Hauls

Book Haul | December 2017

Book Haul

Hello everyone! I know the filming in this book haul is a little off, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. These are all the books I received from publishers to review, I bought for myself, or received as presents from my friends and loved ones. Which one do you think I should read first?


I Bought:

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Under the Dome by Stephen King

The Romanovs 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

Strange Weather by Joe Hill

I was Gifted:

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

Publishers Sent:

The Last Girl by Nadia Murad

What book did you get this month?

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Tags

TAG | End of the Year Book Tag

Tag Tuesday

Thank you so much for the tag, Jacquie from Rattle the Stars  Jacquie is half of the duo over at Rattle the Stars, you should check them out. They are both wonderful writers and have a fun blog. I have to say I am glad I was tagged, this is a great tag to wrap up the year and look into the new one ahead of us. I hope you enjoy the answers.

 


The Questions:

    • Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Nope, thankfully this year I have either gotten rid of all the books I have not finished because I DNF’ed them or I finished them. Although I am currently in the middle of reading a review copy of The Last Girl by Nadia Murad, but I will be finishing it before the year ends.

    • Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

Nope, I just kinda go with the flow when it comes to reading.

    • Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I am looking forward to a few in January such as The Cruel Prince and The Hazel Wood.

    • What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

The Last Girl by Nadia Murad, The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, and A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas.

    • Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

I honestly don’t think so. While I know I am going to enjoy the books I am reading or planning on reading I don’t think any will surprise me in any way.

    • Have you already started making reading plans for 2018? 

I have made a few plans, but I am doing a separate post on that very soon.


I hope you enjoyed the tag. If you want to participate please feel free to consider yourself tagged!

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Wrap Up

November 2017 | WRAP UP

Wrap Up

This month was busy, busy, busy. There was NaNoWriMo, holidays, and some bookstore adventures with my friends, but I somehow managed to read a good amount of books this month. I have to say that this month I read a wide range of genres, new authors and some well loved authors, and some good reads and a few not so great ones.

I READ:

Misery by Stephen King

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I ended up giving this 3 stars. While I did enjoy the story I have enjoyed other works by Stephen King a lot more.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

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This was a very interesting twist on the death of Abraham Lincolns son. I found it heart wrenching and it caused me to do a bit of self reflection. I loved this book, I gave it a very strong 5 stars.

Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

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This was a wonderful story and I still cannot believe how brave Ona Judge was by sharing her story by giving interviews while she was still on the run. I have to say we are very lucky to have those interviews, she put herself in so much danger to tell her story and share what slaves truly went through. I very much enjoyed this book and learning about this brave and determined woman. I gave it 5 stars.

Origin byDan Brown

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Ah! I am still so torn about this book.  I love Dan Brown and Robert Langdon, but I felt that this book lost its spark somehow. While there was still an adventure and some clues dealing with art, there was a lot less and I felt myself getting board because not that much actually happens in the book action wise. I ended up finally settling on a 2 star rating.

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

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First, I have to say that this book shocked me a bit. When I think of Tom Hanks I think of a wholesome, family friendly individual. When I first started reading this book I was a little shocked by some of the phrases he wrote, but honestly the shock wore off very quickly. I enjoyed these short stories very much. All of them were very different from one another, but all seemed very thought out. I also enjoyed the touches of adding pictures and references to old type writers. I have always loved type writers and I have always had one since I was a little girl. I ended up giving this short story collection a 5 star rating.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

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Now I do not want to say much about this book because I have typed up a whole review that is coming out in the next week or so. But, I will say that I truly enjoyed this book. It is one of the top books of 2017 for me. I gave it a 5 star rating.

Joyland by Stephen King

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Joyland has turned out to be one of my top Stephen King reads. It mixed real world horror and paranormal horror is such a way you are almost forced to see the possible evil of ordinary people. I ended up giving this book a 5 star rating.

Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King

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So I picked up this short little horror when I couldn’t sleep one night hoping I would be able to fall asleep or at least get sleepy about 20 pages in. Well, that did not happen. I ended up staying up even later and completely finished the book in one sitting. I gave this read a very solid 4 stars. It was just right amount of mystery and horror that I love.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

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So this beautiful book is a historical fiction/retelling/thriller. It deals with the horrific story of Lizzie Borden and what she may or may not done to her parents in 1892. I loved how the author told the story from multiple points of view. Each one was very distinct and I found interesting to read. Usually when I read a book that is in multiple points of view I tend to start skipping one, but not with this one. I ended up giving this book 4 stars.

I WROTE:

NaNoWriMo | My Survival Kit

OCTOBER 2017 | WRAP UP

NaNoWriMo | Update Week 1

Book Haul | November 2017

NaNoWriMo | What I Use to Write

TAG TUESDAY | The Entertainer Blogger Award

December TBR | 2017


What was your favorite read this month?

