Wednesday, October 30, 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

I'm really excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland. This beautiful book came out yesterday, so it's available now! I was sent a free digital arc for honest review. Thanks so much to St. Martin's Griffin and Stephanie Butland for letting me be a part of this fun tour!

Title: The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae
Author: Stephanie Butland
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Released: October 29, 2019
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Synopsis: For fans of Josie Silver's One Day in December, The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae is a wholly original, charismatic, and uplifting novel that no reader will soon forget. 
Ailsa Rae is learning how to live. She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that—just in time—saved her life. Now, finally, she can be a normal twenty-eight-year-old. She can climb a mountain. Dance. Wait in line all day for tickets to Wimbledon.
But first, she has to put one foot in front of the other. So far, things are as bloody complicated as ever. Her relationship with her mother is at a breaking point and she wants to find her father. Then there's Lennox, whom Ailsa loved and lost. Will she ever find love again?
Her new heart is a bold heart. She just needs to learn to listen to it. From the hospital to her childhood home, on social media and IRL, Ailsa will embark on a journey about what it means to be, and feel, alive. How do we learn to be brave, to accept defeat, to dare to dream?
From Stephanie Butland, author of The Lost for Words Bookshop,The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae will warm you from the inside out. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: Ailsa Rae is ready to live! She's got a new lease on life after her heart transplant. I really enjoyed Ailsa's journey. I haven't read many books with a heart transplant patient as a main character. I liked experiencing her story just because it's one I don't get to read that often.
The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae is a sweet tale, but it also shares Ailsa's struggles. Even with a new heart, life isn't rainbows and sunshine. Things put on the back burner because of her heart issues really come to light after her transplant. She has so many things she wants to do.
I really enjoyed Stephanie Butland's writing in The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae. It was pretty easy to get lost in the story. I also really enjoyed all the different formats the story was told in. It helps add some fun aspects to the book.
Ailsa was a nice character to follow as well. She was fun to read about.
I also really enjoyed the setting of Scotland. I've never been there, but would love to go maybe one day.
The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland was a cute read that I very much enjoyed. It was heartwarming.

Stephanie Butland is a writer, who is thriving after breast cancer. (She used to say she was a survivor, but that was a bit lacking in joie de vivre.)
Although she’d never have chosen it, her dance with cancer has changed her life in many positive ways. Now she is happier, healthier, and more careful with her precious life and the precious people and things in it.
Her writing career began with her dance with cancer, and now she is  a novelist.
Aside from writing, she works as a speaker and trainer, and she works with charities to help raise awareness and money in the hope that cancer will soon be about as scary as a wart.
She lives in Northumberland.

Thank you for stopping by my Blog Tour stop for The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland. Thank you so much to St. Martin's Griffin and the author for letting me be a part of this fun tour and providing me with a free review copy. It's a sweet book and I'd definitely recommend picking it up and giving it a read.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

BLOG TOUR: Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot and Cara McGee

I'm really excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot and Cara McGee. I've got some awesome artwork from the book to show off too. I was sent a free digital review copy from the publisher through Netgalley. Thank you so much to DC Zoom, Meg Cabot, and Cara McGee for letting me be a part of this fun Blog Tour!

Title: Black Canary: Ignite
Author: Meg Cabot
Illustrated by: Cara McGee
Published by: DC Zoom
Released: October 29, 2019
Source: Electronic Review Copy provided by Publisher

