March 31, 2022

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"A year never passes without me thinking of them."

~ Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez


 

March 30, 2022

Message for My Peeps

 

Take a moment to enjoy the spring. Put on your favorite song. Dance until you can't move. Open the windows and inhale the fresh air. Exhale then smile with content. Take care of yourself this season!

March 29, 2022

Again: A Marriage Redemption Novella


"That bittersweet mix of happiness for the people you love and unyielding sadness for yourself." ~ pg. 66

Jaxon Daniels was supposed to be her forever. The boy she loved since 13 years old. The love that would carry through every obstacle. But loving someone sometimes means letting them go. Now Jaxon is back in her space. Reunited at a romantic resort for a family event. Days full of memories and demanding eye contact. 

I don't typically like romance but this novella right here? Loved it! Again is such a good second-chance love novella that tugged my heart strings then hugged me tight until I read the very last word.

Thanks to my Bestie Damey for recommending author J.L. Seegars! 

Title: Again: A Marriage Redemption Novella
Author: J.L. Seegars
Published: March 2022
Pages: 160
Edition: eBook
Genre: Romance
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

March 27, 2022

Series Sunday: Four Aunties and a Wedding

(Aunties #2) 


Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is Four Aunties and a Wedding, the second book in the Aunties series by Jesse Q. Sutanto. So not only do we have four aunties but three uncles too! They're back and ready to handle the mafia during Meddy's wedding. Uh oh!

Meddy has been to countless weddings as the photographer but never the bride. Now she is the center of attention and marrying her college sweetie, Nathan. Instead of Meddy's mom and aunties catering the wedding, they are enjoying the day as guests in standout purple dresses and all the flair. 

As a compromise, they hire a Chinese-Indonesian family-run company that runs like their business. What's a wedding without a charade? Meddy overhears a phone conversation of The Family's plans to take out a target. The day turns into preventing a murder scene and taking down the mafia.

"You'd be surprised at the atrocities old women are capable of." ~ 76%

Four Aunties and a Wedding quickly went from entertaining to ridiculously funny. If you're looking for a funny read with a storyline that would probably never happen in real life, then read this! It is a bit on the silly side and not much of a mystery. Certainly a book I had to be in the mood to read. 

Happy Early Pub Day, Jesse Q. Sutanto! Four Aunties and a Wedding will be available Tuesday, March 29.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Author: Jesse Q. Sutanto
Published: March 2022
Pages: 352
Edition: Galley
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

March 20, 2022

Series Sunday: A Killer Sundae

(Ice Cream Parlor #3) 


Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is A Killer Sundae, the third book in the Ice Cream Parlor mystery series by Abby Collette. Bronwyn Crewse—boss chick as I've nicknamed her—is an ice cream shop owner in the gorgeous fall town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Crewse Creamery is a family business with all hands on deck, especially with the addition of the ice cream truck at the annual Harvest Time Festival. 

"You have to stop talking like you're in a 1940s gumshoe novel." ~ 79%

Win gets into a sprinkle of trouble when old friend and festivalgoer is poisoned and Win is implicated. She knows of the severe nut allergy but pretty sure she cleaned the scooper before serving. As much as Win wants to clear suspicion, she kind of falls into her sleuth detective skills to solve the murder.

A Killer Sundae really does remind of an old school gumshoe mystery. I just love the Crewse family and the ice cream shop happenings. The small town murders involve everyone making residents likely suspects and keeps the readers guessing. I kind of figured it out early on but was nice to see it unfold. Another good cozy foodie mystery that "desserts" your attention!

Happy Belated Pub Day, Abby Collette! A Killer Sundae is now available.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Author: Abby Collette
Published: January 2022
Pages: 352
Edition: Galley
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

March 18, 2022

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"'I am amazed at myself. Once more I am warming up to write,' the twenty-four-year-old woman wrote in her journal."

~ Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker by Alice Walker; edited by Valerie Boyd 

March 15, 2022

Jackpot!


"They taught me what they would call the four pillars to love—commitment, communication, affection and a spiritual foundation." ~ 19%

Christian Walker is a used car salesman engaged to Liv Stallworth, a high-end real estate agent in Chicago. His fiancΓ© is used to the finer things in life and her parents never let Christian forget it. They want the wedding to be perfect and their life together to be comfortable. But Christian is broke broke and keeping a yearlong secret just to ensure Liv is marrying him for true love.

The best part of Jackpot! is how the author would begin to describe something and it turns into something totally different. He catches readers' minds in the gutter every time. The story flowed smoothly with the characters' chemistry, entertaining dialogue and good pacing. It was a quick light read that I recommend to all Bookhearts.

So why did I rate only 4 hearts? Because of the many typos and errors. As a licensed copyeditor, my eyes are sharper than the average reader so it was a bit distracting. This happens way too often with self-published novels. Authors, please do not skimp on the editing process. There are words that your eyes will gloss over from reading countless times. All the more reason to hire an editor for a final look.

Errors aside, I enjoyed Jackpot! and the happy ending. I expect nothing less of a story from a Cass Technician! Well done, classmate!