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Writing and More

NaNoWriMo | What I Use to Write

NaNoWriMo

Hi everyone! I just wanted to take a break from being sick and trying to write to share with you some of the things I use to help me write and stay on track.

Pinterest

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I use this site as a vision board. I pin people that might look like my characters or places I see them in. I may even tag some clothing I think my characters might wear. I am a very visual person so having a place to organize it all is very helpful for me.

Scrivener

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This writing program always has a free trial during NaNoWriMo and I use it each time. I find it to be very organize and I can easily navigate through my novel. It is very helpful  when I need to reference a detail or I am fuzzy on what I wrote a few nights ago at 2 in the morning.

Notebook

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I did not take this picture, if you know who did please let me know so I can credit them.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my writing ideas don’t always hit me when I am near my computer. That is why I always carry around a notebook. I am currently using a Moleskine Harry Potter Marauder’s Map notebook and I am loving it. This round of NaNoWriMo I have filled about a quarter of this notebook.

Google play

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A good playlist always puts me in a good mood or a bad mood. It all depends on what is happening in my story. Music really helps me get into the mindset to set an appropriate tone. If I am writing an epic fight scene or a scene where one of my characters are being self reflective I am not going to be playing the same type of music. Having music set for a particular part or mood really helps me focus on my story.


What do you use to help you write?

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Wrap Up

OCTOBER 2017 | WRAP UP

Wrap Up

I READ:

‘Salem’s Lot18302455

I finally finished Salem’s Lot! I have been reading this book since February of this year. I started reading it with my boyfriend, but then life got in the way so I ended up having to finish the book on my own. I am very happy I finished it though, I gave it 4 stars.

Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem’s Lot in hopes that exploring the history of the Marsten House, an old mansion long the subject of rumor and speculation, will help him cast out his personal devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods, and only one returns alive, Mears begins to realize that something sinister is at work—in fact, his hometown is under siege from forces of darkness far beyond his imagination. And only he, with a small group of allies, can hope to contain the evil that is growing within the borders of this small New England town.

With this, his second novel, Stephen King established himself as an indisputable master of American horror, able to transform the old conceits of the genre into something fresh and all the more frightening for taking place in a familiar, idyllic locale.

Finders Keepers18302455

This is the second book in the Mr. Mercedes series. I throughly enjoyed this book and I rated it 4 stars!

The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.

Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.

Where the Light Falls18302455

I gave this historical fiction novel 3 stars, it was not bad, but it did not stand out very much to me. If you enjoy historical fiction and French history this might be a book for you.

From the courtrooms to the battlefields to the alleyways of Paris, with cameos from infamous figures in French history, the Patakis have crafted an epic, action-packed novel of the French Revolution as it has never been seen before. Three years after the storming of the Bastille, Paris is enlivened with the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The monarchy has been dismantled and a new nation, for the people, is rising up in its place. Jean-Luc, a young optimistic lawyer, moves his wife, Marie, and their son to Paris, inspired by a sense of duty to contribute to the new order. André, the son of a former nobleman, flees his privileged past to fight in the unified French Army with his roguish brother. Sophie, a beautiful young aristocratic widow and niece of a powerful, vindictive uncle, embarks on her own fight for independence.

Underneath the glimmer of hope and freedom, chaos threatens to undo all the progress of the revolution and the lives of these compatriots become inextricably linked. As the demand for justice breeds instability, creates enemies out of compatriots, and fuels a constant thirst for blood in the streets, Jean-Luc, Andre, and Sophie are forced to question the sacrifices made for the revolution. Liberty proves a fragile, fleeting ideal, and survival seems less and less likely—both for these unforgettable individuals, and indeed for the new nation itself.

Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume 118302455

Eleanor Roosevelt is one of my favorite woman in the world. I have looked up to her since I was a young girl. I wrote my first ever biography project in elementary school on her. I ended up giving this particular book on her 3.5 stars. I wrote some more on why I only gave it this rating on good reads, which you can find here. This is the first book in a three book series and I am going to continue. I am planning on writing a full review on the series later on.

Celebrated by feminists, historians, politicians & reviewers everywhere, Blanche Wiesen Cook’s Eleanor Roosevelt presents an unprecedented portrait of the towering female figure of the 20th century. This volume begins with her harrowing childhood, describes the difficulties of her marriage & explains how she persuaded Franklin to make the reforms that would make him famous.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer 18302455

I buddy read this wonderful book with Lia and Amy, you should really check them out. I LOVED this book. I honestly did not have high hopes and was not going to pick this book up, but then this buddy read came out. I am so happy it did because this book is one of my top reads of the year. It left me on the edge of my seat and I felt myself getting very angry on behalf of the characters. 5 Stars!

Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

With Ballet in My Soul18302455

I received this book for review from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. That review is coming very soon, but I will say I gave this book a solid 4 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

A life spanning close to 100 years is noteworthy, if only because of its longevity. The rich life of a woman committed to a professional vision ahead of its time, filled with glamour, excitement, and adventure, is truly remarkable. Narrated in her own words, this is the story of such a woman, Eva Maze, who, from the time she left Romania as a teenager in 1939, dreamed of being a ballet dancer, and through a series a circumstances, became instead one of the most successful theatrical impresarios in Europe – with a career spanning more than 40 years.

I WROTE:

OCTOBER TBR | 2017

BOOK OF THE MONTH | SEPTEMBER 2017

TAG | I MESSED UP BOOK TAG

MY TOP HORROR READS

TAG TUESDAY | THE MIRANDA SINGS AWARD

BOOK HAUL | OCTOBER 2017

NANOWRIMO | 2017


What book did you read this month and love?

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Writing and More

NaNoWriMo | My Survival Kit

NaNoWriMo

For me I always hit a point in NaNoWriMo where I say, “Yeah, I can’t do this”. So I have developed a little survival box/kit over the years that I know helps me a lot.

  • A writing prompt book
  • My favorite tea – I only drink while I write
  • A candle – I only burn while I write
  • My favorite snack(s)
  • Slips of paper with inspiring quotes
  • Headphones
  • Story outline – I do a little prep in October
  • references for topics I will be mentioning in my story
  • A coloring book – because taking a break can be helpful.
  • Images that work with my story
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Here is a peak at one of the images I am using for my story I am using this year.

While this is not a definitive guide, these are things I keep close to me while writing during the month of November. Some may or may not help you, but I do hope that you find some inspiration.


What is in your emergency writing kit?

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Writing and More

NaNoWriMo | 2017

NaNoWriMo

Hello everyone, happy (almost) November! I wanted to let all of you know that this month my blog posts are going to be a little bit different. I am going to be taking part in NaNoWriMo for the 4th time. So my blog posts for this month are going to be revolving around this. While NaNoWriMo is still dealing with books. My posts are going to be focusing on my writing process and my experience in this month long challenge.

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

https://nanowrimo.org/about

Yep, so the goal is to write a 50,000 DRAFT of a novel. It is not about writing well it is about writing and getting the amazing story that has been in your head finally down on paper. Another way to look at this is that you need to write  1,667 words a day. You can write in any order, you can jump around, all you need to do it write.

For More Information:

If you would like to learn more about NaNoWriMo or sign-up for the challenge you can visit https://nanowrimo.org/. Here you can get inspiration, support, and keep track of your stats.


I hope you enjoy the upcoming posts and if there is anything you would like me to talk about please let me know!

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Lists & Recommendations

October 2017 | Books I am Excited About

Blog

So this month I decided to try something new. I thought I would share some of the books that are releasing this month that I am excited about. Maybe this will get you excited about a book you had no idea existed or maybe not. Either way I love talking about books with you and what is more exciting then upcoming releases?

Origin by Dan Brown

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This is book 5 in the Robert Langdon series, while the last book was not the best I am still looking forward to this release and to continue the story.

Release Date: October 3rd 2017

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.

As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.

Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind by Jaime Lowe

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Having lost someone from mental illness I find myself drawn to reading about others experience with mental illness and their journey. Maybe it is a quest to understand or wanting to feel connected to her again, I may never realize the true answer. But, for me this book as an added interest is the fact that this is not just a memoir, but also a study into one of the treatments lithium.
Release Date: October 3rd 2017
It began with an insomniac summer in Los Angeles in 1993, when Jaime Lowe was just 16. She stopped sleeping and eating, and began to hallucinate–Michael Jackson wearing masks, demonically cackling Muppets, and faces in windows. She wrote manifestos and math equations in her diary, and infographics on her wall. Eventually hospitalized and diagnosed as bipolar, her prescribed medication was three pink pills — lithium.
In Grand Delusions, Lowe shares her story of life-long episodic madness and the stability she found with lithium, as well as a journalistic exploration of the history and science of the mysterious element. She interviews scientists, psychiatrists, and patients to examine how effective lithium really is and how its side effects can be dangerous for long-term users. Lowe travels to the Bolivian salt mines that hold over half of the world’s lithium reserves, as well as to rural America, where turn of the century lithium spas are still touted as a tonic to cure all ills.
At the heart of Grand Delusions is Lowe’s personal story, detailing her experiences on and off lithium, and the mental health and personal struggles that have accompanied it. Most recently, the longterm effects of lithium have led to her kidney degradation. Now adjusting to new medication after 20 years of lithium, Lowe’s pursuit of a stable life continues. Grand Delusions is eye-opening and powerful, tackling an illness and drug that has touched millions of lives and yet remains shrouded in social stigma. With unflinching honesty, Lowe allows us a clear-eyed view into her life, while also offering a compelling historical overview of one of mankind’s oldest medical mysteries.