Synopsis: Meg Cabot's first graphic novel!
Thirteen-year-old Dinah Lance knows exactly what she wants, who she is, and where she's going. First, she'll win the battle of the bands with her two best friends, then she'll join the Gotham City Junior Police Academy so she can solve crimes just like her dad. Who knows, her rock star group of friends may even save the world, but first they'll need to agree on a band name.
When a mysterious figure keeps getting in the way of Dinah's goals and threatens her friends and family, she'll learn more about herself, her mother's secret past, and navigating the various power chords of life. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: This was a really cute graphic novel. I'm a big fan of Meg Cabot, I read a lot of her stuff when I was younger, so when I found out she was going to write for this DC Universe graphic novel series, I was definitely interested to see what she would do with it. I will admit to not knowing a lot about Black Canary in the DC Universe. I don't really know her powers, or her story, or anything, so Black Canary: Ignite kind of let me go in and meet this character.
Dinah is 13 in this book, which I don't know if I was expecting or not. The other comics in this series that I've read have featured slightly older, grittier characters. It was refreshing getting a more kid tale. It was a fun little book. I enjoyed following Dinah, learning about her band, and watching her uncover her family's past. I also liked Dinah's interactions with her friends.
I don't know exactly how I feel about the art style. Cara McGee is a good artist, don't doubt that, but her style is just not the style that I love. I think it fit the story, with this fun, young character, but it is definitely a different style then the other comics in this series. It does have moments where I really enjoy it and it reminds me of reading a manga, but then other panels look a little different. I don't know how to explain it. It's good art. It's got a lot of fun color that I like.
I enjoyed Black Canary: Ignite and I'm glad I got to give it a read. If you're looking for something fun and quick, I'd definitely recommend it. Also, if you enjoy comics and self-discovery, I'd say give it a read.

Thank you for checking out my post for Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot and Cara McGee. Thank you to the Publisher and Creators for letting me be a part of this fun tour. Black Canary: Ignite is out Today!

Monday, October 28, 2019

BLOG TOUR: Meant to Be Yours (Happily Inc. #5) by Susan Mallery

I am very excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Meant to Be Yours (Happily Inc. #5) by Susan Mallery. Thank you to HQN Books and Susan Mallery for letting me be a part of this fun tour. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this book, and I'm glad I did. I was provided with a free copy for honest review through the Publisher via Netgalley.

Title: Meant to Be Yours (Happily Inc. #5)
Author: Susan Mallery
Published by: HQN Books
Released: October 22, 2019
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Synopsis: In Happily Inc, love means never having to say “I do”…

Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing—a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake…and eat it, too.

After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up…until his flame becomes his muse.
Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love? (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: Meant to Be Yours is a fun and cute read. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew it was something that I wanted to read. It just sounded like such a good time from the start.
I enjoyed the characters of Renee and Jasper. I love that Renee is a Wedding Coordinator. It's just the kind of job that seems perfect for a romantic comedy sort of set up. I guess it just called to mind the movie The Wedding Planner. I mean, this book and that movie are different, but it just set up that association in my head. I also love that Jasper is a thriller writer. I do love a good thriller, so I thought it was interesting to see an author as the love interest. The characters were a lot of fun.
I enjoyed the situations they got themselves into. The journey of their relationship. It was just a good time to read. It was fun, it was enjoyable, which is really all I ask from a book. It needs to entertain me.
I have not read any other books in the Happily Inc. series, but I don't think it really mattered. I was able to read Meant to Be Yours without feeling lost or confused. I would maybe like to read the other books in the series just to see what I missed.
If a sweet little romance is your thing, and the synopsis sounds intriguing to you, then I'd definitely recommend giving Meant to Be Yours  a read. It was fun. I'm glad I got to enjoy it.
Thanks so much to the Publisher for providing me with an early copy for review.

The Author
Susan Mallery

SUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women's lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says,“Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations," and readers seem to agree—40 million copies of her books have sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.
Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She's passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as mom.

Thank you for stopping by my Blog Tour stop for Meant to Be Yours by Susan Mallery. Thank you to the publisher and Susan Mallery for letting me be a part of this fun tour!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Reading Right Now! (229)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...


Unnatural Creatures Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman This is a short story anthology all about weird creatures. At first, I thought that the stories were created for this anthology, but it's mostly existing stories from old and newer authors. I've read two so far. I don't think I'm going to read all the stories back to back to back, instead I'm going to read stories as I go along with my other books. I do really like this book's aesthetic though. It has really cool illustrations between each story and some really pleasing lettering.

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson #2) by Patricia Briggs I'm excited to read more of this series!! It's so fun. So fun.

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! I might add another book into this mix, I don't know. For a while, I was trying to read more than one book at once and I did find that I was able to finish more books a month that way, but then I went back to reading one book at a time. I think I'm gonna try to do the multiple books at once thing again. I don't know. I never know what I'm going to do.
So anyway, what are you reading?

