Archives for March 2017

Gina’s Review: The Nix by Nathan Hill

The NixThe Nix 
written by Nathan Hill
published by Knopf, 2016

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


Did I enjoy this book: 
This book is an EXPERIENCE. It’s a slow start, but as it progresses it gets better and better. There are a lot of details you have to keep straight, and the cast of characters is a mix of ones you’ll love and ones you won’t. There’s some mystery, and as you uncover more and more of the story, you’ll be excited to piece it together. You’ll get a look into the world of a protesting hippie–it isn’t always pretty, but it feels real. The way Nathan Hill mirrors some of today’s political climate with that of years ago is eerie. It’s truly an awesome book, although it is over six hundred pages, so prepare yourself for a long read.

GOLDEN LINE

“Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in our own story that we don’t see how we’re supporting characters in someone else’s.”

 

 

Would I recommend it: Yes! This is definitely a book I think everyone should try and read.

 

Gina

About the book – from Goodreads: It’s 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson—college professor, stalled writer—has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn’t seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she’s re-appeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the internet, and inflames a politically divided country. The media paint Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high-school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain: she’s facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel’s help.

To save her, Samuel will have to embark on his own journey, uncovering long-buried secrets about the woman he thought he knew, secrets that stretch across generations and have their origin all the way back in Norway, home of the mysterious Nix. As he does so, Samuel will confront not only Faye’s losses but also his own lost love and will relearn everything he thought he knew about his mother and himself.

 

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My Favorite . . . Animated Movie — March 22, 2017

 

My Favorite . . . is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it, the world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.

 

Each week I will post a new My Favorite . . . post about one subject and I’ll tell you all about it. And the best part? Everyone is welcome to join. The only thing you’ll have to do is sign up on the weekly post, link back to that post, and visit others.

 

This week’s Favorite is: Animated Movie

 

This is a tough one. It’s hard to pick one. I love Despicable Me and Minions movies. I LOVE Moana. And of course I love Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Tangled. I don’t think I can pick just one. But those are some of my favorites.

 

 

DNF: Dreams of Youth by Christopher Abraham

Dreams of Youth: The Vindicated

Dreams of Youth 
written by Christopher Abraham
published by Christopher Abraham, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links)  Amazon, Goodreads

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

Where I stopped reading: page 132

Why I stopped reading: I tried. I really did. I tried to get past the grammar issues and enjoy the What Dreams May Come vibe, but then I got to chapter 13, where Abraham introduces a third set of unrelated characters, bringing the total character count up to what seemed like seventy zillion. I felt like I was starting all over at the beginning of an entirely different book, and I’ll be honest, the plot lines of the first two sets of characters are so weird I just couldn’t take anymore.

 

Melissa

 

What others have rated this book: There are no ratings and no reviews on Goodreads.  There was one 4-star review and one 3-star review on Amazon. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: The first novel in the Dreams of Youth Series.

“From vindicated actions to twisted hearts, the shooting stars form our destiny.”

It’s a sickening feeling in ones core when ones life cannot be defined. Dusk Hollow, a young man living on the planet known as Eryu, experiences this first hand. When someone precious to him is taken, Dusk must face the trials and tribulations of that undeniable truth. He will do all that he can to get her back. He will journey through landscapes he could only picture in his head. He will defy the odds against those who wish to crush him. He will deny death.

——-

There sits a girl who always gazes at the stars, wishing they would take her someplace far away. Her mother disappears one afternoon and her story unfolds thereafter. Through blank pages and close friends, Essa Starlight begins to understand who she is. She learns sometimes that harsh words are said with good intentions.

This is a story where a dream can shape everything.

This is a story, where what’s inside matters most.

 

Happy 2

 

Blog Tour: Playing House by Laura Chapman (spotlight, guest post, giveaway)

Playing House
written by Laura Chapman
published by Laura Chapman, 2017

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

About the book – from the author: She’s a work in progress . . .

Bailey Meredith has had it. As an assistant at a prestigious interior design firm, she’s tired of making coffee and filing invoices. She’ll do just about anything to get out from under the paperwork and into the field for real experience. Then she sees an ad for a job that seems too good to be true.

He’s a fixer upper . . .

Wilder Aldrich knew she would be perfect for the crew the moment he saw her. His hit home improvement show only hired the best, and Bailey had potential written all over her. It isn’t just her imaginative creativity and unmatched work ethic that grabs his attention. There’s just something about her.

With chemistry on screen, it’s only a matter of time before sparks fly behind the scenes as well. But with Bailey’s jaded views on romance and a big secret that could destroy Wilder and everyone he cares about are either of them willing to risk it all for love?

 

Guest Post
Music plays an important part in my writing process.

