Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: Your Perfect Life by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Your Perfect Life by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
304 pages, Paperback
Published June 2014, Washington Square Press
Source: Received from publisher in exchange for review, NetGalley
My Review

Have you ever envied your friend's life over yours? Maybe she has the career you always wanted, no kids, dating young hot guys and sleeping in until noon. Or maybe she has the perfect family-loving husband, kids, home with a white picket fence. 

Would you switch lives if you could? What if there was a magic purple drink that would give you your friend's "perfect life"?

Casey and Rachel don't choose to, but a mysterious bartender at their 20th high school reunion sets in motion an interesting "Freaky Friday" like switch. Casey gets a chance to see what Rachel's life is like as a stay at home mom of two teens and a baby and a husband who has checked out. Rachel gets to try out being a semi-celebrity, co-hosting an entertainment program. 

Both are surprised to find that they may have already had the "perfect life", it just needed a little tweaking.

Your Perfect Life was such a fun read. Perfect summer vacation book to take with you to the beach, lake, bathtub. Where ever you feel like relaxing and losing yourself in the fun of it. These characters are my age and I was able to relate to some of each of their problems. I really enjoyed this book-the style of writing, the characters and the fantasy of it all. Finished it in about a day, I believe. Ready for their next book.

For more information about the book and the authors, visit their WEBSITE.

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Favorite Photo Friday

Oops! I missed last week. I was happily child free enjoying some wine tasting in Napa with the hubby and friends. :)

A couple weeks ago I wandered the Embarcadero and made it into the lobby of the new Exploratorium in San Francisco. A very cool new place for the museum. Loved the shadows in this photo, the yellow of the awning and the silhouette of the little boy tinkering with something he made while inside. I need to go back with the little girl.

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Recipes for Play by Rachel Sumner

Recipes for Play by Rachel Sumner
128 pages, Paperback
Published September 2014, The Experiment

Source: NetGalley

Having an almost four year old, I am always looking for fun activities to do with her. This book is filled with really great indoor and outdoor activities that will keep the littles busy all summer long. If you want messy or clean, loud or quiet, portable or not...there is something for every need.

Some of the activities are ones we have done before, but included are recipes with all natural ingredients for food coloring, paints and dough. I love this. Especially for little ones who still like to put everything in their mouths.

One activity the little girl really enjoyed was Garden Soup. In a bucket she mixed water with leaves, petals, dirt and a rotting lemon she found in our yard. She took her time searching for her ingredients and for a proper stick to stir. She ended up finding one that looked like a whisk. When she was finished mixing she placed her bucket of "soup" in the sun to cook. This entertained her for about 30-40 minutes! That is a long time for this 3.5 year old.
Adding her ingredients. #recipesforplayAlmost ready to cook in the sun. #recipesforplay @experimentbooks

I will be recommending this book to the teachers at the co-op preschool we attend. I bet they will love it as much as I do.
Teach, Play, Learn!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review: The Curse of Van Gogh by Paul Hoppe

The Curse of Van Gogh by Paul Hoppe
344 pages, Paperback
Published July 2014, SparksPress

Source: from publisher for review, BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge

About the Book

Tyler Sears, art thief, just released from a Federal prison, vows never again. 

He slides into a simple life bartending in NYC until one day an invitation arrives to the hottest art event of the season, where Tyler meets Komate Imasu, famed art collector. Suddenly Tyler's vows of abstinence slip away as Imasu uses threats against Tyler's family. Tyler quickly learns that gambling against a ruthless billionaire is never a good idea. 

Forgetting his own safety, Tyler plunges headfirst into a world of art forgers, hit men, Yakuza, a femme fatale named Chanel N°5, and the hideous curse of van Gogh, in order to pull off...the greatest art heist in history.

My Review

For some reason I thought this was going to be a historical fiction. The name through me off.
Was I surprised to find this to be a thriller and a good one.
It was full of intrigue, interesting characters and a ridiculously impossible art heist. This isn't the sleek and luxurious art world of The Thomas Crown Affair. It is a very real, dirty and dangerous world that Hoppe gives us and I really liked it.
It is a very fast and entertaining read and I really enjoyed getting lost in it. The action is non stop from beginning to end. I was totally immersed and invested in seeing Ty and his family make it safely to the end of the book. 
And, I guess, I maybe could call it historical fiction. It takes place in 1999 in NYC leading up to the start of the new Millennium... Okay, maybe not.  