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Review: The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling

Title: The Luminous Dead 
Author: Caitlin Starling
Published by: Harper Voyager
Released: 2019
Source: Library

Synopsis: A thrilling, atmospheric debut with the intensive drive of The Martian and Gravity and the creeping dread of Annihilation, in which a caver on a foreign planet finds herself on a terrifying psychological and emotional journey for survival.
When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she’d be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She also thought that the fat paycheck—enough to get her off-planet and on the trail of her mother—meant she’d get a skilled surface team, monitoring her suit and environment, keeping her safe. Keeping her sane.
Instead, she got Em.
Em sees nothing wrong with controlling Gyre’s body with drugs or withholding critical information to “ensure the smooth operation” of her expedition. Em knows all about Gyre’s falsified credentials, and has no qualms using them as a leash—and a lash. And Em has secrets, too . . .
As Gyre descends, little inconsistencies—missing supplies, unexpected changes in the route, and, worst of all, shifts in Em’s motivations—drive her out of her depths. Lost and disoriented, Gyre finds her sense of control giving way to paranoia and anger. On her own in this mysterious, deadly place, surrounded by darkness and the unknown, Gyre must overcome more than just the dangerous terrain and the Tunneler which calls underground its home if she wants to make it out alive—she must confront the ghosts in her own head.
But how come she can't shake the feeling she’s being followed? (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: I would describe this debut book by Caitlin Starling as Isolation Horror. It's pretty terrifying. Gyre is a caver, and she lives in a future society where money can be made going into caves and finding deposits of minerals for mining. Caving is a dangerous job though, only the young really sign up for it because it pays well, and even then they only do a couple of expeditions before they stop. Special suits have been invented to keep the Caver's safe-ish and able to be in the caves for weeks at a time. Gyre has her own reasons for faking credentials to get a mystery caving job, which changes her whole life.
I think Caitlin Starling came up with a really interesting premise and an enjoyable story. The book takes place almost entirely underground, in a cave that just seems to go on and on and on. Tons of rock are between Gyre and the sky. The setting was so atmospheric, dark, and TERRIFYING!! I wouldn't say that I'm claustrophobic, but reading The Luminous Dead convinced me that I would NEVER voluntarily go deep into a cave. I can't. I wouldn't stay sane.
Another part of the horror of The Luminous Dead is that Gyre is totally alone in this cave. She has a handler's voice in her helmet, her only form of human interaction. She comes to depend on this handler quite a lot, but she doesn't always trust her. Gyre is down in this cave for what feels like years, but I think was a couple weeks time, I'm not too sure. But being alone like that, with no other human interaction, is a unique kind of torture.
The more you start to find out about this cave and this expedition, the more suspicious it got. The longer Gyre was down there, things started to happen, scary things.
Caitlin Starling did a great job of showcasing that unique kind of horror. I really did feel uncomfortable reading some of it. Definitely on edge when it came to some sequences.
I will say that I think this book was a little too long. It got a little slow, a little bloated feeling. Gyre was like a person trapped in a maze. She'd circle through the same places over and over again. It worked in showcasing that hopelessness, but it got a little dull to read. I was wondering when it was ever going to wrap up.
I'm really glad that a map was included in the beginning of the book because I liked being able to see where Gyre was in relation to the cave.
I don't really know how I feel about the ending ending. There are some people that I just don't feel like should be forgiven that easily. It's so complicated. And there were a couple things that I wish had been wrapped up differently.
I definitely enjoyed The Luminous Dead and I'd recommend it for a unique horror read. I'm interested to see what Caitlin Starling does next.