Before and during the writing process, I tend to create a playlist of songs that fit the story, a character, or a particular scene. While I don’t always listen when I write (sometimes I need total silence or light background noise), I tend to listen to the same songs over and over and over when I’m in my car, on the treadmill, at my day job. The music helps keep the story in my mind even when I am not working on it. The songs also help me get back into the story when I return for revisions.

My playlist for Playing House is a little out of control. I typically go back and revise it, along with the story, but I just can’t bring myself to remove any of the songs.

But because I don’t want to make you sit down and listen to each of those songs right now (though you’re welcome to follow my playlist on Spotify), I thought I’d share the five songs I played most while writing this story.

1. Out of the Woods by Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams dropped his cover album of Taylor Swift’s 1989 while I was planning and plotting out Playing House. I kind of became obsessed with it, and as a result, pretty much the whole album is on my playlist. This song was my favorite, though. With the beautiful instrumentals blending with Ryan’s sad, whimsical voice, this song really spoke to me when writing some of the more serious scenes. Plus, the line “We were built to fall apart, then fall back together” really seemed to ring true for the story I was telling.

2. Beautiful Disaster by Jon McLaughlin
Winning the prize for artist with the second-most amount of songs on the playlist . . . If Bailey Madison, the heroine of Playing House, had to pick a song to describe herself, I think this would be it. I have been a big fan of listening to Jon McLaughlin while writing since my friend and fellow author Brea Brown introduced me to his music a few years ago. I also had the chance to hear him perform—and meet him after the concert—the month before I started writing this story. Here’s a super dark photo of us:

3. Something by The Beatles
If our hero Wilder Aldrich was to pick a song to describe Bailey, this would be it. (Notice how different they are??) Because when it comes to Bailey, for Wilder, there’s just something about her.

4. Love Should Be A Crime by O-Town
So, I unapologetically love and celebrate the boy bands of the ‘90s and ‘00s, including O-Town. This was one of my favorites back in my high school days, but I admit, I’d kind of forgotten about it. Until I created Bailey. She’s someone who really doesn’t want to fall in love, because she doesn’t want to deal with heartache. I was more than halfway through my first draft when this song popped into my head and I had to add it.

5. Piece by Piece by Kelly Clarkson
I think if you read the book, this one becomes pretty clear. But as a quick shout-out to my girl Kelly, she’s one of my favorite artists to listen to while writing. I was actually listening to Breakaway in the car when I came up with the idea for the first book I wrote to completion. She’s amazing.

And okay, I know I said I was only going to do five, but I just remember a sixth one I listened to on repeat, so consider this a bonus track . . .

Bonus: Perfect – Stripped by One Direction
See my previous note about boy bands and amend it to include the bands of the ‘10s. If Wilder Aldrich was to pick a song that could best summarize himself, this would probably be it. I actually pretty much summarized a line of this song in a bit of dialogue I wrote for Wilder. :/ Thanks, boys. Plus, with the reality TV/celebrity element and the “together for now” themes of the story, this seemed to fit.

What are your favorite songs to listen to right now? Feel free to leave it in the comments below.

And if you’re curious, here’s the playlist:

 

About the author: Laura Chapman is the author of First & Goal, Going for Two, Three & Out, The Marrying Type, and Playing House. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. She loves talking to readers. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also get the latest news from her website, blog, and monthly newsletter.

 

giveaway

This month, during the Playing House blog tour, you can enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win one of 1 free Audible copy each of The Marrying Type, First & Goal, Going for Two or 1 $20 Amazon gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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February 2017 Subscription Boxes

what's in the box 4

Hi, Everyone!

Here are our subscriptions from the month of February:

 

Lit-Cube

Uppercase

The Bookish Box

 

GeekGear – World of Wizardry

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.

 

Chrissy

 

Happy 2

 

Winter Reading Challenge: It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany (spotlight)

It Happens All the TimeIt Happens All the Time
written by Amy Hatvany
published by Atria Books, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: From master storyteller Amy Hatvany—whose writing has been hailed as “gripping and emotionally honest” (Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times betselling author)—comes a provocative and compelling novel about two friends whose lives are changed by a drunken kiss.

I want to rewind the clock, take back the night when the world shattered. I want to erase everything that went wrong.

Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers—trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their relationship is strictly platonic, Tyler has long harbored the secret desire that they might one day become more than friends.

Returning home for the summer after her college graduation, Amber begins spending more time with Tyler than she has in years. Despite the fact that Amber is engaged to her college sweetheart, a flirtation begins to grow between them. One night, fueled by alcohol and concerns about whether she’s getting married too young, Amber kisses Tyler.

What happens next will change them forever.

In alternating points of view, It Happens All the Time examines the complexity of sexual dynamics between men and women and offers an incisive exploration of gender roles, expectations, and the ever-timely issue of consent.

