Archives for November 2015

Fall Reading Challenge: The Legacy of Us by Kristin Contino (Chrissy’s review)

blog-post-legacy

 

The Legacy of UsThe Legacy of Us
written by Kristin Contino
published by SparkPress, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I enjoyed this book. It was a great story that had me hooked until the very end. It wasn’t a “I can’t put the book down until I’m finished” hooked, but it was a “I am engrossed in this story and I want to see how it ends” hooked.

The Legacy of Us starts with a found cameo and leads Liz, and the readers, to a family story that even Liz’s mother didn’t know. I loved that the “reading” of the journal morphed into the narration of Liz’s grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s stories. It was fascinating to read. I thought Liz was a perfect character to find the cameo and journal. She was a romantic at heart, an artist, and the only that could truly appreciate the cameo and the story behind it. All the characters were well developed, and I liked their decisions throughout the story. I was glad that Cate held her ground. I thought Justin was sweet.

All in all, The Legacy of Us is a great romance story that is heartbreaking yet refreshing.

everyfree4

Would I recommend it: I would. It is a good women’s fiction read.
chrissysig

About the book: Liz Moretti thought she knew almost everything about her grandmother, Ella, from her love of “The Golden Girls” to the perfect pound cake recipe. But when Ella passes away and Liz finds a cameo locket with a marriage proposal engraved inside (from a man who was not her grandfather), she realizes that sometimes a person’s secrets are discovered only after they’re gone.

On top of losing Ella, Liz’s career as a jewelry designer is stagnant and her love life lacks sparkle, too. When she reconnects with the one who got away, Liz thinks maybe things are finally starting to look up. But after a few drinks and a trip down a flight of stairs, Liz wakes up to realize the cameo is gone. Her ex offers to look for it, but so does Justin, the intriguing new guy in her apartment building.

While dealing with her feelings for two very different men and generally trying to reinvent her mess of a life, Liz finds answers and solace in Ella’s diary. The story of the cameo, and the relationship between her grandmother and great-grandmother, an outspoken socialite from Italy, inspires Liz to grow up and accept responsibility for her missteps. Eventually she must choose between the life she thought she wanted and the promise of something better.

 

About the author: Kristin Contino grew up in a world of writing and reading, which evolved into a career as a freelance writer, editor, and women’s fiction reviewer. Kristin enjoys spending time with her family and loves travel, photography and dreams of moving to her favorite city, London. The Legacy of Us is her debut novel.

frc-logo

efchappy

 

October 2015 Subscription Boxes

Hi, Everyone!

Here are our subscriptions from the month of October. This is a long post with lots of pictures!!! I hope you don’t mind. =)

 

Muse Monthly

Muse Monthly October 2015

This box included Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins and a tin of Blood Orange tea. The tea was very good.

Lit-Cube

Lit-Cube October 2015 (1)

I love the mini nail polish bottles and the key chain is pretty cool!

Lit-Cube October 2015 (2)  Lit-Cube October 2015 (3)

The Bookworm Box

Bookworm October 2015 (2)

Uppercase

Uppercase Box October 2015 (2)

Uppercase Box October 2015 (3)

How cute is this Alice in Wonderland change purse!

Uppercase Box October 2015 (4)

These temporary tattoos are awesome!

 

Owl Crate

OwlCrate October 2015 (1)

The sugar skull erasers from NPW are cool and the Poe-lka Dot canvas pouch from Out of Print Clothing is awesome!

Book Riot YA Quarterly

Book Riot Quarterly - October 2015 (1)

Jamberry StyleBox

 

Gina's Oct 2015 Stylebox feminine

The Feminine October StyleBox!

October 2015 Stylebox

The Trendy October StyleBox!

 

BirchBox

 Birchbox Oct 2015

Ipsy

 oct 2015 ipsy (2)

KiwiCrate

October 2015 Kiwi Crate (1)

These are the little creatures my kids made from the October crate! They had so much fun making these!

These are the little creatures my kids made from the October crate! They had so much fun making these!

Aug 2015 Kiwi Crate (1)

This is a fish lantern from the September crate. It came with an LED light. It was really cute all lit up!

Check out these paddle boats from the September Crate!

Check out these paddle boats from the September Crate!

Aug 2015 Kiwi Crate (2)

This is a cash register and chalk board that came in the August crate. It also came with play money.

 

 

What do you think of month’s boxes?

Do you subscribe to any boxes? If so, which ones? I did include my referral links, so if you’re interested, please feel free to use them! I know I would appreciate it.

chrissysig

 

efchappy

 

Melissa’s Review: Heroes of Earth by Martin Berman-Gorvine

Heroes of Earth

Heroes of Earth
written by Martin Berman-Gorvine
published by Wildside Press, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) AmazoniBooksGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
Theoretically, yes. Actually, not really. I don’t know. Maybe I’m too far removed from the YA audience this book is intended for, but unless I’ve completely forgotten how to be a teenager (which is totally possible), I think Berman-Gorvine wanders off tangentially WAY too often. Yes, sure, it’s cool that the characters all watch the same show, but do we really need to spend half a page detailing the actors in the show and their interpersonal relationships when it’s not remotely relevant to the plot?

