The Goddesses: a Review

fullsizeoutput_4c3The Goddesses

Swan Huntley

320 pages

July 2017

When Nancy and her family arrive in Kona, Hawaii, they are desperate for a fresh start. Nancy’s husband has cheated on her; they sleep in separate bedrooms and their twin sons have been acting out, setting off illegal fireworks. But Hawaii is paradise: they plant an orange tree in the yard; they share a bed once again and Nancy resolves to make a happy life for herself. She starts taking a yoga class and there she meets Ana, the charismatic teacher. Ana has short, black hair, a warm smile, and a hard-won wisdom that resonates deeply within Nancy. They are soon spending all their time together, sharing dinners, relaxing in Ana’s hot tub, driving around Kona in the cute little car Ana helps Nancy buy. As Nancy grows closer and closer to Ana skipping family dinners and leaving the twins to their own devices she feels a happiness and understanding unlike anything she’s ever experienced, and she knows that she will do anything Ana asks of her.

A mesmerizing story of friendship and manipulation set against the idyllic tropical world of the Big Island, The Goddesses is a stunning psychological novel by one of our most exciting young writers   Goodreads Synopsis

 

This is one of those books for me that I wanted to abandon during the first 70 pages, and then ended up loving.  While I could not personally identify with everything that Nancy is going through, there was still something so relatable to her character.  I think every person goes through a phase of trying to figure out who they are, especially in a new city.

This book is categorized as a psychological thriller, I am here to tell you that it is not.  While there is a small twist in plot line, there’s really nothing thriller-esque about it.  The Goddesses falls much more under the general fiction genre.

And on a random side note, as a family who shops at Costco every Sunday, and about 99.9% of all of our food comes from there, I loved all of the little Costco references.

 

Little Gray Dress

Welcome!  Today is my stop on the Little Gray Dress blog tour.  First, I want to thank Aimee for having me.  This is her debut book, and I can already tell this won’t be her only success.

Little Gray Dress is the movie The Wedding Date meets 27 Dresses.  There were so many laugh out loud moments with Emi, the main character who is getting over her ex-fiance, and of course their paths cross in the MOST inconvenient of ways!  I loved every bit of Little Gray Dress.  The perfect read for anyone who loves a good wedding book/chick lit.  Whenever Aimee Brown comes out with her next title, you better believe I will be right there waiting to read it!  Fantastic job!

 Title: Little Gray Dress
Author: Aimee Brown
Release Date: August 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Chick Lit
GoodReads: add Little Gray Dress to your to be read list

Book Blurb:

Emi Harrison has avoided her ex-fiance, Jack Cabot, for nearly two years. Her twin brother Evan’s wedding is about to end that streak.

From bad bridesmaid’s dresses, a hyperactive sister-in-law, a mean girl with even meaner secrets, and too much to drink, nothing seems to go right for Emi, except when she’s wearing her little gray dress.

When she speed-walks into Liam Jaxon’s bar, things get more complicated. He’s gorgeous, southern, and has no past with Emi. He may be exactly what she needs to prove for the last time that she doesn’t need or want Jack!

Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult life. Will it make another when she least expects it?

AmazonUSeBook – $2.99 | print – $9.99
AmazonUKeBook – £1.99| print – £6.99
Barnes & Nobleprint – $9.99
 

 I have the cutest Giveaway for the tour – pictured here <– & opened worldwide.
Included is a ‘create’ coffee cup, some dark & handsome K-cup pods, a cute Life is Short, Eat Cake wall art, some tiny macaroons, a Little Gray Dress bookmark & postcard!
Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Aimee Brown – author bio:

Aimee Brown is a writer and an avid reader. Little Gray Dress is her first published novel. My second novel is in the works now. She’s currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in English Writing. She spends much of her time writing, doing homework, raising three teenagers, binge watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has been known to utter profanities like she’s competing for a medal.

Aimee grew up in Oregon but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and far too many pets.

She would love to hear your thoughts on Little Gray Dress! If you’d like to chat with her she’s very active on social media. You can find her at any of the networks below. Stop by and say hello!

