Posted in Month in Review, Reading List

Month in Review: April 2019 Wrap Up

Here we are at the beginning of another new month!  May is one of my favorites… the flowers are blooming, the temps are warming up, and summer is in view.

But before we launch into May, let’s look back at April… time for Month in Review!  April was busy here, so this was another five-book month for me.  Here’s a roundup!

Continue reading “Month in Review: April 2019 Wrap Up”

Posted in Book Notes, Reading List

Book Notes: Review of The Braxton Campus Mysteries by James J. Cudney (with author interview)

 

If you’ve been around here for long, you know I love my cozy mysteries!  Today I’m sharing a series that I discovered a few months back, along with an author chat.

 

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The Braxton Campus Mystery series, by James J. Cudney, is a book series centered around a man named Kellan, his family, and the community around Braxton — the town and the college.

You may remember I did a cover reveal for the third book a while back.  Now I’ve had a chance to read it, and wanted to share a bit more about the series as a whole!

Continue reading “Book Notes: Review of The Braxton Campus Mysteries by James J. Cudney (with author interview)”

Posted in Reading List, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday (4/17/2019)

Hi, bookish friends!  Do you ever go through stages where you have all the books in the world to read, but just don’t get around to much reading time?  There’s been a lot going on here, plus I’ve been spending more time building up some of my social media accounts!  This is how most evenings go:

Me:  I really want to finish this great book, and I have three more I want to start, and I have a good chunk of free time tonight!

Also me:  Gets on Twitter or Bookstagram for “just a few minutes” and surfaces three hours later.  Oops.

Even so, I do have a few reading updates… so let’s do a WWW Wednesday!

Continue reading “WWW Wednesday (4/17/2019)”

Posted in Month in Review, Reading List

Month in Review: February 2019 Wrap Up

 

Hello, readers… and happy March!  I’m going to try something new, and start doing a monthly wrap-up post of everything I’ve read.  Here are the books I read this February!

 


 

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Murder & Metaphors by Amanda Flower (⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​)

This is the third installment of the delightful Magical Bookshop series from Amanda Flower. Violet and her grandmother get more than they bargained for when an event at the Morton winery & vineyard results in the death of the honored guest, a renowned wine expert and author.

I did a full review for this title and a Q&A with the author… check it out!!

 


 

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Hashtag Authentic: Finding creativity and building a community on Instagram and beyond by Sara Tasker  (⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​)

Hashtag Authentic is a book all about Instagram. Sounds simple, right? But it’s really more than that.

Sara Tasker is an Instagram coach and influencer, and this book draws on some of the lessons she’s learned, and provides tips and strategies to authentically engage and grow your own following.

Social media is a huge part of our modern lives. And striking a balance of beauty, creativity, and authenticity on an account can be difficult. I wasn’t sure what to expect on this title, but the book was charming and practical. It covers topics such as photography tips, how much/little to share, finding your online tone and voice, and much more.

The digital ARC was difficult to read because of the formatting…not sure whether that’s been corrected in the final version.  Personally, I’m considering buying a physical copy of the book for the beautiful photos, and to slowly savor the advice offered.

 


 

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The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald  (⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​)

If you haven’t been hearing about this book, have you even used the internet in the past month or two?!?  This has gotten tons of hype and it’s well deserved… a great debut novel that earned 4 1/2 stars from me.  Read my full review here!


 

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Academic Curveball (⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​) and Broken Heart Attack (⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​) by James J. Cudney

These are the first two titles in the Braxton Campus Mysteries.  A few weeks ago, I revealed the cover for the third title coming out in late March.  See the preview and find out more about this series here!

 


 

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Animal Farm by George Orwell (⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​)

“All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”

I can’t believe I waited so long to read this book. I’m a big fan of Orwell and liked 1984, but this one was an incredibly short and fast read, and somehow more accessible. A timeless allegorical classic. While this is a commentary on Stalinist Russia and a cautionary tale about power, propaganda, and freedom…. its nearly chilling how one can still see these themes mirrored in modern times. If you haven’t read this, add it to your list.