Get Me Out of this Mother Frickin' Cave!!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Title: The Last Time I Lied
Author: Riley Sager
Published by: DUTTON
Released: 2018
Source: Library

Synopsis: Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she—or anyone—saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.
Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings—massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.
Yet it's immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp's twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.
And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: Wow wow wow. This was my second Riley Sager book and it was great! I read Lock Every Door a couple of months ago, and decided that Sager was an author that I would probably read everything from, or at least try to. I'm going in backwards order with his books, from newest to oldest, for no real reason. 
The Last Time I Lied was soooo good!! I was hooked from the first page. I had no idea where things were going to go, how it was all going to turn out, or what the ending would be. I was so immersed in the mystery of it all. It was one crazy ride. A great thriller. A perfect Halloween read. I just enjoyed every minute of it.
The mystery aspect of it always kept me on my toes. I didn't know what to expect. I really wasn't able to predict anything, but that's probably because I'm just not a good detective. Emma's story was so fascinating. I just couldn't look away from it.
It was such a fast book. The reveals and the suspense just kept up non-stop. Boom Boom Boom. I loved the summer camp setting of it. That was really fun. I also loved how the camp was really isolated from everything. It added that extra layer of eerie.
One thing that weirded me out a little was the age difference between Emma and Theo. She was 13, he was 19 (in the past sections). I almost wish Emma had been a little older and Theo had been a little younger. I can see how a 13 year old would have a crush on a 19 year old. It never really crossed the line into icky, but it could have. Also, I do wonder how they can remember each other so well when it was just one summer, and really only a couple of weeks. Maybe that's just me though.
The ending. I don't even know what to do with myself with that ending. My main question is How?
I'm definitely going to continue on my Riley Sager journey. I'm gonna need all his thrillers. I heard tales of an announcement for a new one next summer. Riley Sager's thrillers are a good time and I'd definitely recommend giving them a read.

What A Ride

Friday, October 18, 2019

Reading Right Now! (228)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling -- technically, I haven't actually started this one. I just finished my last read, The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager and it was AWESOME!! So The Luminous Dead is what I'm going to start next. I love the cover. I hope it's a good one.

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! What are you reading?

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

GUEST POST, EXCERPT, and GIVEAWAY: A Lie For A Lie by Helena Hunting

Today I'm excited to share with you a Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway for A Lie for a Lie by Helena Hunting! Thanks to Helena Hunting and PitchLit for letting me be a part of this.


Guest Post: Lainey vs. Puck Bunnies in A Lie for a Lie    

A Lie for a Lie is a heartwarming, sexy, emotional romantic comedy. It’s a second chance romance, filled with secrets and there are definitely some exciting, fun twists. It’s also a story of empowerment, self-discovery, and independence.
Rook Bowman, aka RJ or Rookie as he has been known as previously, has recently taken on the role as captain of Chicago’s NHL team, and with that role comes big responsibility and more fame than he sometimes knows how to handle. As with any professional sport, the NHL lifestyle can often be full of excess and decadence; money, fame and an endless stream of women who will do just about anything to get into bed with them, and it’s not always easy to avoid that kind of temptation.
When we meet Rook in A Lie for a Lie we learn that he has a less than shiny past when it comes to the excess and the puck bunnies (hockey groupies). NHL players are often drafted quite young—just watch a game and you’ll notice that the rookies can often barely grown peach fuzz, let alone a full beard. They’re still teenagers when they start their careers, and Rook was no different. Having grown up on an alpaca farm in rural New York, his focus was mainly hockey and the family farm, but once he hit the pros he found himself surrounded by women who literally threw themselves at him. And being young, attractive and full of testosterone, he fell headfirst down that rabbit hole. At least until the drama found him in the form of a fake pregnancy and a social media firestorm. Because of that, and the impact it had on his relationship with his family, Rook swears off the bunnies and refocuses on his career, rather than extracurricular activities.
He meets Lainey on the way to Alaska, where he’s gone every summer since he was a teenager with his dad and his brother. He lost his father a few years earlier, but kept the tradition with his brother because he craves the escape from the demands of his life as an NHL superstar. Lainey encapsulates everything he misses about being a “normal guy.” She doesn’t recognize him or seem to even know anything about hockey, and that makes her even more alluring. For once, he can just be himself. He doesn’t have to worry about ulterior motives or being used. Lainey is refreshingly innocent, incredibly smart, genuine and overwhelmingly sweet and Rook finds himself enamored with her sense of adventure. As they get to know each other, Rook learns about her traumatic past and realizes that despite the challenges she’s faced, Lainey possesses a quiet strength and resilience. Add some insane chemistry and you’ve got a recipe for love. Unfortunately for Rook, he built their entire fragile relationship on lie he can’t take back. 