Facebook | Twitter Instagram | Pinterest | Website/Blog | GoodReads | Amazon Page | Newsletter

Weds – August 2nd

Blog on the Run – Book Review/Author Guest Post after 2nd
Books and Photographs – Book Review
Judging More Than Just the Cover – Book Review/Author Interview
Nicole Evelina – Book Review/Guest Post
The Novel Girl Reads – Book Review/Excerpt/Author Q&A

Thurs – August 3rd
Chick Lit Central – Author Interview
NovelGossip – Book Review
Hey Said Renee – Author Guest Post
Romantic Reads and Such – Book Excerpt
Steamy Book Mama – Book Review

Fri – August 4th

BrizzleLass Books – Book Review
O.D. Book Reviews – Book Excerpt
He Said Books or Me – Author Guest Post
Corinne Desjardins – Book Spotlight
Where Dragons Recide – Book Review/Author Q&A

Sat – August 5th

JenaBooks – Book Review
Sylv.net – Spotlight Post
Got Books, Babe? – Author Guest Post
The Writing Garnet – Book Review

Sun – August 6th

I Read Novels – Book Review
It’s my Life – Book Excerpt
RaeReads – Book Review
Keelee Morris – Author Guest Post
GrassMonster – Book Review

Mon – August 7th

Living Life with Joy – Book Review/Giveaway/Author Q&A
The Belgian Reviewer – Author Guest Post
Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt
Haddie’s Heaven – Spotlight Post
Books in my Opinion – Book Review
Literature Goals – Book Review/Excerpt/Author Q&A

Tue – August 8th

Reading to Unwind – Book Review
Kristin’s Novel Café – Book Excerpt & Giveaway/Book Review
Key of Dee – Author Guest Post
FrankyBrown – Book Excerpt
Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog – Book Reviews (3)

Weds – August 9th

Ink, Maps and Macarons – Giveaway/Author Q&A
Heartalefix – Book Review
Tea Party Princess – Author Guest Post/(possible) Review
One Book at a Time – Book Excerpt/Spotlight/Book Review

Thurs – August 10th

ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review/Excerpt
Rosa Temple Writes – Author Guest Post
Life at 17 – Spotlight Post
Daily Waffle – Book Excerpt/Author Q&A

Fri – August 11th

Pretty Little Book Reviews – Book Review
Sparkly Word – Book Review
Books and Readers – Book Review/Excerpt/Giveaway/Guest Post
Ali the Dragon Slayer – Book Review
Katie Lady Reads – Book Review
Rambling Lisa’s Book Reviews – Book Review/Book Excerpt

Sat – August 12th

Life of a Simple Reader – Book Review/Excerpt
Karlita – Goodreads/Social Media – Book Review
KD Reads – Book Review/Giveaway/Guest Post
D.K. Hamilton – Book Review/Author Q&A
20CC Reviews – Book Review
TrashyBibloBlog – Book Review/Excerpt

 

 

Aimee was also so awesome and wrote up a guest post for us here at KD Reads!  She seriously has such an awesome sense of humor.  I asked her to share about where she writes and her creative space.  Read on to see what she has to say:

How I Write. My space, rituals and inspirations.
By Aimee Brown
I’ve got three teenage kids so for the last 19 years I’ve not had much in the way of a quiet environment. I’ve learned to tune out the noise and often my children will ask a question and follow it up with ‘Mom, did you actually just hear me?’ LOL No, I probably didn’t and they know it. Thank God I appear to have done a good job at teaching them right from wrong. I’m sure I’ve said ‘OK’ to some crazy questions unintentionally.
Somehow, I’m able to sit and write with background noises of TV’s, music, animals, kids and husbands. There are pretty consistently a handful of conversations swirling about the room at any given moment and I feel the most comfortable that way. When everything is quiet I feel like I’m the least productive. Those are the moments I spend hours online filling up virtual shopping carts and x’ing out of the page before I purchase.
My desk is positioned at the far end of our long living/dining room combo. I actually tried recently moving it into a small room near our stairwell but I just couldn’t keep it there. I felt like I was holed up, missing out on life. At least when I’m sitting in the living room, even if I’m ignoring everyone talking to me, I don’t feel like I’m ignoring my family.
Here is my desk area –

