Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Austen Escape: A Novel by Katherine Reay

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Love Jane Austen? Then you’ll adore The Austen Escape.

Falling into the past will change their futures forever.

Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life. Working as an engineer, she genuinely enjoys her job and her colleagues – particularly a certain adorable and intelligent consultant. But something is missing. When Mary’s estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways.
But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen’s Bath. While Isabel rests and delights in the leisure of a Regency lady, attended by the other costume-clad guests, Mary uncovers startling truths about their shared past, who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who now stands between them.

Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings play out, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation, work out their lives and hearts.

my thoughts:

I am a huge fan of Katherine Reay's novels - The Bronte Plot is a favorite! So, I was super excited to have the opportunity to read her latest book, The Austen Escape. I just knew that I would be in for a treat, especially as the book would be Austen-centric.  And I do love me some Jane Austen.

Mary's life is pretty good. She enjoys her job as an engineer. She has friends. She has a crush. And she likes living in Austin, TX. Except, something seems to be missing and she just doesn't know what.  An old friend from childhood named Isabel proposes a trip to England.  Two weeks on an estate - what more could she want, right? Did I mention that the estate is Jane Austen obsessed - as in, its a retreat where you get to experience life as if you were in a Jane Austen novel.  How fun does that sound? Well, it would be a hoot, if Isabel didn't lose her memory.  Yep, Isabel experiences some sort of medical mishap that has her believing she is actually living in a Jane Austen novel - like, she believes that is her real life and identity.  Talk about Mary having her hands full, eh?  Instead of enjoying a two week vacation, she is now tasked with taking care of an estranged friend in a house full of strangers in another country - Whoa, Nelly!?

The Austen Escape is chock full of delightful surprises: a bit of mystery, some romantic entanglements, and infused with Austen references throughout. Its truly a fun read!  I found it to be the perfect book to escape into on a rainy day.  I just loved getting lost in Mary and Isabel's story - friendship can definitely be complicated and dramatic at times.  Plus, reading about England was pure bliss for me - I love all things British!!

I would happily recommend this book to fans of Reay and anyone looking for their next great read - you will fall in LOVE with The Austen Escape!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Austen Escape
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Tokyo Street Style: A Coloring Book by Zoe de la Cases

(Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Adult coloring gets a makeover with charming, fashion-forward illustrations from this futuristic and glittering city. 

Wherever you’re off to, take Tokyo Street Style with you. Immerse yourself in this colorful city full of vibrant fashion and unique architecture. The stylish essentials laid out from your suitcase, elegant kimonos in store windows, and fashion-forward city dwellers complement the modern skylines. Embellish whimsical, full-page patterns with your own touch and enjoy Tokyo while you make your way through an iconic city.

This sleek, high-end package has an elastic closure and a satin ribbon marker so you can dip in and dip out of your own Tokyo fashion week. With nothing more than some colored pencils, you’ll be on your way to a perfect day.

my thoughts:

I am all about finding creative ways to de-stress and unwind.  So, I thought I'd give adult coloring books a try and let me just say - I am in love!! I'm serious, coloring books are now my jam.  And my new favorite coloring book is Tokyo Street Style. I just loved flipping through the pages of this coloring book and getting a peek into Japanese fashion - talk about style with a capital S!  Plus, we get to see some great images of the architecture in Tokyo - such stunning buildings. 
I really enjoyed filling in the pages with vibrant colors and shades of pinks, yellows, blues, reds, and greens.  I loved imagining the city through these colorful images and couldn't help but think of little stories for each one.  What a fun book!

I would absolutely recommend Tokyo Street Style to fans of adult coloring books and anyone looking for a creative way to relax - you will LOVE this book!!

I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Daily Kindness: 365 Days of Compassion by National Geographic Society

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Lead your best year yet through 365 days of kindness.With enriching quotes from celebrated luminaries and striking National Geographic photography, each page of this moving book will inspire you to live with sincerity, compassion, and benevolence. Each month, you’ll practice virtues like patience, respect, and generosity that will focus your mind and heart, creating fulfillment and contentment. Both inviting and motivating, Daily Kindness invites you to reflect on life’s big and small moments, providing a way to embrace new ideas and enrich your life every day of the year.

my thoughts:

I am a huge fan of books that help motivate me to try to eat better, exercise, focus on positivity, and encourage me to move forward in my life.  So, when I was offered the chance to review the National Geographic Society's latest book, Daily Kindness, I jumped at the chance.  How could I not? With all the toxicity that seems to infiltrate our lives lately, I figured a book about kindness would be a breath of fresh air.