Writing a book is cool. Thinking about all the little world-building details is part of the fun, and spending time doing so is what can make a good writer a great one. The thing is though, a great writer also knows that almost all of that world-building gets left on the cutting room floor.

everyfree3

Would I recommend it: If you don’t mind sifting through gratuitous detail, go for it.

melissasig

About the book – from Goodreads: 
If alien beings had conquered the Earth, would you feel justified in using terrorism to drive them out? This is the question confronting the teenage heroes of my YA science fiction novel, Heroes of Earth (Wildside Press, May 8, 2015).

Close to half a century after starfish-like creatures from a star 20 light-years away short-circuited Apollo 11’s mission to the Moon, Alison Grossbard, her brother Arnold, his girlfriend Kayleigh Scott, and their friend Jo Purnell struggle with this impossible moral dilemma and the trials of growing up in coastal Virginia. Their actions will change their world forever.

 

efchappy

Gina’s Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale

The Nightingale 
written by Kristin Hannah
published by St. Martin’s Press, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
Yes. I didn’t simply enjoy it . . . I savored this book. Fiction based during World War II is one of my favorite things. Some of the best books I’ve found pull out every emotion I have and leave me a blob on the floor, and The Nightingale is no exception. Isabelle and Vianne are beautifully written; if I had sisters, I would want them to be like these two women. I shared every moment of heartache and every moment of joy with them. I don’t know how Hannah is able to do it, but her writing is powerful. She is a gifted storyteller. This is yet another novel I’ve read this year that will stay with me.

 

GOLDEN LINE

“If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”

 

everyfree5

Would I recommend it: YES! Please go buy it!

ginasig

About the book – from Goodreads:

In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real–and deadly–consequences.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

 

efchappy

Boost It Tuesday! – November 24, 2015

boost-it-TuesdayEFC

Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free ChanceCandace’s Book Blog, & If These Books Could Talk for  Boost It Tuesday!

 

What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.

 

Here are some tips for Boosting. A big thanks to Kate at If These Books Could Talk for the image!

Boost It Poster

 

As an added bonus, Candace, Kate, and I will be hosting a giveaway each week just to say thanks for the boost!

 

For this week’s giveaway, head over to the If These Books Could Talk Facebook page and answer the question in the Boost It post!

 

If you would like to host the giveaway on your Facebook page one week, please fill out the form below. Be sure to notice the rules.

Click Here to Sign Up to Host the Giveaway

 

Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!


 if these books could talk
 

efchappy

Belinda’s Book Club Recap: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

efcrecap

We had a smaller group than usual last night. Medical issues and late electricians took their toll on our attendance. Fortunately, an amazing literary accomplishment filled the empty spaces around the table.

The Light Between Oceans is an emotional tsunami. Decidedly, the best book anyone in our book group had read in many years.

We never made it to the list of questions I printed out from the Miles Franklin Literary Award website. The discussion spontaneously ebbed and flowed from topic to topic. We kept repeating words like, “imagery” and “symbolism” while finding it impossible to choose a single character that we couldn’t relate to on some level.

The Light Between Oceans reminded me of why I love my book group. And why discussing meaningful novels enriches the experience. So, how are we going to top last night’s discussion? Next month we read Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Orphans? Trains? American history? Oh, yeah–endless fodder for opinions is definitely on the menu for next month’s meeting.

I can hardly wait.

belindasig

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans 
written by M. L. Stedman
published by Scribner, 2012

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble (Nook) (print), Amazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Read Gina’s 5-star review here and Gina’s Book Club Recap here

About the book – from Goodreads: After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.

If you belong to a book group, please tell us about what you’re reading in the comments.

If you would like to join this feature, please feel free to do so by posting your own Book Club Recap and linking it in the comments. 

efchappy

Story Time with Sara: The Shape of Me and Other Stuff by Dr. Seuss

storytime

The Shape of Me and Other StuffThe Shape of Me and Other Stuff
written by Dr. Seuss
published by Picture Lions, 2005 (1973)

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
I really enjoyed this book. It is one of the Seuss books I’d never heard of before picking it up at the library. It is a fun little story about how everything has a different shape and no two things are shaped exactly the same way.

I can see this being very applicable in our current body shape obsessed world. I think it’s a wonderful way to introduce small children to the concept of loving the shape of your body because it is unique, it’s yours, and it’s the only one you get. This would be a GREAT book for sneaking positive body image ideas into kids’ heads long before they’re old enough to start seeing how cruel the world can be. Plant the seed and water it enough and it will grow . . . cheesy, I know, but hey . . . I review kids’ books.

