usual routine. But still, Lilli found my presence to be her favorite in that moment, and her sentence held on to me long after she said it.

I wanted to make a post dedicated to all of the moms that dedicate their rare spare time to reading. Whether you're a mom that needs a little extra encouragement or just looking for something to make you laugh, I hope you can find it here.



FOR THE MOM THAT NEEDS ENCOURAGEMENT





    


FOR THE MOM THAT NEEDS A LAUGH







    


FOR THE MOM THAT NEEDS AN 
EXTRA DOSE OF JESUS





    


FOR THE MOM THAT NEEDS TO 
KNOW SHE'S NOT ALONE



    


FOR THE MOM THAT NEEDS TO 
KNOW THAT SHE'S DOING A GOOD JOB



    


FOR THE MOM THAT NEEDS TO 
CONNECT WITH HER CHILD(REN)



    




You already know what I'm going to say: I LOVE hearing your recommendations! If you have any other motherhood-empowering books, leave them in the comments below so I can check them out!

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WHAT I'M READING || JULY 2019

Hey there! Just so you know, this post contains affiliate links, which allow me to support my website and writing career. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon!


Hello and happy August! I hope this summer had treated you well and that you've read many good books! I certainly have, which is why I'm way behind on publishing reviews! I'm low on time lately (aka always), so let's jump right in with some of what I've read this summer!





LEAVE NO TRACE BY MINDY MEJIA ||

Stars: 3.5

Thoughts: It's interesting, that's for sure. I can't say I've ever read a book with a plot similar to this one. I like the touch of romance throughout the book, and I'm always a fan of twists and turns. If I'm being 100% honest, I read this book at the beginning of summer so I don't remember too much how I felt while reading it (which also means I didn't connect with it like I do with some books). I do know that I enjoyed it, but I'm not dying to read it again.


POWER PLAY BY DANIELLE STEEL

Stars: 5

Thoughts: I've been reading Steel's work quite often lately, and while I've had mixed feelings about some of them, this one was definitely not a miss for me. I'm usually not a fan of too many point-of-views, but Steel nailed the different characters and their own experiences. Fiona was my favorite character; I highly enjoyed her strong sense of self. This book never lacked in drama, but in a good way.


GOODNIGHT NOBODY BY JENNIFER WEINER

Stars: 4.5

Thoughts: This is the second book I've read by Weiner and I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed Who Do You Love? Why? The humor. I laughed-out-loud quite a few times while reading this book, which is rare coming from me. I adored the main character, Kate. She's a mom of three that points out all that's wrong with modern motherhood. She also gets herself tangled in a suburban murder, which is always interesting. Read if you like a good laugh in the face of motherhood and a mystery on top.


TRULY MADLY GUILTY BY LIANE MORIARTY

Stars: 4

Thoughts: I had a lot of people recommend this book to me, and overall, I'm glad I took their advice. This is my first novel by Moriarty and it left me impressed. I turned the pages quickly because I was just dying to know what happened at the cook-out that left such a mark on the guests. The "big secret" shocked me, but not as much as the end. The final few pages even put a tear in the eyes of my pregnant (and hormonal) self.


Let me know if you've read any of these and what you thought of them!

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