Title: A Lie for a Lie
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Publisher: Montlake 

Synopsis: Sometimes I need an escape from the demands, the puck bunnies, and the notoriety that come with being an NHL team captain. I just want to be a normal guy for a few weeks. So when I leave Chicago for some peace and quiet, the last thing I expect is for a gorgeous woman to literally fall into my lap on a flight to Alaska. Even better, she has absolutely no idea who I am.
Lainey is the perfect escape from my life. My plan for seclusion becomes a month long sex fest punctuated with domestic bliss. But it ends just as abruptly as it began. When I’m called away on a family emergency, I realize too late that I have no way to contact Lainey.
A year later, a chance encounter throws Lainey and me together again. But I still have a lie hanging over my head, and Lainey’s keeping secrets of her own. With more than lust at stake, the truth may be our game changer.

A Lie For A Lie by Helena Hunting EXCERPT

When Lainey excuses herself to the bathroom, I rush upstairs and throw on a T-shirt. I know she said whatever makes me comfortable, but sitting around shirtless is such a douche move.

I make it back to the kitchen and pour her a fresh drink before she returns from the bathroom.

“How can I help with dinner?” Lainey drapes her sweater over the back of a chair.

And my mouth goes dry. Like I ate an entire sleeve of saltines and chased it with a tablespoon of salt. So far I’ve only seen Lainey in a giant parka or an oversize sweater. Under all that bulky fabric is one hell of a body. She’s wearing a simple white waffle shirt that conforms to her curves. A pair of dark-wash skinny jeans encase her toned legs.

I’m used to bunnies throwing themselves at me, often in questionable states of undress. I stopped getting excited about miniskirts and revealing tops a long time ago. There’s something infinitely sexier about a woman who can show off her body without actually showing it off at all.

Lainey tips her head to the side. Her teeth press into her full bottom lip. I want to do that. Suck that pouty, full lip between my teeth and bite it. I want to do a lot of other, far more explicit things than that, but a kiss seems like a good place to start.

“RJ? Is everything okay?” Her eyes dip down to my chest. I’m wearing a shirt from one of my endorsement campaigns. It afforded me the extensive renovations on this cabin a few years ago.

“Huh?” I give my head a shake. “Oh. Yeah. Everything’s good. Sorry, zoned out there for a second.”

She smiles and pushes up on her toes, her eyes twinkling—like, they legit light up, and her excitement makes her entire body vibrate. It also makes her boobs jiggle. I try to keep my eyes glued to her face. It’s not easy, though.

“I do that all the time! Sometimes my brain is busy with so many thoughts I miss entire conversations. Does that happen to you too?”

I grin. I love that she seems to say whatever is on her mind. “All the time.”

“It’s actually a helpful skill when you’re being lectured, because I can sort through stuff in my head, but it’s not so great when your supervising professor is telling you what’s wrong with your thesis.” She pulls her hair over her shoulder and finger combs it.

“I take it that’s happened to you.”

“It did. Thankfully he also emailed all his criticisms, so missing out on it the first time wasn’t that big of a deal.” She divides her hair into three sections and deftly braids it without looking at what she’s doing even once. It’s pretty damn impressive. I almost want to pull it apart so I can watch her do it all over again. “Anyway, enough about that. Let’s get started on dinner!” She nudges me out of the way so she can wash her hands. She dries them on her jeans and moves over to the fridge, opening it to check out the contents.

I kind of like that she makes herself at home. I’m used to women who expect to be catered to. It’s refreshing to meet someone who doesn’t want me to pander to her.

I start pulling things out of the fridge as she starts naming items she’ll need and set them on the counter. I manage to locate most of what she asks for.

“What about garlic? Do you have any of that?” She leans over, peering into the fridge beside me. Her braid slips over her shoulder, skimming my arm.

“Uh, maybe we could forgo the garlic?”

“Are you allergic? My oldest brother gets bloated when he eats it. It took us forever to figure out what was causing it. Sometimes I’ll still put some in when he’s coming for dinner, because it’s funny to see him look like he’s expecting.” She tips her head to the side. “Or you just don’t like garlic?”