About the Author

Paul Hoppe worked as a lobbyist in Washington DC, a stockbroker on Wall Street, and a screenwriter in Hollywood before writing his first novel. He has lived on four different continents and currently splits his time between the High Sierras and the beaches of Australia.

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review: The Nuts Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin

The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin 
Illustrated by Scott Magoon
32 pages, Hardback
Published July 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Source: purchased

Wally and Hazel are not ready to go to bed and are going nuts. How will their mom get them into bed?

If you have a little you probably know all about Pete the Cat. Well Eric Litwin, the author of the first four books in that series, is no longer writing those, but he just came out with another story and we are big fans. Go get yourself a copy, listen to the songs online and enjoy! So much fun. It has the same great writing, catchy song and great illustrations. 

If you are in the Bay Area. He will be reading at the Redwood Shores Public Library on October 26th. Sponsered by Kepler's Books. The little girl and I will be there!

Can't make it there? Check out Eric Litwin's WEBSITE for more dates and locations.

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Blue Apron Meals

You have probably seen the ads on Facebook and Twitter for Blue Apron, right? They are everywhere. 

I always wondered about the service but didn't really think it would be something for our family. I am normally not much of a cook. Recently, though, I have been trying to do more cooking and I saw a review of the service on Oh Happy Day with a discounted trial week. I decided to give it a try.

I got a box in the mail from @blueapron today. Gonna give this service a try this week.Dinner prep. Love seeing all the ingredients in the bowls I made. @blueapron

I was sent all the ingredients and recipe cards for three meals. The first two meals were made for myself and the little girl and the third I ended up making as an appetizer for a family bbq. I enjoyed them all. The little girl really liked the chicken and peanut sauce. The salmon was tasty, but I didn't like the fennel salad. I don't like fennel normally, so I wasn't surprised, but the potato salad was very good. The stuffed peppers were delicious. Everyone enjoyed that one.

Tonight's @blueapron meal is a hit. Even with the little girl.Dinner is ready. Very yummy but still not a fan of fennel. As you can see, it didn't make it to my plate. @blueapronDoesn't look pretty but it was sure tasty. Two stuffed peppers were shared between 10 of us. Perfect starter. @blueapron
Chicken Satay w/peanut sauce and marinated green tomatoes
Pan-Seared Salmon w/fennel and heirloom potato salad
Rice and Beef-Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Lime-crema sauce

All in all, I really liked the service. It is about $10 per person per meal. So, $60 for the three meals for 2 people. I realize this is much more expensive than others may spend on three meals. We tend to eat out a lot and we are in the Bay Area. We can easily spend that on one meal out and not a fancy one. Even a kid's meal at a restaurant here is almost $10. I feel like we spend a lot at the grocery store for home cooking, too, due to not all ingredients getting used, specialty items, etc. Blue Apron came out much cheaper than what we spend normally on dinners and it gets me cooking healthy meals at home. 

So, yeah, I will definitely be using them again. Not every week, but when we are looking for a change in meals and when the hubby is home. It will make for some nice dinners at home.

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post at Beth Fish Reads.

Happy Cooking!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Favorite Photo Friday

I love my bookshelves! They are a mess but full of really great books. Do you ever find yourself looking at your books and just remembering when you read certain ones? Lately, I have been thinking about bookshelves for the remodel. I would love to still have them out where I can stare at them.

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Blast: The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee

About The Book

The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee

Audible AudioBook Edition Release Date: April 4, 2014
Listening Length: 12 hours and 39 minutes
Publisher: Audible Studios
Language: English

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Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year pick: The Typewriter Girl is a “spectacular debut, set in a perfectly realized Victorian England.”

When Betsey Dobson disembarks from the London train in the seaside resort of Idensea, all she owns is a small valise and a canary in a cage. After an attempt to forge a letter of reference she knew would be denied her, Betsey has been fired from the typing pool of her previous employer. Her vigorous protest left one man wounded, another jilted, and her character permanently besmirched.
Now, without money or a reference for a new job, the future looks even bleaker than the debacle she left behind her.

