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Friday, August 10, 2018

Review: Heart Land by Kimberly Stuart

Release date: July 17th 2018
Publisher: Howard Books
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
A story of re-connection, lost love, and the power of faith, Heart Land follows a struggling fashion designer back to her small Iowa hometown as she tries to follow her dreams of success and finding true love.

Grace Klaren has finally made her dream of living in the Big Apple and working in the fashion industry a reality. But when she’s unexpectedly fired and can’t afford the next month’s rent, Grace does something she never thought she’d do: she moves back home.

Back in Silver Creek, Iowa, Grace is determined to hate it. She rails against the quiet of her small town, where everything closes early, where there’s no nightlife, where everyone knows each other. She’s saving her pennies and plotting her return to New York when she almost runs over a man who’s not paying attention at a crosswalk. It turns out to be Tucker, her high school sweetheart whose heart she broke when she left ten years ago. They reconnect, and Grace remembers why she fell for him in the first place.

And her career begins to turn around when she finds a gorgeous but tattered vintage dress at a flea market. She buys it, rips it apart seam by seam, and re-creates it with new fabric, updating the look with some of her own design ideas. She snaps a picture and lists the dress online, and within a day, it sells for nearly $200. Suddenly, Grace has her ticket out of here.

But Grace can’t fight her growing feelings for Tucker. Sometimes when they’re together, Tucker paints a picture of what their future could be like, and it feels so real. And when she finally gains the funding to move her new business back to New York, Grace must decide where home really is—will she chase her long-held New York dream, or find a new dream here in the heartland? 

*Publisher approved request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Heart Land is a cute story that while has its predictable moments, there are good life lessons you can take from it. One thing I liked the most is how it emphasized that home is truly where the heart is, no matter where you go or how much you may feel like that place isn't for you and that you need bigger things to fill a need.

Character-wise, Grace came off rather naive to me, especially in how she maneuvered life in New York. It baffled me how quickly she was to trust, more specifically trusting the same person that carried out her firing. That bit aside, she was relatable in the sense that some people just want more and want to experience greater things than their small town can offer. So it's understandable that she didn't want to limit herself to Silver Creek. Sadly, there were times she straight up shaded her hometown in the process, even failing to keep in touch with those closest to her.

Gigi was a wonderful figure in the story. The way she'd always have open arms waiting for Grace was commendable because not many would do the same after Grace's continuous neglect of where she came from. I also liked her unwavering faith and the constant reminder that you'll rise after every fall in life.

The romance aspect was also adorable. Tucker went through a lot with Grace and it's a wonder that he could still love her after everything, but he definitely held her in his heart and held on to the hope that one day she'd open her eyes and realize everything she wanted in life was already in front of her face. 

Again, a really cute story with some valuable lessons. For instance, I liked that Grace tried to help out members of her town by involving them in her business when things started to turn around for her. And the fact that she stood her ground and thought of them when faced with a horrible deal made her more likable and showcased growth. As I've said, a good story. It's just that it was a tad predictable. But overall, if you're looking for a short and sweet read about faith, self-discovery, and love, then you may enjoy this one.

About the Author

Kimberly StuartKimberly Stuart, in an effort to condone the time and money spent, would like you to know she holds degrees from St. Olaf College and the University of Iowa. She learned lots of interesting things at these fine institutions, none of which prepared her for the lethal cocktail of parenthood and writing. Stuart is the author of the Heidi Elliott series, Act Two, Stretch Marks, Operation Bonnet and Sugar. She is a frequent public speaker and is passionate about helping others live great stories.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Review: All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

Release date: July 17th 2018
Publisher: Atria Books
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us—whose writing is “emotionally wrenching and utterly original” (Sarah Shepard, New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars series)—delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

*Publisher approved request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

All Your Perfects is a beautiful and realistic story depicting how two people can move from being hopelessly in love at the beginning of their relationship to fighting for each other when times get tough.

I'd like to start of my review by admitting that I didn't totally understand Quinn's unhappiness at first. I found it baffling as to how she could be so sad in her marriage yet she wants to have a baby. Babies don't fix things, it only makes the situation more stressful. But as the story progresses and I begin to learn more about what she's going through and why Graham's love hurt her so much then I could sympathize with Quinn and where she's coming from. 

I really like how real and relatable their problems are, especially on Quinn's part. I don't want to specify too much but I do want to say this is something many women face and I like that Colleen explored this issue so much. 
Graham is definitely one of a kind, in the way that he's so loving and understanding of his wife and is accepting of everything about her. I think Quinn had all these expectations and dreams going into their marriage, that while Graham shared and loved about her, he also knew within his heart that none of those things would shatter the love he has for her should they not achieve them. I believe Quinn lost this somewhere down the line and definitely needed to be reminded of what truly matters and why they got married to begin with.

Being that the story is written in past and present times, you really get to experience the highs of their relationship and the most hurtful times. I enjoyed getting to know these two and falling in love with their love. It definitely started out crazy but you quickly warm up to the intense feelings between them. I'd be smiling at their cuteness and then crying at their sadness. It's just that great of a story with superb writing. I haven't read a Hoover novel since Confess, but this book certainly has me hopping back on the CoHo train. I highly recommend!