image1

I know the photo looks dark but it’s summer and the shades on my windows stay pretty well closed from sunrise to sunrise. I love color, my desk is green, I have loads of color surrounding me and books EVERYWHERE. It’s fun, inspiring and relaxing. I get a lot done at this desk.
I guess you could say an inspiration for me are the books that surround my writing space. I look up to every single author on those shelves and am so inspired to live up to their names.
Coffee is a big ritual for me. If I’m not completely caffeinated, there will be no writing for me. I can’t say I’m much of a snacker at the keyboard because in all honesty I’m just not talented enough to eat and type at the same time. Plus, food at the desk makes a mess and I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to how I can relax. If my desk is a mess, I won’t get any writing done. I’m weird.
My cute little desk area is one of my favorite spots in the house. I do write on a Microsoft Surface 3 but have just ordered a giant monitor to hook it up to. I gotta save my straining eyes and neck to see the tiny tablet PC. I did write Little Gray Dress in it’s entirety on it so, it’s proved to be a hell of a computer/tablet.
Next on my list to add to my tiny office are new lower watt lamps (I’m a migraine sufferer & all about the mood lighting creates – that’s a whole other post lol) and a pretty pink desk chair! I’m obsess with pink, turquoise, black and white, gray, blues and yellows. My books all around me are arranged by colors and my whole house is colorful.

image1 (3)

It drives my husband mad that I can happily sit at the computer for days on end and never feel the need to take a nature break. LOL I could be the definition of a nerd…

 

The Secret of the India Orchard

Blog Tour Image for The Secret of the India Orchid

Anthony Blake is in love with his best friend’s sister, Sophia Elliot. But his plans to court her are put on hold when he is forced to resume his role as an undercover spy for the Crown. A secret document listing the names of the entire network of British spies-including his own-has been stolen. To protect Sophia, Anthony cuts off all ties to her and exchanges his life as an honorable earl for the façade of a flirtatious playboy.
Heartbroken and confused, Sophia travels to India, hoping to find healing in one of the most exotic regions of the British Empire. But the exotic land isn’t as restful as she had hoped. Instead, she finds herself embroiled in a mystery of a missing sea captain, a possible murder, and a plot that could involve the prince of India. And when Anthony appears at the British Residency, asking questions and keeping his distance from her, she is stunned.
She still loves him, and, in her heart, she knows he loves her too. But how can she rebuild her relationship with him if he won’t confide in her? Does she dare offer her heart to him a second time, or will their love be lost under the India sun? Goodreads Synopsis

 

This is the second proper romance title I have read.  I read The Vicar’s Daughter  last year and absolutely loved it.  When Shadow Mountain Publishing asked if I would like to be part of the blog tour for a new proper romance title, I didn’t hesitate to say absolutely!

The proper romance series combines historical fiction and romance, without the graphic writing that some books have.  The books are written by different authors and all published by Shadow Mountain Publishing.

The Secret of the India Orchid has a little bit of everything: romance, spies, mystery even murder!

I will say, the beginning of this one started a little slow for me.  Mostly because it was setting up the storyline of the military and why the mission was happening.  That’s not really my thing. However, once all of that was set up, the book was captivating and I wanted to keep reading.

I would recommend The Secret of the India Orchid to anyone who enjoys a good historical fiction read.

Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing for sending a copy for me to review as part of the blog tour.

White Fur: a Review

White Fur

By Jardine Libaire

305 pages

May 2017

When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in a housing project without a father and didn’t graduate from high school. Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. The attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore.

The unlikely couple moves to Manhattan in hopes of forging an adult life together, but Jamey’s family intervenes in desperation, and the consequences of staying together are suddenly severe. And when a night out with old friends takes a shocking turn, Jamey and Elise find themselves fighting not just for their love but also for their lives. Goodreads Synopsis 

Here we have another book that’s difficult for me to review.  My initial thought of review was 3.5 stars, mostly because of character frustration.  Jamey and Elise’s (but especially Jamie) flat out angered me; but then I think to so,e extent that was the point.  They were young and reckless, and basically threw away their lives.  

Some parts of the book were just too much.  About halfway through I was trying to figure out what all they hype about this book was about.  Then I was thinking about the emotions and anger over these characters and I realized this is indeed a good book.  The author wrote so poetically and had such beautiful prose with characters so well developed to invoke true emotion.  Isn’t that what books are supposed to do?

So really, while I didn’t love the story, I really did love the book and will give it a solid 🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

Thank you to blogging for books for sending  me a copy of White Fur for review.

