Monday, May 30, 2016

The Weekenders - Mary Kay Andrews - Review and Giveaway

Summer reading has officially begun when Mary Kay Andrews releases her latest book - and it's here! The Weekenders has just released - and I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader.  I always love her covers - doesn't this one just shout beach!

Riley Griggs' family is one of the oldest on Belle Isle, North Carolina, developing summer homes and managing others. It's Riley's 'happy place.' Riley and her daughter Maggy are headed over to the island to open up their home on the Memorial Day weekend. Riley's husband Wendell is supposed to join them, but he's a no show and the ferry leaves without him. But, when Riley arrives there's a foreclosure notice on her door.....

The Weekenders is a little bit heavier in tone than previous releases. There's murder, family problems, health concerns, financial woes and lots of secrets. But all of that is accompanied by Mary Kay's trademark romance and overall 'chick lit' feel.

I liked Riley as a character and empathized with her plight. A wee bit of me was angry with her for not being a bit more proactive when it came to her own finances. No chick lit romance is complete without some push/pull, yes/no, back and forth before - well, you know. Loved the love interest in this book. And of course there needs to be a best friend sidekick, who's a little brash, but who would do anything for her bestie. And Parrish is all that. Daughter Maggy is a handful - and Andrews depicts that teen 'tude very well. The rest of the supporting cast is just as well drawn and explores other social and family issues.

That murder? Well, there's lots of suspects to choose from - and whodunit wasn't quite who I expected it to be at all!

Mary Kay's settings always leave me wishing I lived there. And Belle Isle was no exception - descriptions of weathered wood, whitewashed walls and the sound of waves sounds absolutely perfect to me.

The Weekenders was an engaging, entertaining, satisfying escapist read to start off my summer. (Pack drinks and snacks in in your bag too - it's a delicious 450+ pages.)  Read an excerpt of The Weekenders.

"Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Beach Town, Save the Date, Ladies' Night, Christmas Bliss, Spring Fever, and Summer Rental, all from St. Martin's Press, as well as The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Savannah Blues, all HarperPerennial.  A former journalist for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, she divides her time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, Georgia." You can connect with Mary Kay Andrews on: ||  Website  ||  Twitter  ||  Facebook  ||  Pinterest  ||

And if you'd like to take The Weekenders to the beach with you, enter to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Ends Jun 18/16. Open to US only, no PO boxes please.

Friday, May 27, 2016

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #107

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
Summer is coming and it's time to fill up on beach reads. Mary Kay Andrews is always a must for me as is Elin Hilderbrand. Elin's new book (June 16) is Here's to Us. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right.
The story is set on the beach and both books reflect that - I think it's the look of your own type of beach that will determine which cover appeals to you this week. Although, I do appreciate the People tag on the UK cover - "Queen of the summer novel." So for me, it the US cover this week. Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read Here's to Us? What authors do you pack in your summer beach bag?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Over the Counter #216

What books caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? The cat in the hat? No, this week its the hat on the cat....

First up is Tiny Hats on Cats: Because Every Cat Deserves to Feel Fancy by Adam Ellis.

From Grand Central Publishing:

"A fun and creative book for cat lovers, crafters, and pop-culture devotees alike. Following the success of recent bestsellers like Grumpy Cat and How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You, Tiny Hats on Cats combines adorable photos of cats with author Adam Ellis's hilarious anecdotes, but also has a fun DIY element: Readers will learn how to craft colorful and creative feline headgear from the book's step-by-step instructions. With a portable trim size and a beautifully designed interior, Tiny Hats on Cats is the perfect gift for every animal lover or for any reader who wants their cat to feel just a little more fancy."

Or how about Cats in Hats: 30 Knit and Crochet Hat Patterns for Your Kitty by Sara Thomas.