“I like it sometimes, but it depends.”

Her brows pinch together. “On what?”

“Who I’m eating with. I mean, if I’m going out with buddies, you bet I’m gonna order the honey garlic wings, or the cheesy garlic bread, or the pasta Alfredo. But if I’m eating dinner with a pretty girl, I’m gonna pass on the garlic.”

“Oh.” She twists the end of her braid around her finger.

I hope I’m not reading things wrong and making her uncomfortable.

“Does that mean you think I’m pretty?”

That she sounds genuinely curious as to my answer is unexpected. “You see yourself in the mirror every day—what do you think?”

She averts her gaze, still playing with the end of her braid. “My eyes are too big, so I always look like I’m surprised. My nose is small, and my lips are too full, so my mouth doesn’t really fit the rest of my face.”

“Wow. I think you need a new mirror, because all I see is a whole lot of gorgeous.”

She snorts a laugh and waves me off. “Once, I took a portrait class, and we learned all about proportion and symmetry of the face. Those are just my flaws based on what I was taught.”

“Well, I’m a big fan of all your flaws, and I think they make you more beautiful, not less.”

“Thanks. I think you’re beautiful too.” She cringes. “I mean handsome. You’re very nice to look at, with or without a shirt on. When I fell in your lap on the airplane, I remember thinking, At least I fell on someone nice looking.”

“Is that so?”

“Mm-hmm.” She opens a drawer, maybe to avoid looking at me. “And as much as I was mortified when you sat beside me on the Cessna, I couldn’t complain about the view, inside or outside of the plane. That you turned out to be really nice, and just so helpful, was a great bonus.” She hands me a roll of foil. “Why don’t you wrap the potatoes? They take the longest, so we should get started on those first.”

I put the potatoes on the barbecue and let Lainey order me around. She definitely knows her way around a kitchen. When I was growing up, my mom did most of the cooking, but my dad could make a mean Saturday-morning brunch. He also made great bread, which I miss a lot.

An hour later we’re seated at the table, plates full of steak, twice-baked potatoes, and crispy brussels sprouts cooked in bacon fat. I open a bottle of red wine and offer Lainey a glass.

“Just a little bit? I’m not sure I like red wine.”

“Maybe you just haven’t had the right red wine.” I pour a little into her glass.

She picks it up and gives it a swirl, then sniffs it. “I’ve seen people do this in the movies, but I don’t really know what the point is,” she admits, then tips the glass back and takes a tentative sip. Her expression turns thoughtful; then she takes another, slightly more robust sip. “This is actually really nice. I like it. Maybe the red wine I had before was bad.”

“Maybe. Some of the cheap stuff tastes pretty awful.” I pour more into her glass before filling mine. I hold up my glass and wait for her to raise hers.

“To chance meetings.”

“To new adventures and great company to share them with.” We toast and take a sip, each smiling behind the rim.

Meet the Author Helena Hunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. Helena writes everything from contemporary romance with all the feels to romantic comedies that will have you laughing until you cry.

Thank you for stopping by my Tour Stop for A Lie For A Lie by Helena Hunting. And Don't Forget to Enter the Giveaway!!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Review: Raid (The Wastelanders #2) by K.S. Merbeth

Title: Raid (The Wastelanders #2)
Author: K.S. Merbeth
Published by: Orbit
Released: 2017
Source: Library