Colleen HooverAbout the Author
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Maybe Not, Ugly Love, Confess, November 9, It Ends with Us, and Without Merit. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three years in a row—for Confess (2015), It Ends with Us (2016), and Without Merit (2017). Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.


Friday, July 13, 2018

New Release: Unpredictable by K.A. Berg

Series: Apprehensive #3
Release date: July 13th 2018
Publisher: BergBooks LLC
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Things are about to get...Unpredictable!

Quinn and Alex are no strangers to pain and struggle, but thankfully that's all behind them and in the past. Or is it?

What happens when life doesn't go the way they've planned? They vowed to love other through the good times and the bad, but what about through shattered dreams and harsh realities?

Is their love strong enough to endure life as it becomes unpredictable? Or will they push each other too far and lose it all?

About the Author
KA Berg
Kimberly is a stay at home mom to four beautiful, crazy children by day and a steaming hot novelist by night. She is a Jersey girl at heart and that's where she currently calls home with her amazing husband and children. 
Her debut release Inhibitions and the subsequent Uninhibited Series as well as the spin-off Apprehensive Duet both show her love of all things football. But not to worry, she'll still bring you plenty of steam!
When not writing she can be found curled up with a good book or watching her beloved New York Jets. Lover all things romance, including a little M/M action as well as the dark and twisted. She enjoys video chats with her best friends and always loves to hear from her fans on social media.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

#FearlessWomen Tour ~ The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

Series: Lady Astronaut #1
Release date: July 3rd 2018
Publisher: Tor Books
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process.

Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.

Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.


“I’m helping Nathaniel figure out how big the meteorite was, and composition and . . .  The Chesapeake was steaming for three days. I could sort it out on my own, but . . . I thought there might be an existing equation for figuring out what temperature it would take to make a body of water that big steam.”

“Interesting . . .  Give me a sec.” Beyond him, I could hear the Teletype bringing in reports from weather stations around the world. “You’ve got the depth and volume of water, I assume?”
“Average depth twenty- one feet. Eighteen trillion gallons.”
“Okay. So . . .  during March, the Chesapeake Bay is around forty-four degrees. So we’d need a temperature change of 199.4 . . .” A drawer opened, and the timbre of his voice changed. I could picture him with the phone pressed between cheek and shoulder, brows creased as he worked the slide rule. His crutches would be leaning against the edge of his desk. His glasses would be down at the tip of his nose to help him focus better, and he’d have the corner of his lower lip tucked between his teeth, humming between muttered phrases. “. . . divided by water’s molar mass . . .  and that gives me 1.54E20 J of energy . . . hm-hmmm . . . Adding the two energies together . . . hmmm . . . 1.84E20 J of energy. You’d need . . . It would need to be approximately 518 degrees.”
“Thanks.” I swallowed at the number and tried not to betray how much it frightened me. “You could’ve just given me the formula.”
“What? And admit that my kid sister is better at math than I am?” He snorted. “Please. I have an ego.”
I could now plug the temperature into an equation that took the approximate angle of entry into account, and that should tell me generally what sort of composition we were looking at, based on what would heat to 518 degrees during passage through the air. It wouldn’t be precise, but it would be good enough for Nathaniel’s purposes.

About the Author

Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of the historical fantasy novels Ghost Talkers and the five books in The Glamourist Histories series. She is also a multiple Hugo Award winner. Her short fiction has appeared in Uncanny,, and Asimov’s. Mary, a professional puppeteer, lives in Chicago with her husband Robert and over a dozen manual typewriters.

Women are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Women are here.” Instead, #FearlessWomen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Women will thrive here.” 

Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V.E. Schwab, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Gratton, Sam Hawke, and Robyn Bennis, #FearlessWomen will be a coordinated social media celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about women in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories. 

Tor Books’ handles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@torbooks) will be using the hashtags #FearlessWomen (and #FearlessFantasy and #FearlessSF) to promote excerpts, exclusive content, quizzes and giveaways beginning in May. There will also be exclusive giveaways at BookCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. Follow Tor Books online, join the conversation – and get reading!

CAN'T WAIT TO READ: Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes

Release date: August 28th 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last murder.

"Hidden Pieces is the dark, twisted, amped up, I Know What You Did Last Summer-esque YA suspense of my dreams! Paula Stokes delivers a modern classic."
-Gretchen McNeil, author of Ten and #MurderTrending

"A character-driven mystery perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti.”
-School Library Journal

“Stokes offers a classic whodunit, masterfully played. Characters, even minor ones, are well developed, as are the subplots . . . All become, as the title indicates, pieces of an intricate puzzle.”
-ALA Booklist, starred review

Paula StokesAbout the Author
Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres.

When she's not working (rare), she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She's petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant's trunk as it ate peanuts from her palm. Her future goals include diving with Great White sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.

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