Even without body image discussions, this is still a fun, silly, rhyming Dr. Seuss book like you’d expect. The illustrations are not very colorful because they’re mostly the shadows of things, but it doesn’t detract from the story. My son enjoyed it but it wasn’t his favorite (hence the star rating).

everyfree3.5

Would I recommend it: Yes, there are very few Dr. Seuss books that I would NOT recommend and this isn’t one of them. If you are looking for a fun, silly book, this one is for you. If you are looking to plant the seeds of body image, this book might be right for your family. Take a look and leave me a comment with what you think!

sarasig

About the book – from Goodreads: Subtitled “Dr. Seuss’s Surprising Word Book,” The Shape of Me and Other Stuff certainly lives up to its billing. In this delightful book, first published in 1973, kids are encouraged to ponder shapes they may never have considered before: “Just think about the shape of beans and flowers and mice and big machines!” Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are in silhouette (for the purpose of accenting the outlines of figures), but are nonetheless up to par with his usual wacky, amusing style. Soaring well beyond the mundane arena of circles, triangles, and squares, here we are challenged to consider “the shape of camels … the shape of bees and the wonderful shapes of back door keys!” Kids will love the silly rhymes and funny pictures, and parents will appreciate this original take on the largely untapped world of shapes.

 

efchappy

DNF: The Beast of Cretacea by Todd Strasser

The Beast of Cretacea

The Beast of Cretacea
written by Todd Strasser
published by Candlewick Press, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: The end of Chapter 34 — page 166 of the ARC.

Why I stopped reading: I wanted to like this book. I really did. I had high hopes that my memory of being forced to read Moby Dick in high school would be swept away by a new, awesome, sci-fi version of the same story (ish). <sigh> It’s the COOL version of Moby Dick. I just don’t like it. Mr. Strasser can awesome it up all he wants . . . I’m just not into ocean beast hunting.

melissasig
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The Beast of Cretacea is 4.27 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 5 stars. There were 2 5-star reviews on Amazon. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: Master storyteller Todd Strasser reimagines the classic tale of Moby Dick as set in the future—and takes readers on an epic sci-fi adventure.

When seventeen-year-old Ishmael wakes up from stasis aboard the Pequod, he is amazed by how different this planet is from the dirty, dying, Shroud-covered Earth he left behind. But Ishmael isn’t on Cretacea to marvel at the fresh air, sunshine, and endless blue ocean. He’s here to work, risking his life to hunt down great ocean-dwelling beasts to harvest and send back to the resource-depleted Earth. Even though easy prey abounds, time and again the chase boat crews are ordered to ignore it in order to pursue the elusive Great Terrafin. It’s rumored that the ship’s captain, Ahab, lost his leg to the beast years ago, and that he’s now consumed by revenge. But there may be more to Captain Ahab’s obsession. Dark secrets and dangerous exploits swirl around the pursuit of the beast, and Ishmael must do his best to survive—if he can.

 

efchappy

 

Boost It Tuesday! – November 17, 2015

boost-it-TuesdayEFC

Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free ChanceCandace’s Book Blog, & If These Books Could Talk for  Boost It Tuesday!

 

What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.

 

Here are some tips for Boosting. A big thanks to Kate at If These Books Could Talk for the image!

Boost It Poster

 

As an added bonus, Candace, Kate, and I will be hosting a giveaway each week just to say thanks for the boost!

We have a guest host this week!! Check out Between My Lines.

 

For this week’s giveaway, head over to the Between My Lines Facebook page and answer the question in the Boost It post!

 

If you would like to host the giveaway on your Facebook page one week, please fill out the form below. Be sure to notice the rules.

Click Here to Sign Up to Host the Giveaway

 

Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!

 


 

 if these books could talk
 

efchappy

Chrissy’s Review: Lost in Rome by Cindy Callaghan

Lost in romeLost in Rome (Lost in Europe series)
written by Cindy Callaghan
published by Aladdin, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
I really did. Lost in Rome is my favorite of the Lost in Europe series.

I loved the setting, the food, the matchmaking, the remembered connection. It was a fun, sweet, quick read. Go grab a slice and enjoy!

everyfree5

Would I recommend it: Yes!!! This is such a fun series.

chrissysig

About the book – from Goodreads: 
When Lucy heads to Rome for the summer, she’s is in for pizza, pasta, and a little amore in this M!X novel from the author of Lost in London.

Lucia “Lucy” Rossi thought she was going to be a camp counselor for the summer, but, thanks to a very fortunate twist, she ends up in Rome, Italy, helping out at her aunt’s restaurant, Amore Pizzeria. Lucy can’t wait to see some ruins, eat all the gelato she can, and maybe say a few buongiornos to some cute Italian boys.

But Lucy arrives to Italian trouble. Her aunt is in danger of losing her business, thanks to a flashy new pizzeria down the road that is all style, but no substance. In order to try and save the shop, Lucy decides to employ a very unique version of matchmaking—making matches based on customer’s pizza preferences. Soon, word of the American matchmaker gets out, and it looks like the business might be saved! Or so she thinks—until someone decides to try and sabotage the newfound success of Amore pizza. Can Lucy figure out who might be behind everything? Or will her family be saying ciao to Amore Pizzeria for good?

 

 

efchappy