But her life is about to change … because a young Welshman on the railroad quay, waiting for another woman, is the one finally willing to believe in her.

Mr. Jones is inept in matters of love, but a genius at things mechanical. In Idensea, he has constructed a glittering pier that astounds the wealthy tourists. And in Betsey, he recognizes the ideal tour manager for the Idensea Pier & Pleasure Building Company.

After a lifetime of guarding her secrets and breaking the rules, Betsey becomes a force to be reckoned with. Together, she and Mr. Jones must find a way for her to succeed in a society that would reject her, and figure the price of surrendering to the tides of love.

Praise for The Typewriter Girl

“Atlee’s out¬standing debut unflinchingly explores … the unforgiving man’s world of Victorian England.” –PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

“Easily one of the most romantic books I’ll read all year … John and Betsey are compelling and worth rooting for.” –DEAR AUTHOR (a Recommended Read)

“Sweeps readers to a satisfying conclusion.” –LIBRARY JOURNAL

About the Author

Alison Atlee spent her childhood re-enacting Little Women and trying to fashion nineteenth century wardrobes for her Barbie dolls. Happily, these activities turned out to be good preparation for writing historical novels. She now lives in Kentucky.

For more information please visit Alison Atlee’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook,TwitterGoogle+Goodreads andPinterest.

The Typewriter Girl Swag Giveaway

One copy of The Typewriter Girl (Audio Book or Print)
Set of earbuds in a cute typewriter print pouch
A Typewriter Girl Happily-Ever-After t-shirt (features last lines from famous novels)
A vintage style postcard "from" Idensea, the setting of The Typewriter Girl
A "dream wildly" ribbon bookmark with typewriter key charms

To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to residents in the US, Canada, and the UK.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on August 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on August 30th and notified via email.
Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Click on the tour button for the schedule and links to all blogs participating.

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Giveaway: Deadly Errors by Allen Wyler

Thriller Explores Biggest Medical Nightmare:
                                                      Deadly Patient-Care Errors

"A thriller that only a doctor could have written. Wyler's sense of the worlds of the hospital and operating room are unsurpassed. You'll feel as if you are right there."

--Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of Miracle Cure and The Sisterhood

Deadly Errors is a wild and satisfying ride! This is an ‘up all night’ pass into troubled places that only hard-working doctors know about, a turbulent world of trusting patients and imperfect humans struggling with the required image of perfection.”
--John J. Nance, author of Pandora’s Clock and Fire Flight

About the book

 A comatose man is given a fatal dose of insulin in the emergency room, even though he isn't diabetic.  An ulcer patient dies of shock after receiving a transfusion of the wrong blood type.  A recovering heart patient receives a double dose of medication and suffers a fatal heart attack.

Brain surgeon Dr. Tyler Matthews suspects that something is seriously wrong with the hospital’s new Med-InDx computerized medical record system. But he doesn’t suspect that there’s something murderously wrong with it.

As Matthews begins to peel back the layers of deception that cover the deadly errors, he crosses powerful corporate interests who aren’t about to let their multi-billion dollar medical record profits evaporate. Now a target, Matthews finds himself trapped in a maze of deadly conspiracy, with his career, his marriage, and his very life on the line.

Once again, Wyler blends his unparalleled expertise as a world-class surgeon with his uncanny knack for suspense to create a true best-of-breed medical thriller. Deadly Errors is a lightning-quick action procedural that is destined to win new fans to the medical thriller genre.

Buy the Book

About the Author
Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity.  He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.
In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.
Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.
He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.


To celebrate the release of Wyler's new novel, Deadly Odds,  Astor+Blue is offering you all a chance to win a copy of Deadly Errors. I have read a few of Wyler's books and am a fan. Anyone who enjoys a good medical mystery will enjoy it. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian readers. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mailbox Monday: A Book for the Little Girl

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
A trip to The Reading Bug and we now have ourselves the new book by Eric Litwin. Yay. 

The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin
And, it is a signed copy!

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.
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