 


 

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Criminally Cocoa by Amanda Flower (⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​)

Criminally Cocoa is a short novella in the Amish Candy Shop series. Bailey and Charlotte hit NYC for filming of Bailey’s new show, but when things start going wrong on set, Charlotte sets out to investigate.

This is an extremely quick read and has a bit of an Easter theme. It’s told from Charlotte’s point of view, which adds a new perspective. Fun story that makes a nice addition to the series.

(I previously reviewed another book in this series… find it here!)

 


 

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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (⭐️​⭐️​⭐️​⭐️)

This was a light read about creativity and its role in everyone’s life. There wasn’t anything earth shattering, more of a pep talk and inspiration. Fun, somewhat irreverent book that reminds us to embrace the artist in each of us.

 


 

And there we have it… my list of reads from February!  I did manage to get in a classic this month, as well as not just one but TWO non-fiction reads!  The month was still half cozy mysteries… I doubt I’ll cut too far back on those.  But I have been enjoying branching out a bit in my reading, and March will continue and expand that trend.

Let me know what great books have caught your attention lately… happy reading!

 

 

This post contains affiliate links, which allow me the opportunity to earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.  Please see my policies for further information.

My thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for a complimentary digital review copy of some of the books mentioned here.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday (2/13/2019)

I’m so thankful to be a reader!  I’m particularly thankful during this long, cold, and snowy winter that I love books, because it has been such a delight to curl up with great titles.

Time for WWW Wednesday to check out some of those wonderful books!

 

 

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words!  This is always a good mid-week status check of my reading list.  (You can see my last WWW Wednesday post here.)

It’s a fun way to keep up with what everyone is reading.  To join me, read my answers, then answer the same questions about your reading in the comments below, and if you like, in the comments on Sam’s WWW Wednesday post!  Simply use these three questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you plan to read next?

And now… onward to WWW Wednesday!

 

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What are you currently reading?

Today I’m finishing up the first two books in the Braxton Campus Mysteries by James J. Cudney.  (I’m cheating just a little and wrapping these up in a package!)  I’ve “met” James through the book blogging and social media world… he’s a great guy who is not only an author, but also an avid reader and reviewer.  I recently did a cover reveal for the third book in this series… it’s releasing at the end of March so naturally, I wanted to get these two read so I could enjoy the new release when it comes out!

In Academic Curveball, we meet Kellan Ayrwick, who comes home to attend a retirement party for his father… and gets more than he bargained for when a murder occurs on the otherwise idyllic Braxton College campus!  In Broken Heart Attack, Kellan is getting to know his hometown all over again, and is becoming acquainted with one of the community’s more prominent families, when one of them suddenly dies under mysterious circumstances.  And the third book, Flower Power Trip, releases on March 30th.  Great recommended reads if you’re a cozy mystery fan!

 

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What did you recently finish reading?

Last week, I read and reviewed The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald.  This domestic suspense novel was a quick read, but a profound tale of a devastating loss, family secrets, and a mother’s fierce love and determination.

You can read my review here!

 

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What do you plan to read next?

I’m getting ready to pick up Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella.  This isn’t her newest title, but one that I bought months ago and haven’t made the time for just yet.  Kinsella writes great romantic comedy stories, so I thought the week of Valentine’s Day would be just right to dive into this book!  Here’s a little about it:

After ten years together, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, and beautiful twin girls, and they communicate so seamlessly they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years . . . and panic sets in. 
           
They decide to bring surprises into their marriage to keep it fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me—from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to sexy photo shoots—mishaps arise, with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, surprises turn to shocking truths. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other at all.
           
With a colorful cast of eccentric characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.

I think it sounds fantastic, and I’m looking forward to reading about a more established romance with a couple knee-deep in family life.

 

And that caps off my reading for the week!!  What about you, friends?  Any great titles you’d love to tell us about?  Drop your recommendations (or link to your own WWW Wednesday post) in the comments.  Happy reading… oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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This post contains affiliate links, which allow me the opportunity to earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.  Please see my policies for further information.

My thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for a complimentary digital review copy of The Night Olivia Fell.  All opinions are my own.