From Running Press:

"Deck your cats out in hats that suit their many personalities! With The Punk Mohawk for edgier cats, The Unicorn for cats who are having identity issues, and The Cat in the Hat for any cat that loves great literature, there is a pattern in this book for every feline friend in your home. Complete with a breakdown of skill level and method of working (knit or crochet), suggestions for yarns, and written patterns and charts where necessary, you’ll be able to whip up amazing headwear, whatever your cat’s character. With the adorable color photos and helpful illustrations throughout, these hat patterns will be both exciting and easy to create. It’s fun, it’s addictive, and it’s deliciously purr-fect from start to finish!"

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Happy Birthday Sophie la girafe! Review AND Giveaway

Today's the day - Happy Birthday to Sophie la girafe! How old is Sophie you ask? She is 55 years old believe it or not!

"First created in France in 1961, Sophie la girafe®, a high-end, all-natural rubber baby teether, is a fixture in nurseries all over the world. A favorite among moms, Sophie is a popular shower gift, and has garnered praise from parents everywhere.".... Now the French character is the star of story time. Babies everywhere will love the multisensory board books, such as Peekaboo Sophie!” - Parents Magazine"

My daughter had one of the Sophie teething toys. How fun that there are now books dedicated to this beloved icon. I'm excited to be sharing them with my grandson. I also have a copy to share with you too - scroll to the bottom to enter to win a Sophie book)

DK Canada is the publisher of the Sophie books - full list can be seen here.

I've added two Sophie titles to little guy's library. The first one is Sophie's Big Noisy Day Book!

This is an oversized board book with lots to look at and name on every page. The faces of the characters are pleasant to look at and are always smiling. And there's a story to follow along with. But here's the fun part. Little guy absolutely adores lift the flap books right now, playing his own modified version of peek-a-boo. So....there's more than one flap on most pages. But when you lift the flap, it's not just a picture - it's noise! A band, a train, a helicopter, ducks and a radio. Well, didn't we lift many, many flaps over and over again! For those worried about the battery dying - it can be changed. (Make sure to read in a room with light - it took me a minute to realize the sounds are activated by light)

The other new addition to little guy's bookshelf is Sophie Pop-up Peekaboo. As I mentioned, he loves peekaboo, so this was an easy choice. Where is Sophie? We meet the other characters as they search for her. This book also has flaps to lift and the most wonderful pop-ups - a toy box, laundry basket, bathtub, apple tree and one last hiding place. Again, many, many flaps were lifted  - the pop ups absolutely fascinated him.

The colours are lovely in both books, they're sturdy and honestly - quite timeless! Two thumbs up from little guy and Gramma. Keep up with Sophie's birthday fun on Twitter. #sophielagirafebirthday

And thanks to DK Canada, I have a copy of Sophie's Big Noisy Day Book to giveaway to one lucky reader. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to Canada only, ends June 11/16.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Giveaway - Discovering You - Brenda Novak

Discovering You is the tenth book in Brenda Novak's Whiskey Creek series. It releases today - and I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader!

From Mira Books:

"Can she ever trust another "bad boy"?

India Sommers once had the perfect family—until an ex-boyfriend broke in and shot her husband. Not only did that cost her the man she loved, a respected heart surgeon and the father of her child, but she also feels responsible. Charlie died because of the people she hung out with before she had the strength to change her life.

Just after moving to Whiskey Creek with her little girl, Cassia, to start over, she's learned that her ex-boyfriend's trial ended in a hung jury. He's getting out of jail; he could try to find her again. And that's not all that scares her. She's extremely attracted to her next-door neighbor, but Rod Amos is the handsome "bad boy" type that's given her so much trouble in the past. If she got involved with him, her in-laws would sue for custody of Cassia.

India has to keep her distance from Rod—but the more she gets to know him, the more difficult that becomes.""Another Whiskey Creek novel is just what readers need to satisfy their craving for a romance that tugs at the heartstrings." -RT Book Reviews" Who doesn't love a good romance read out on the deck in the summer?! "

"New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak has written over 50 novels. A five-time Rita nominee, she's won The National Reader's Choice, The Bookseller's Best, The Bookbuyer's Best and many other awards. Besides writing, she runs Brenda Novak for the Cure, a charity which hosts an annual fundraiser for diabetes research. To date, she's raised over $2.5 million for this cause. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life." You can connect with Brenda on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

And here's some romantic gift ideas from Brenda:

And if you'd like to read Discovering You, I have a copy to giveaway. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US only, no PO boxes please. Ends June 11/16.