Synopsis: Clementine is a bounty hunter in a world gone mad. 
Bound and gagged in her passenger seat is the most revered and reviled raider king in the eastern wastes. She can't cash him in and she can't let him go, so together they cross the wasteworld, following a dying road and dodging bloodthirsty raiders who either want to free Jedediah or claim him as their own. 
And in a world where lawlessness reigns, a tyrant worse than they could have ever imagined emerges to take the throne. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: Clementine is a Bounty Hunter whose main goal is to catch Jedediah Johnson, the man who ruined her life and killed her family. This is the second book in The Wastelanders Series, it follows different characters than the first gang.
Clementine is a more serious character than the gang from Bite. She's not as much fun, if I'm being honest. Raid is not as much fun as Bite. They both take place during the same time period, which I appreciated. Characters from Bite do make an appearance in Raid, which I loved.
I did enjoy Raid. I don't want to make out like I hated it, because I didn't. Bite was just so over the top and fun, while Raid introduced a character that believed more in law and order. As a bounty hunter, she's kind of one of the good guys, and it was so different after we'd been following bad guys in Bite. Clementine is a more reserved character too, there's something about that screams the possibility for danger. She and Dolly kind of have some things in common. 
Raid did have those moments of craziness, violence, and dark humor for sure. 
The character of Jed, I don't know how to feel about him. He's definitely the more fun one of the bunch, he added a lot of levity to the story, but he's so complicated. My feelings are so complicated.
I also don't know how I feel about the ending. Like where is Clementine going to go from here? Does her future end with her becoming something she once hated? I just don't know.
I definitely enjoyed the whole Wastelanders Series. It's crazytown. It's fun! I'd definitely recommend it and I'm gonna read more by K.S. Merbeth
I'm so conflicted

Friday, October 11, 2019

Reading Right Now! (227)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...

The Burning Page (The Invisible Library #3) by Genevieve Cogman and I like it! I'm a fan of this series. I don't exactly know why I like it so much, I just do. It's about a Librarian named Irene who works for a organization called the Library. It's kind of like a magic library and Irene's job is to go to alternate worlds to collect (steal) books for the Library's collection. She has an apprentice named Kai, and it is my hope that they might become an item. She kind of sort of has a home base in an alternate London, where she's friends with a very Sherlock Holmes-ish detective named Peregrine Vale. It's just really fun. Each book is an adventure and I just enjoy reading about this cast of characters.
So, I'm over halfway through this third book and it's a good time, pretty much like all the previous books have been.

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! What are you Reading? Also, I'm back from my vacation/visiting my family in another state, so let us see how well I do with blogging.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

I'm really excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller. As soon as I read the synopsis for this debut, I knew I had to read it. I was provided with a free electronic advanced reader copy for honest review from the publisher. Thanks so much to St. Martin's Griffin and Diana Biller for having me on this fun and spooooky blog tour!

Title: The Widow of Rose House
Author: Diana Biller
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Released: October 8, 2019
Source: e-arc from publisher through Netgalley

Synopsis: A young widow restores a dilapidated mansion with the assistance of a charming, eccentric genius, only to find the house is full of dangerous secrets in this effervescent Gilded Age debut novel
It's 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren't as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn't believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn't need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam. 
Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva's new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva's history―and her heart. 
Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: There were so many words in the synopsis that just called me to The Widow of Rose House. I love a good historical fiction. I love a good, maybe haunted house story. I love ghost stories all day every day. I love a mystery with tragic secrets. I love the process of uncovering those tragic secrets. I love a story with a little romance. So, as soon as I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this book. I just had to. I'm so glad that I did read The Widow of Rose House because it was everything I wanted and more!
The Widow of Rose House is an awesome debut from Diana Biller. She wrote a great story and I definitely want to read more by her. I was enraptured by the story, by everything that was going on, and I just had to keep reading until I got to the end. The writing was good, it kept me hooked for sure.
I really enjoyed the paranormal aspect of The Widow of Rose House. I always think a book is just so much more fun when it has spoooky aspects to it. The Widow of Rose House is a great read for the October season too. It's got that ambience to it that just needs to be read in the fall.
I'm a fan of The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller and I'd definitely recommend giving it a read. If the words in the synopsis speak to you like they spoke to me, then I definitely think you'll enjoy it.
I received an e-arc from the publisher through Netgalley for honest review. Thanks so much to St. Martin's Griffin and Diana Biller for letting me read an early copy.

The Author:
Diana Biller
Prior to penning this novel, Biller had one idea in mind: “Edith Wharton, ghost hunter.” After touring Wharton’s estate, The Mount, and the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, New York, she came away with a wealth of inspiration, and THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE was born.
 DIANA BILLER lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their very good dog. THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE is her debut novel.

Thank you for stopping by my Blog Tour Stop for The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller. I hope I conveyed how much I liked it. Thanks so much to St. Martin's Griffin and Diana Biller for letting me be a part of such a fun tour and letting me read the book.