Title: Jackpot! The Crazy Things You'll Do For Love and Money
Author: Michael A. Wilder
Published: January 2022
Pages: 145
Edition: eBook
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

March 13, 2022

Short Story Sunday: From the Desk of Lady Miss

(Southern Belle Insults #2) 


Short Story Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read a short story.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

"OUT with the mess and in with the FINESSE." ~ 12%

Shy Janet and her fifty shades of beige is a whole new woman with a magical wig. She's taking charge on the job and flirting back with the local barista. Although Lady Miss Jacqueline is a bit mean girl in this one, From the Desk of Lady Miss is just as funny as the first installment of series. Again, it gave me 30 minutes of an entertaining original short story. 

I am gladly moving on to the next in series. You can easily read or listen to these all at once too. 

Title: From the Desk of Lady Miss
Authors: Keke Palmer with Jasmine Guillory 
Published: November 2021
Pages: 29
Edition: eBook
Series: Southern Belle Insults
Genre: Humor Fiction
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

March 11, 2022

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"It's two hours into my sister's baby shower and so far not one person has said, 'So, Yinka, when is it going to be your turn?' Or the classic, 'Yinka, where is your huzband?'"

~ Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

March 9, 2022

Lit Tidbits: The Classics

Nobody:                                                
Me: *quoting Harry Potter 20 years later*

The Intellects: Have you read The Four Agreements?
Me: Yes, and it changed my life! 

March 8, 2022

Lit to TV Review: Reacher


Retired Military Police Officer Jack Reacher is on screen! He is wrongly arrested for murder and finds himself in the middle of a dirty cop conspiracy. The businessmen and scheming politicians must clear the way for Reacher to clear his mysterious name and figure out what's really happening in Georgia. The first season of Reacher is based on Killing Floor. 

Bookhearts know I am a huge fan of the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. I tried watching the movie starring Tom Cruise but he was so far from the character that it was a no-go. Well Amazon Prime has an original TV series featuring actor Alan Richardson. He is perfect for the role far as physical traits of the fictional character. But the smart assy comments and humor comes off the screen as awkward. I am not sold. And the immediate love interest caused an eye roll. I'mma pass on this TV series and will just enjoy reading Reacher instead.

Title: Reacher
Author: Lee Child
Cast: Alan Richardson (Jack Reacher)
Network: Prime Video
S1 Premiere: February 2022
Episode Time: 1 Hour
Genre: Thriller
Edition: Paperback & eBooks
Challenge: Perpetual Jack Reacher
Book Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€
Show Rating: DNF

March 6, 2022

Short Story Sunday: My Dear Friend Janet

(Southern Belle Insults #1) 


Short Story Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read a short story.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

"But a wig is a girl's mask. It's the one thing that can turn her into someone new almost instantly, or bring something out of her that she had no idea she had." ~ 59%

Shy Janet and her fifty shades of beige! If only she had the courage to flirt with the handsome barista, wear colors other than brown and speak up at work. When she walks past a beauty supply store, a magical wig catches her attention. Janet dares to try a new style and hopefully shakes things up.

My Dear Friend Janet gave me 30 minutes of an entertaining original short story. Throughout the short eBook, Janet gives herself little pep talks. That inner voice known as the sensational Lady Miss Jacqueline is too funny with the narration. The southern drawl is everything! What a unique idea that really engages the reader. 

I am gladly moving on to the next in series. You can easily read or listen to these all at once too. 

Title: My Dear Friend Janet
Authors: Keke Palmer with Jasmine Guillory 
Published: November 2021
Pages: 25
Edition: eBook
Series: Southern Belle Insults
Genre: Humor Fiction
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

March 4, 2022

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"Had August Molloy not returned from the dead that morning in Detroit, the Molloy family line would've ended in the bathroom of a farm-to-table restaurant midway through lunch service."

~ Chevy in the Hole by Kelsey Ronan

March 1, 2022

This Golden State


"My heart was full of I want." ~ 22%

Bonnie + Clyde + 2 daughters = The Winslow family. There are five principles to live by:
  1. No using your real name.
  2. No staying in one place too long.
  3. If something's weird, take one thing and run to the meeting spot.
  4. Keeping our family together is everything.
  5. Don't ask about the past. For your own safety.
Poppy and her family has been on the run in all her seventeen years. So whatever happened was eighteen years ago. To this point, it's been new locations every few months, new social security numbers and names, new schools and cash-under-the-table jobs. The only constant is family poker night with Poppy, her little sister and parents. She's now restless and begins searching for the truth, starting with a DNA test. Soon her parent's real identities become clear. Unraveling the truth has dire consequences.

The best way to describe This Golden State is a slow burn. It starts off really slow and is dull in the middle. I wanted to stop reading a few times but then a chapter comes along just in time for me to continue reading. It really didn't get interesting until Chapter Thirty-Eight (38). With only 30% left in the book, I finally got to a point where I read nonstop. A little background story upfront would have helped tremendously!

Far as YA thrillers, This Golden State fits the genre perfectly. I just wish it was written in a different style to grab my attention early on. Less mundane details, more suspense building. The romance was a nice surprise along with an open ending. I almost missed out on what became a good read.

Happy Pub Day, Marit Weisenberg! This Golden State is now available.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: This Golden State
Author: Marit Weisenberg
Published: March 2022
Pages: 400
Edition: Galley
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€