Summer Days and Summer Nights - Edited by Stephanie Perkins

You might remember me reviewing My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, edited by Stephanie Perkins last Christmas. (my review).

Well, Stephanie has edited a new collection that has just released -Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories - that's just perfect to add to your beach bag.

Zoom in on the cover - twelve best-selling YA authors contributed to this collection.You love their novels, so you just know you're going to love these stories. Perkins has drawn from diverse writers so the tales range from contemporary to fantasy and magical realism. You'll have your favorites, but collections also give you a chance to try new to you authors.

I won't detail them all, but will mention two that I really enjoyed.

In Ninety Minutes Turn North by Stephanie Perkins. Pure, unadulterated romance. Marigold and North were a couple with a direction - college together as roommates. And then North backed out. And Marigold has no idea why. Even if the romance is gone, she still wants to be friends, needs to know why it's over. So Marigold heads south to find North. Loved the characters, their dialogue, the journey, the quirkiness and especially the happily ever after. A 'day' story. (and a sequel to their story in My True Love Gave to me)

Last Stand at the Cinegore by Libba Bray. This one kinda reminded me of slasher movies at the drive-in. It's the last night for the Cinegore Theatre and the last night for Kevin to let Dani know how he feels about her. If they live that long - something is seriously messed up with the film that's being shown. Quick, fun dialogue, an inventive plot (loved the on screen characters interacting), action and of course, just the right ending. A 'night' story.

I love short story collections - they let you get in a quick read from start to finish wherever you are. And yes, the beach would be a great place!

"Stephanie Perkins is the New York Times and international bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After, as well as the editor of My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories. She lives with her husband in Asheville, North Carolina."

You can connect with Stephanie Perkins on: ||  Website  ||  Blog  ||  Twitter  ||

Monday, May 23, 2016

Giveaway - Pen and Palate - Lucy Madison and Tram Nguyen

I've a got a great giveaway today for anyone who can connect with food - and friendship!

Pen and Palate: Mastering the Art of Adulthood, with Recipes by Lucy Madison and Tram Nguyen. (Releases May 31/16)

From Grand Central Publishing:

"From the writers of acclaimed blog Pen and Palate, a humorous coming-of-age (and mastering-the-art-of-home-cooking) memoir of friendship, told through stories, recipes, and beautiful illustrations.

Getting through life in your twenties isn't easy--especially if you're broke, awkward, and prone to starting small grease fires in your studio apartment. For best friends Lucy Madison and Tram Nguyen, cooking was an escape from the daily humiliation that is being a twenty-something woman in a big city. Pen and Palate traces the course of Lucy and Tram's devoted friendship through miserable jobs and tiny apartments, first loves and ill-advised flings, successes and setbacks--always with a shared love of food at the center of the narrative. A modern take on Laurie Colwin's classic Home Cooking, this coming-of-age memoir for the Girls set weaves together comical (mis)adventures and recipes meant to be shared with a best friend and a bottle of wine." Read an excerpt of Pen and Palate.

You can connect with Lucy and Tram on:  || Website  ||  Twitter  ||  Facebook  ||

And if you'd like to read Pen and Palate, I have two copies to giveaway! Simply enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends June 4/16.

Friday, May 20, 2016

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #106

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
I thought Ruth Ware's debut novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood was fantastic. And I see she has a new one, The Woman in Cabin 10, coming out in the next few months. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. I think I'm drawn more the US cover this week. Obviously it's on a ship, but I like the way the letters are smeared and kind of dripping. The UK cover also tells us it's on a ship and the tagline gives us a bit more. And it's clever how the woman is almost in a bullseye with the zero. But, I'm going with US this week. What about you? Which cover do you prefer?
Any plans to read The Woman in Cabin 10?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.