Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

The Dial Press

Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Happy Publication Day for Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella! I remember when I first read Confessions of a Shopaholic and I fell in love with Becky Bloomwood, now Becky Brandon.  I just love this character so much and I’m so glad I got an opportunity to revisit this series with this latest installment, just in time for some holiday cheer.  In this new book, Becky is taking over the Christmas dinner for her  entire family since her parents have temporarily relocated and can’t host the dinner.  So now Becky has to have the dinner all cooked, the shopping all done and her house looking festive for the holidays.  

If you’ve read any of the books in the Shopaholic series, you can probably imagine the trouble on the horizon as Becky goes into overdrive planning for the holiday!  If you haven’t read the series, never fear!  You can leap right into Christmas Shopaholic without any problem at all.  This book is warm, charming and funny and it’s perfect to lift your spirits.  I definitely want to go back and read some of the books I’ve missed in this wonderfully fun series!  I loved it!

Thank you to NetGalley and The Dial Press #partner for my copy!

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Evvie Drake is a young widow living in a big old house in a small town in Maine.  She doesn’t leave her house much except to go out to breakfast on Saturdays with her best friend, Andy.  Andy wants to find some way to help Evvie because he thinks Evvie is mired in grief. Andy’s childhood friend, Dean Tenney was a former star pitcher for the New York Yankees.  Dean can’t throw anymore because he’s got the “yips.”  He can’t pitch the way he used to and he has no idea why.  Dean wants to escape NY and Andy has a way to help him out.  Andy asks Evvie if Dean can rent the apartment in the back of Evvie’s house.

It would be easy for someone to dismiss or overlook this book, but you would be missing out on one of the best books I’ve read this year. I loved this book and I felt an immediate connection to the story, the setting, and to the characters. This book is the reason I love Bookstagram. I probably would have never heard of it or given it a chance without the recommendation from so many fellow readers. This is just the perfect, late-summer read. It has characters I couldn’t help but root for. The writing is wonderful. And there’s baseball. ⚾️ .

But no one thing overwhelms the story. And this story is really about Evvie, a young woman who must face her past and begin to really live her future. It’s a book about friendship and loss and grief and bravery in the face of reinventing yourself. 4.5 ⭐️

This is one of the books I read for #readwhatyouown September! I will be going through my backlist for the rest of 2019, hoping to find hidden gems on my bookshelves. Happy Sunday everyone!

UR by Stephen King

#readwhatyouown September

I love novellas, especially  Stephen King’s, because they can lift me out of a reading slump very quickly.  UR is a story about a college professor named Wesley Smith. He’s quite the book lover, but has staunchly refused to buy a Kindle.  Perish the thought!  But after a fight with his computer-savvy girlfriend, Wesley breaks down and buys a Kindle.

Only the Kindle that Wesley receives is unlike any other.  Wesley’s Kindle has a category called UR.  What happens if he clicks on this mysterious link?  Well, things get a little interesting and scary for Wesley.  This novella, along with N, is probably among my favorites of King’s many short stories.  There are nods to The Dark Tower and 11/22/63.  I’ve heard some people say the first part of the story is boring.  To me, that’s called character development.  I have recommended this one to readers who want to start reading some of King’s work.  And this creepy tale, along with many others, can now be found in the anthology The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.

UR is one of my choices for #readwhatyouown September.

I’m still here!

I know I haven’t posted in awhile. I have been over on Instagram, posting my favorite books, covers only, for a book challenge. It’s been a bit of a break for me, aside from trying to choose seven of my favorite books!

Sometimes life can be a struggle, so I just need to regroup. I did read two books from my backlist for #readwhatyouown September, and I’m happy about that. Or sometimes, I need to take a lesson from Henry and Benny and just be in the moment. Or just be.

Never fear, I will be back soon! Here’s one of my favorite books of all time to remind myself that reading is my escape.

Book Review

The Second Chance Supper Club by Nicole Meier. Publication Date: September 10, 2019. Lake Union Publishing

Thank you to @getredpr #partner for my copy of this lovely book by @nicolemeierwrites.

I enjoyed this book so much. It’s about two estranged sisters, Julia and Ginny. Julia is an anchorwoman on a morning show in NYC. She has a hedge fund manager fiancé and a high-pressure job. But when Julia makes a major miscue on live TV, she flees to Arizona, where her older sister, Ginny lives with her daughter, Olive. Only problem is that Ginny and Julia haven’t spoken in three years.

Ginny was a celebrated chef in Manhattan before returning to Arizona after the death of their parents. Now Ginny is running a secret supper club in her house while trying to deal with her daughter, Olive when Julia arrives in the mix.