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

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When I was younger my mom showed me a movie called Practical Magic, it still is one of my favorites I rewatch over and over. Of course I was thrilled when another book was coming out about this family and their family curse.

Release Date: October 10th 2017

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

Book of Mythicality by Rhett McLaughlin & Link Neal

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I have been watching these two bestfriends for many years now and I am so happy they are finally coming out with their own book. I cannot wait for the fun stories and insight given by these hilarious men.
Release Date: October 10th 2017

“Internetainers” Rhett & Link met in first grade when their teacher made them miss recess for writing profanity on their desks, and they have been best friends ever since. Today, their daily YouTube talk show, Good Mythical Morning, is the most-watched daily talk show on the Internet, and nearly 12 million subscribers tune in to see the guys broadcast brainy trivia, wild experiments, and hilarious banter (not to mention the occasional cereal bath). Now the award-winning comedians are finally bringing their “Mythical” world to the printed page in their first book.

A hilarious blend of autobiography, trivia, and advice, Rhett & Link’s Book of Mythicality: A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity, and Tomfoolery will offer twenty ways to add “Mythicality” to your life, including:

Eat Something That Scares You
Make a Bold Hair Choice
Invent Something Ridiculous
Say “I Love You” Like It’s Never Been Said
Speak at Your Own Funeral
The goal of these offbeat prompts? To learn new things, laugh more often, and earn a few grown-up merit badges along the way. Heartfelt and completely original, this book will be the perfect gift for anyone looking for a fresh dose of humor and fun.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling & Jim Kay

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Last and not least is this years illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban do I need to say anything else?

Release Date: October 3rd 2017

For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter’s defeat of You-Know-Who was Black’s downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, “He’s at Hogwarts… he’s at Hogwarts.”

Harry Potter isn’t safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.


 What books are you buying this month?

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Wrap Up

SEPTEMBER 2017 | WRAP UP

Wrap Up

This month I did not read to much. I felt uninterested in a majority of the books I have and just felt eh about them. The books I have read I am happy that I did read. Here is my September wrap up!

I READ:

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I ended up giving this book 3 stars. While I enjoyed reading it I was not completely blown away. Here is a little blurb, I think if you enjoy country music and reading about singers this might a better book for you then it was for me.

Playing to packed houses while her hit song rushes up the charts, country singer and fiddler Jo Lover is poised to become a big Nashville star like her idols, Loretta, Reba, and Sheryl. To ensure her success, Jo has carefully crafted her image: a pretty, sassy, down-to-earth girl from small-town Virginia who pours her heart into her songs.

But the stage persona she’s built is threatened when her independent label merges with big-time Capitol Records, bringing Nashville heartthrob JD McCoy—her first love—back into her life. Long ago Jo played with JD’s band. Then something went wrong, they parted ways and took their own crooked roads to stardom. Now, Jo’s excited—and terrified—to see him again.

When the label reunites them for a show, the old sparks fly, the duet they sing goes viral, and fans begin clamoring for more—igniting the media’s interest in the compelling singer. Why is a small-town girl like Jo so quiet about her past? When did she and JD first meet? What split them apart? All too soon, the painful secret she’s been hiding is uncovered; a shocking revelation that threatens to destroy her reputation and her dreams. To salvage her life and her career, Jo must finally face the past—and her feelings for JD—to become the true Nashville diva she was meant to be.

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A Sea of Straw I ended up giving 4 stars, it was a wonderful book! I wrote a full detailed review that you can find here: REVIEW | A Sea of Straw by Julia Sutton.

1966: When Jody, young mother and designer from Manchester, arrives on the Lisbon coast, she brings the lure of ‘Swinging London’ to Portuguese painter Ze ‘s existing dreams of freedom. A nascent love is interrupted when, back in England, husband Michael forces her to choose between their 2-year-old daughter Anna and Ze . And Ze, at home in Lisbon and grounded by the state’s secret police, can only wait.

For both Jody and Ze, love is revolution. And personal and political threads weave their story, a period piece set amid the then socially conservative North of England, the light and rugged landscapes of modern Portugal, and the darkness of the dying years of Europe’s longest-running dictatorship. A Sea of Straw, with its pervading atmosphere of saudades, is a quest for love in revolutionary times.

I WROTE:

TAG | The Awesome Blogger Award

BOOKSTORE TRAVELS

REVIEW | A Sea of Straw by Julia Sutton

Decluttering | My Books


What book did you read this month and love?

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