Daily Kindness is a fantastic book that is chock full of amazing photographs and thoughtful quotes.  I just loved flipping through it and getting lost in it.  The photographs were beyond! Those nature shots were just so beautiful and helped to remind me of just how awesome the world really is.  I could seriously just stare at those photos for hours. As for the quotes - love, love, love!  I love collecting quotes in my journal, so I was excited to find so many new ones to LOVE in this book.  Talk about food for thought!  These quotes are by writers, philosophers, comedians, scientists, etc. - people that I love to read.  And all of these quotes are divided by themes.  Each month focuses on a specific theme (respect, mindfulness) and the quotes reflect that theme - which I just loved! This book is truly a gem.  You can flip through it or you can savor it.  I plan on using it daily - reading the quote for the day in the morning and then thinking about it throughout the day.  I'm hoping that by reflecting on some "words of wisdom" and looking at the beauty in the world each day in those stunning photos, I'll be inspired, motivated, and encouraged to live life more fully and to focus on kindness.

I would most definitely recommend Daily Kindness to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read - you will absolutely fall in LOVE with this book!! 

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Daily Kindness
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Currently Reading...


Yes! I'm finally reading the new Dan Brown and I'm so excited. I've been looking forward to Origin for months. I had originally planned to read it as soon as it came out, but I wound up reading the new book by King and his son, Owen, first.  Let me just say, that book (Sleeping Beauties) took way longer than I had anticipated.  Anyhow, I'm currently catching up with Robert Langdon and enjoying every minute of it - woo hoo!!

Happy reading!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery: A Novel by Jenny Colgan

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and the perfect moment to escape to a charming English village! From the beloved author whose novels are “sheer indulgence from start to finish” (SOPHIE KINSELLA) comes a delightful holiday story — funny, heartfelt, romantic and packed with recipes — perfect for the winter months.

In the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne, the Christmas season has arrived. It’s a joyous time for family, friends, and feasting, as decorations sparkle along the town’s winding streets and shop windows glow with festive displays. And in Polly’s Little Beach Street Bakery, the aroma of gingerbread cookies and other treats tempts people in from the cold.

Though Polly is busy keeping up with the demands of the season, she still makes time for her beekeeper boyfriend, Huckle. She’s especially happy to be celebrating the holiday this year with him, and can’t wait to cuddle up in front of the fireplace with a cup of eggnog on Christmas Eve.

But holiday bliss soon gives way to panic when a storm cuts the village off from the mainland. Now it will take all of the villagers to work together in order to ensure everyone has a happy holiday.

Full of heart and humor, Jenny Colgan’s latest novel is an instant Christmastime classic.

my thoughts:

Polly, Huckle and Neil the Puffin are back! Hurrah! Yep, its the third book in the Little Beach Street Bakery trilogy and I absolutely LOVED it!! Filled with familiar characters that you want to keep in touch with; a quirky and quaint town by the sea; a drafty, old lighthouse; and loads of DRAMA - this book was seriously a delight to read. 

Its Christmas season and you know what that means - baking galore! Yep, Polly is baking her delicious breads, cakes, and treats all for the residents of Mt. Polbearne.  She wants to earn enough money to stay afloat during the rough winter season that the Cornish town is known for.  And, she'd also like to get a start on the never-ending list of things to fix at her beloved lighthouse - like the fact that it never seems to get warm! Aside from having to wear twenty sweaters at once, life is moving along nicely for Polly.  Except, there are a few hiccups that seem to have cropped up lately...like Huckle wanting to set a wedding date and his idea to start having kids already.  YIKES!!!  Talk about moving too fast for Polly's liking.  She knows that she's stalling her future, but she's can't seem to move forward.  Of course she's worried how that will affect her relationship with Huckle - he's feeling hurt and confused by her reactions to his ideas.  Plus, she's just received a phone call from her father's wife asking for Polly to come meet him - yeah, they've never met and now that he's dying he wants to know his daughter!?!  Oh, and to top it all off, Kerensa is preggers and worried that Ruben isn't the father of her baby!?!! OMG!! Talk about DRAMA galore!! 

Colgan has delivered another frothy confection chock full of sweets, drama, and and the quirks of village life.  The story was just perfect with its holiday atmosphere, over the top craziness, and heartwarming surprises - I absolutely LOVED it!! I would most definitely recommend Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery to fans of the first two books and anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book so hard!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!