February 17, 2018

Lagom by Niki Brantmark - Review

Book details
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Harper Design (October 3, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062748793
ISBN-13: 978-0062748799

Book description
In a fast-paced world, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could slow down and enjoy a life with less pressure, less stress, and more time for the things you love?

Sweden is ranked in the top three of the world’s happiest places to live, and lagom, which means “not too much and not too little—just right,” is the Swedish philosophy for enjoying balance in every aspect of life—from work and leisure to family and food, and everything in between. Experienced bakers know by touch when the dough they are kneading is lagom—not too moist and not too dry. At the office, professionals who work hard—but not to the detriment of other parts of their lives—are following the lagom ideal. Lagom is moderation, balance, and equality.

By using the Swedish lifestyle as an example, Niki Brantmark offers insightful suggestions and bite-sized actions to help you make subtle changes to your life, so you too can make time for the things that matter most and find greater happiness.

Meet the author - Niki Brantmark
Niki Brantmark is the founder and curator of the award winning daily interior design blog My Scandinavian Home, which was inspired by her move to Sweden from London over ten years ago. Myscandinavianhome.com is extremely popular, having received over 18 million hits and averaging around 550,000 page views per month from readers all over the world. Modern Pastoral is her first book. Niki lives with her family in Malmö, Sweden.

My thoughts
This was a very good book. I got a copy from the library but I may have to purchase my own copy later. There were many good things I found I would like to incorporate in my life. I made notes while reading so I would not forget things. One thing I liked was work for 52 minutes rest for 17 or get away from your desk every hour. I may not be able to be away from my desk for 17 minutes at a time but I am going to try to make it a point to at least get up and take a two minute break. I do already get away from my desk for lunch but I am going to try and "get away" by taking my lunch in a quieter area than I do just to recharge. I highly recommend this book for those looking for a way to make your life a little more simplistic. 

February 14, 2018

An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M. White - Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Book details
Series: Shadows Over England (Book 3)
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 4, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764219286
ISBN-13: 978-0764219283

Book description
Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancĂ© to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

Meet the author Roseanna M. White
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.



February 13, 2018

A Cast for Murder by Jeanne Quigley - Review

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own

Book details
Print Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Jeanne Quigley (February 12, 2018)
Publication Date: February 12, 2018

Book description
Former soap opera actress Veronica Walsh is recovering from her first holiday season in the retail world when she is pulled from retirement to star in a community production of Blithe Spirit. Delighted to play the part of a medium, Veronica must soon also assume the role of amateur sleuth when she finds the play’s director shot dead behind the theater.

Teaming with stage manager Sophie Morrissey, Veronica’s hunt for clues to the murder of Gigi Swanson leads her to a cast of colorful behind-the-scenes characters and a stunning Act Three finale. Will it be a triumph for Veronica, or will the curtain close on more than her career?

Meet the author - Jeanne Quigley
Jeanne Quigley grew up reading mysteries, watching soap operas, and vacationing in the Adirondacks, never imagining these pleasures would be the foundation of her debut novel. Her love of characters-real and fictional-led her to study Sociology and English at the University of Notre Dame. Jeanne has never been a soap star, but she has worked in the music industry and for an education publisher. She lives in Rockland County, New York.

My thoughts 
Well Veronica has gone and done it again and got herself mixed up in another mystery. She just keeps getting stuck in helping out.  I liked how the author kept me guessing with the twists and turns. The characters worked very well together and I think that may have been where the twists were coming in for me. Just when I thought I liked someone something was brought up that made me change my mind. It is also nice to see Veronica and Mark have a relationship that keeps growing throughout this series. This was a fast paced read for me and very enjoyable. I wonder what Veronica will be up to next time. 

February 10, 2018

A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White - Review

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own

Book details
Series: Shadows Over England (Book 2)
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 2, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764219278
ISBN-13: 978-0764219276

Book description
Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I--to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he's won--until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father's work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn't--that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

Meet the author - Roseanna M. White
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two kids, designing book covers, editing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books . . . .to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

My thoughts
This is the second book in the Shadows over England series and I thought it was a fitting addition. You can't help but fall in love with Willa once you meet her even though she was a thief. She had to do what she thought she had to to survive I wanted nothing more for her to have a happy life and find someone who truly cared for her. The author did a really good job of setting the scene for this story. I felt like I was along side Willa at times.  I also liked that there was history, romance, adventure and suspense all rolled into one nice little package. Another great book for the year that I would recommend. 

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green - Review

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own

Book details
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (February 6, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764219073
ISBN-13: 978-0764219078

Book description
Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a young boy left in her care, who some suspect to be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement, Azilum, offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate the land of his hard-won farm near Azilum, but soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they will be drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.

Meet the author - Jocelyn Green
Jocelyn Green is a former journalist who puts her investigative skills to work in writing both nonfiction and historical fiction to inspire faith and courage.

The honors her books have received include the Christy Award in historical fiction, and gold medals from the Military Writers Society of America and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

Complex and nuanced characters, rich historical detail and twisting plots make her novels immersive experiences. Her fiction has been praised by Historical Novel Society, Romantic Times, Library Journal, historians specializing in her novels’ time periods, as well as popular and acclaimed authors Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, Jody Hedlund, Sarah Sundin, Joanne Bischof, Julie Lessman, and more.