This book is filled with emotional moments, second chances, food 🥘, the beauty of Arizona and the relationship between sisters. I don’t have a sister, so I’m always interested in books that focus on that relationship. I also enjoyed reading a book that is set in Arizona. I spent many years visiting there, primarily in around the Mesa/Scottsdale area. But I also got to explore much of the state on my visits there. This book captured the uniqueness of Arizona quite well, and it was a pleasure to read.

If you’re looking for a book to read this fall on a cold, rainy afternoon, this is a great book to pick up. Julia and Ginny tell their story in alternating chapters, so the reader knows both of their points of view. This wonderful, heartwarming read is available now!

Book Review: 29 Seconds by T.M. Logan

St. Martin’s Press. Publication Date: September 10, 2019

“Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear.”

Book Summary:  Sarah is a young professor struggling to prove herself in a workplace controlled by the charming and manipulative Alan Hawthorne. A renowned scholar and television host, Hawthorne rakes in million-dollar grants for the university where Sarah works—so his inappropriate treatment of female colleagues behind closed doors has gone unchallenged for years. And Sarah is his newest target.

When Hawthorne’s advances become threatening, Sarah is left with nowhere to turn. Until the night she witnesses an attempted kidnapping of a young child on her drive home, and impulsively jumps in to intervene. The child’s father turns out to be a successful businessman with dangerous connections—and her act of bravery has put this powerful man in her debt. He gives Sarah a burner phone and an unbelievable offer. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that can make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No traces. All it takes is a 29-second phone call.

My Thoughts: A thriller for the #metoo era.  Kudos to the author for tackling some very difficult subject matter— sexual harassment in the workplace.  The main character, Sarah, is in a weakened and vulnerable state.  Her husband has left her with her two young children to care for which makes her desperate to keep her job.  I don’t think I’ve read quite an awful character like Alan Hawthorne in a long time.

I enjoyed the author’s previous book, Lies, and I really wanted to read this one.  I struggled to write my review because the subject matter hits close to home.  I really felt for Sarah in one aspect—the feeling of being trapped in a situation, in this case, her job.  I could feel her desperation, her vulnerability, her pain.  This thriller zips along with twists and turns and then, that ending!  This book made me think about what I would do if I were in a similar situation.  Would I make that call?  Would you?

Many thanks to St. Martins Press #partner and NetGalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour! @suzyapprovedbooktours Every Thing You Are by Kerry Anne King

Thank you to @suzyapprovedbooktours for inviting me on the blog tour for this book! I am so excited to tell you about this book because I really loved it! And look at this gorgeous book cover! ☺️

What it’s about: One tragic twist of fate destroyed Braden Healey’s hands, his musical career, and his family. Now, unable to play, adrift in an alcoholic daze, and with only fragmented memories of his past, Braden wants desperately to escape the darkness of the last eleven years.

When his ex-wife and son are killed in a car accident, Braden returns home, hoping to forge a relationship with his troubled seventeen-year-old daughter, Allie. But how can he hope to rescue her from the curse that seems to shadow his family?

Ophelia “Phee” MacPhee, granddaughter of the eccentric old man who sold Braden his cello, believes the curse is real. She swore an oath to her dying grandfather that she would ensure Braden plays the cello as long as he lives. But he can’t play, and as the shadows deepen and Phee finds herself falling for Braden, she’ll do anything to save him. It will take a miracle of forgiveness and love to bring all three of them back to the healing power of music. 🎼

My Thoughts: I really loved this book!  It is beautifully written and it combines music and magical realism with an emotional story of overcoming addiction, healing and forgiveness.  The story is told from three POVs: Braden, Phee, and Allie.  With each alternating chapter, I felt so connected to all the characters.  I couldn’t help but root for them, and I really enjoyed the musical aspect of the story and how it tied all the characters together.  The magical realism aspect fit in well with the story, and it gave light to the darkness in the story. I highly recommend this book and if you have Amazon First Reads through Amazon Prime, you can get this book for free in September! It’s so worth checking out! Every Thing You Are will be available on October 1st.

About The Author:

Kerry Anne King is the author of the international bestselling novel Closer Home. Licensed both as an RN and a Mental Health Counselor, she draws on her experience working in the medical and mental health fields to explore themes of loss, grief, and transformation, always with a dose of hope and humor. Kerry lives in a little house in the big woods of the inland northwest with her Viking, three cats, a dog, and a yard full of wild turkey and deer. She also writes fantasy and mystery novels as Kerry Schafer.

Social Media:



Twitter: @Kerry_Anne_King