Amy HatvanyAbout the author: Amy Hatvany was born in Seattle, WA in 1972, the youngest of three children. She graduated from Western Washington University in 1994 with a degree in Sociology only to discover most sociologists are unemployed. Soon followed a variety of jobs – some of which she loved, like decorating wedding cakes; others which she merely tolerated, like receptionist. In 1998, Amy finally decided to sell her car, quit her job, and take a chance on writing books.

The literary gods took kindly to her aspirations and THE KIND OF LOVE THAT SAVES YOU was published in 2000 by Bantam Doubleday. THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS was picked up by NAL in 2002. (Both titles published under “Yurk.”)

Amy spends most of her time today with her second and final husband, Stephan. (Seriously, if this one doesn’t work out, she’s done.) She stays busy with her two children, Scarlett and Miles, and her “bonus child,” Anna. Their blended family also includes two four-legged hairy children, commonly known as Black Lab mutts, Kenda and Dolcé. When Amy’s not with friends or family, she is most likely reading, cooking or zoning out on certain reality television shows. Top Chef is a current favorite. She eagerly awaits auditions for the cast of “Top Author.” (“Quick Edit” instead of “Quick Fire” Challenge? C’mon, producers! That’s gripping television!)

Find Ms. Hatvany here: web, FacebookTwitter, Goodreads

 

 

Happy 2

 

Winter Reading Challenge: Drop In by Sara Harvey Yao (spotlight)

 

 

Drop in: Lead with Clarity, Connection, and CourageDrop In
written by Sara Harvey Yao
published by She Writes Press, 2016

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

About the book – from Goodreads: In a society that deeply values productivity, speed, and external rewards, we often find ourselves with less of what we really long for: space, clarity, connection with others, and a sense of well-being. Our attempts to improve our lives and bottom lines by adding more to our calendars, expanding our to-do lists, and constantly being plugged in to technology is backfiring. Instead of getting more done, our minds are spinning, leaving us stressed, disconnected, and unable to focus.

Drop In challenges our assumptions about the effectiveness of our busy lives and offers a compelling alternative approach to success by inviting people to learn how to drop in to the present moment. Deepening our awareness of the present moment, asserts Sara Harvey Yao, is the most efficient and sustainable way to navigate the complexities of work and life and to access our clarity, connection, and courage so we can lead more powerfully. Full of practical tools, Drop In will help busy professionals get out of the spin cycle of their minds and tune in to their already-existing wisdom and clarity”

 

 

Sara Harvey Yao

About the author: Sara Harvey Yao is the founder of Yao Consulting Group and has personally developed more than 4,000 leaders across the globe and specializes in the area of executive leadership and presence. Sara’s skills are favored by countless executives from leading companies – among them Microsoft, Brooks Athletics and Coinstar. Whether working one-on-one with clients, as a team facilitator or as an inspiring speaker, Sara is deeply committed to guiding clients to deeper awareness and clarity about unconscious behaviors, ego tactics and communication styles that hamper aware leadership.

Sara’s Background and Education: In 2002, Sara left her decade-long career as a Leadership Development Director for several technology and communications firms. During her role as an internal consultant and coach, she earned her frequent flyer gold status on dozens of trips to work with leaders in places as far-flung as London, Lubbock, Seoul and St. Paul. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications and a master’s degree in Organizational Management.

Find Ms. Yao here: webFacebook, Twitter

 

 

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My Favorite . . . Bookstore — March 15, 2017

 

My Favorite . . . is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it, the world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.

 

Each week I will post a new My Favorite . . . post about one subject and I’ll tell you all about it. And the best part? Everyone is welcome to join. The only thing you’ll have to do is sign up on the weekly post, link back to that post, and visit others.

 

This week’s Favorite is: Bookstore

 

I love all bookstores. But I would have to say my favorite is Barnes & Noble. I love it when I get to go and look around. My kids love it, too!

 

Any of them. All of them, but especially the little ones that sell old, used books; they smell like heaven!

 

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop – 2017

 

Welcome to my stop on the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds!

 

I am giving away a $15 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble or $15 in books from the Book Depository.

 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Be sure to check out the other giveaways on the hop!



 

Boost It Tuesday! – March 14, 2017

BIT banner

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 Chance BooksIf These Books Could Talk, and Between My Lines.

 

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

 

We will be featuring one blogger or author on the Boost It Tuesday post. We hope that you will visit that blogger or author and give their page a bit of extra BIT attention!

 
 

If you would like to be featured one week, please fill out the form below.

Click Here to Sign Up to Be a Featured Booster!

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

 



If These Books Could Talk,

 

    if these books could talk   Between My Lines
 

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