Jocelyn loves Broadway musicals, the color red, Toblerone chocolate bars, Mexican food, and well-done documentaries. She lives in Iowa with her husband, two children, and two cats she should have named Catticus Finch and Purrman Meowville.

Visit her at jocelyngreen.com, and receive a free gift when joining her e-newsletter mailing list at jocelyngreen.com/subscribe.

My thoughts
I am going to start off by saying I love this cover. There is just something about it that draws me to the book. I liked how the author did a great job in describing everything from the landscapes to the clothing to the emotions. Doing this gives you a good understanding of the the whole picture the author is trying to show you. She also did a good job of giving you just enough of a history lesson which leads you to wanting to learn more about this time and the people who experienced it. Then the author throws just a bit of romance into the mix which adds to the story. This is one of my favorites by this author. Highly recommended. 

February 9, 2018

Clairvoyant and Present Danger by Lena Gregory - Review and Two Giveaways


Book details
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series 
Berkley (February 6, 2018) 
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-0425282779 
E-Book ASIN: B071L5C99M

Book description
Whoever said that dead men tell no tales has never met Cass Donnovan... Cass has always relied on her abilities to guide her, but after communications with a ghost land her in the middle of a murder investigation, she has to wonder if her gifts are really more a curse. Cass knows she is meant to help track down the killer--much to the chagrin of local law enforcement--when the apparition leads her to a dead body on the beach near her psychic shop, Mystical Musings. But the police are not the only ones who wish Cass would stick to reading palms. Someone is trying to scare her off, and it will take all her powers of premonition to catch the killer before Cass herself becomes the next victim...

Meet the author - Lena Gregory
Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children. When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories. 

Author Links: Website: http://www.lenagregory.com/ 

Purchase Links
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Clairvoyant-Present-Danger-Psychic-Mystery/dp/0425282775/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/clairvoyant-and-present-danger-lena-gregory/1126354172?ean=9780425282779#/
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/clairvoyant-and-present-danger
Penguin Random House: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/318719/clairvoyant-and-present-danger-by-lena-gregory/9780425282779
Books-a-million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Clairvoyant-Present-Danger/Lena-Gregory/9780425282779?id=7115717104541

My thoughts
This is a fun series. I like the physic/paranormal parts of this book as I find that whole thing interesting. I will tell you that these parts of the book are not in your face overwhelming but at the same time a great addition to the story. The main character Cass is growing as this series goes along. It was nice hearing more about her and her friends, it kind of feels like visiting your own friends. I like how the story flows and is a quick fun mystery. The author likes to give just enough clues to keep you guessing. Just when you think you have everything figured out you find you don't. This is the third book in this series but you are able to read it as a standalone. This is one of the series I recommend you give a try.

Giveaway #1

Giveaway #2

February 5 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews - REVIEW 
February 5 – The Montana Bookaholic - CHARACTER GUEST POST, PRINT GIVEAWAY February 6 – Ruff Drafts – INTERVIEW 
February 7 – Socrates' Book Reviews - SPOTLIGHT 
February 8 – Curling up by the Fire – REVIEW 
February 8 – DeeScoveries - SPOTLIGHT 
February 9 – Teresa Trent Author Blog - INTERVIEW, PRINT GIVEAWAY 
February 9 – A Holland Reads - REVIEW, PRINT GIVEAWAY 
February 10 – StoreyBook Reviews - GUEST POST, E-BOOK GIVEAWAY 
February 11 – Bibliophile Reviews - REVIEW, GUEST POST, PRINT GIVEAWAY 
February 12 – Valerie's Musings - INTERVIEW 
February 13 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT 
February 14 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW 
February 14 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
February 15 – Laura's Interest – REVIEW 
February 16 – MJB Reviewers - REVIEW, E-BOOK GIVEAWAY 
February 17 – Sapphyria's Books - REVIEW 
February 17 – T's Stuff - SPOTLIGHT, E-BOOK GIVEAWAY 
February 18 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW 
February 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

February 7, 2018

Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt - Review

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own

Book details
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: MIRA (January 23, 2018)
ISBN-10: 077833113X
ISBN-13: 978-0778331131

Book description
Kat Grant and Alice Campbell have a friendship forged in shared confidences and long lunches lubricated by expensive wine. Though they’re very different women—the artsy socialite and the struggling suburbanite—they’re each other’s rocks. But even rocks crumble under pressure. Like when Kat’s financier husband, Howard, plunges to his death from the second-floor balcony of their South Florida mansion.
Howard was a jerk, a drunk, a bully and, police say, a murder victim. The questions begin piling up. Like why Kat has suddenly gone dark: no calls, no texts and no chance her wealthy family will let Alice see her. Why investigators are looking so hard in Alice’s direction. Who stands to get hurt next. And who is the cool liar—the masterful manipulator behind it all.

Meet the author - Margot Hunt
Margot Hunt is the pseudonym of a bestselling writer of twelve previous novels. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER is her first psychological thriller.

Connect with Margot
Website | Facebook | Twitter

My thoughts
This was the first book I have read by this author and I thought it was a good book. It has suspense and was face paced. I liked how the author kept me guessing right up until the end. I liked reading about Kat and Alice's friendship and how it developed. The characters were well developed and the author did a good job with her descriptions of the scenes. I also liked how it had a double time line. So you got to see too different views. All in all a good book that you can read on a snowy weekend.