The Map That Leads to You: a Review

IMG_5634 2The Map That Leads to You

J.P. Monninger

400 pages

June 2017

A romantic, vivid novel that takes place in the tender time of a young woman’s life: Heather has graduated from college and is traveling around Europe with her two best friends. She’s left school responsibility behind and adult responsibility is looming, but this is her one, one last summer to be free. Heather doesn’t expect to even meet Jack, let alone fall in love with him. Jack is an enigmatic Vermonter a few years older than she is, who is following his grandfather’s journal to various cities around Europe. But in the same way that forces are bringing Jack and Heather together, life and duty are pushing them apart. And Jack has a secret that is going to change absolutely everything.  Goodreads Synopsis

I couldn’t have picked a better time for this book to have been sent my way.  A few weeks after it was delivered, I was heading off to Europe with my family for an Italian adventure.  While only a small section of the book takes place in Italy, it is still a story about traveling across Europe by train (something I did a lot of) and the people you encounter.

As far as a coming of age, new adult (college grad) story it doesn’t get much better than this.  The descriptions of the places made it feel like you were traveling right alongside of  Jack and Heather.  The friendships made were so real and meaningful.

The Map That Leads to You is a book endorsed by Nicholas Sparks, and so right off the bat you know its going to be a tear jerker of a love story.

I highly recommend The Map That Leads to You to all lovers of a good love story.

4/5 Stars

 

 

Hello, Sunshine: a Review 

Hello, Sunshine 

By Laura Dave

256 pages

July, 2017

Simon Schuster

Fiction. Chick Lit

Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor.

And then she gets hacked.

When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life.

In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age. Goodreads Synopsis
I really loved Eight Hundred Grapes when I read it last year, so when I heard she had a new book out, I was THRILLED!!  So I naturally had high expectations for this one and let me tell you now, it did not disappoint!

So much of this story was relatable to anyone on social media, from the celebrity to the small account, it’s easy to become wrapped up in the “fakeness” of what’s posted.  Easy to become someone you aren’t.  

Sunshine’s snarkiness comes across so wonderfully with her little side comments to the reader.  Most of the time it’s like she’s really talking to you.

Not once in the book did anything feel like it was dragging along, or inserted as filler. Everything was so well done that the story just takes off.

I highly recommend Hello, Sunshine for fans of general fiction/chic lit/beachy summer reads that aren’t about a beach house.  

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5 

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending me an early copy for review.

Serenity Harbor

SerenityHarbor_BookCoverBest-selling author RaeAnne Thayne

Serenity Harbor by RaeAnne Thayne

384 pages

June, 2017

Computer-tech millionaire Bowie Callahan is about the last person that schoolteacher Katrina Bailey wants to work for. As far as she can see, he’s arrogant, entitled and not up to the task of caring for his young half brother, Milo. But Kat is, especially if it brings her closer to her goal of adopting an orphaned little girl. And as her kindness and patience work wonders with Milo, she realizes there’s more to sexy, wary Bo than she’d ever realized.

Bo never imagined he’d be tasked with caring for a sibling he didn’t know existed. Then again, he never pictured himself impulsively kissing vibrant, compassionate Katrina in the moonlight. Now he’s ready to make her dream of family come true…and hoping there’s room in it for him, too…Goodreads Synopsis

Serenity Harbor is book 6 of the Haven Point series.  I have never read any of the other Haven Point novels until this one.  My biggest pet peeve is going into a book that I didn’t know was part of a series and being completely lost the first 100 pages or so.  This book was not that at all.  It is 100% a stand alone novel, but just to warn you, you will probably want to read the other 5 books after you finish!

Haven Point is where I want to live.  It’s quaint, it’s small town, it’s water and mountains.  Really, the town is a main character.  Without it, there would be something lacking in the story.

Even though this is a romance read, it’s not smut.  (big difference!) Kat is probably the most patient person in the world, and this is coming from a former pre-k teacher!  Her relationship with Milo, the little brother of Bo who has autism, is just as important and developed as her romantic relationship.

The book is very well written and a perfect vacation read!  I know some more books from this series are going to be on my summer reading list this year!  I hope you enjoy Serenity Harbor as much as I did!

 

Thank you to Little Bird Publicity for sending me a digital copy for review and having me be a part of the blog hop!