Blog Tour | The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan Mallery

MacKenzie Dienes’s life isn’t perfect, but it’s as close as she could ever hope to get. Her marriage to Rhys, her best friend’s brother, is more friendship than true love. But passion is highly overrated, right? And she loves her job as the winemaker at Bel Apres, her in-laws’ vineyard. So what if it’s a family business and, even after decades of marriage and incredible professional success, she’s still barred from the family business meetings? It’s all enough…until one last night spent together leads to an incredibly honest—and painful—conversation. Rhys suggests that they divorce. They haven’t had a marriage in a long time and, while he wants her to keep her job at Bel Apres, he doesn’t think they should be married any longer. Shocked, MacKenzie reels at the prospect of losing the only family she’s ever really known…even though she knows deep in her heart that Rhys is right.

But when MacKenzie discovers she’s pregnant, walking away to begin a new life isn’t so easy. She never could have anticipated the changes it would bring to the relationships she cherishes most: her relationship with Barbara, her mother-in-law and partner at Bel Apres, Stephanie, her sister-in-law and best friend, and Bel Apres, the company she’s worked so hard to put on the map.

MacKenzie has always dreamed of creating a vineyard of her own, a chance to leave a legacy for her unborn child. So when the opportunity arises, she jumps at it and builds the Vineyard at Painted Moon. But following her dreams will come at a high price—one that MacKenzie isn’t so sure she’s willing to pay…

Buy Links | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | IndieBound | Libro.fm | Books-A-Million | Target | Walmart | Kobo | AppleBooks | Google Play

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The more I read of Susan Mallery’s writing the more I enjoy it, I’m definitely thinking I’m going to need to pick up more of her books when I’m looking for chick lit. This book really covers the transitive nature of life and truly coming into your own when you discover that what you have may not really be what you need. Even though it was hard at times I really enjoyed Mackenzie’s journey as she found herself after the loss of her marriage and presumed place. It was interesting to see how relationships and actions towards her changed once her marriage ended, but also heartbreaking in some ways. This book will make you feel a wide range of emotions as you follow along with her story.

#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives―family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages. Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com.

Happy reading!

Can’t Wait Wednesday | 2/24

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings based on the meme Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking the Spine. In this weekly post people share a book that they’re excited about being released.

Ever since I heard of this one I’ve been wanting to check it out. It comes out in March and sounds amazing!

The haunting and poignant story of a how a young Japanese girl’s understanding of the historic and tragic bombing of Hiroshima is transformed by a memorial lantern-floating ceremony.

Twelve-year-old Nozomi lives in the Japanese city of Hiroshima. She wasn’t even born when the bombing of Hiroshima took place. Every year Nozomi joins her family at the lantern-floating ceremony to honor those lost in the bombing. People write the names of their deceased loved ones along with messages of peace, on paper lanterns and set them afloat on the river. This year Nozomi realizes that her mother always releases one lantern with no name. She begins to ask questions, and when complicated stories of loss and loneliness unfold, Nozomi and her friends come up with a creative way to share their loved ones’ experiences. By opening people’s eyes to the struggles they all keep hidden, the project teaches the entire community new ways to show compassion.

Soul Lanterns is an honest exploration of what happened on August 6, 1945, and offers readers a glimpse not only into the rich cultural history of Japan but also into the intimate lives of those who recognize–better than most–the urgent need for peace. 

Happy reading!

Review | The Secret Loves of Geeks

Cartoonists and professional geeks tell their intimate, heartbreaking, and inspiring stories about love, sex and dating in this comics and prose anthology, a follow-up to 2016 best-seller The Secret Loves of Geek Girls.

Featuring work by Margaret Atwood (Hag-Seed), Gerard Way (Umbrella Academy), Dana Simpson (Phoebe and Her Unicorn), Cecil Castellucci (Soupy Leaves Home), Gabby Rivera (America), Valentine De Landro (Bitch Planet), Amy Chu (Poison Ivy), Sfe R. Monster (Beyond: A queer comics anthology), Michael Walsh (Secret Avengers), and many more.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

After reading previous books in this group, namely The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, I was excited to pick this one up. I did really enjoy the inclusivity and diversity included in this book and found many of the stories enlightening and interesting, while others were full of humor or deep thoughts. I did enjoy the other collections a little more, just because they did see more cohesive to me, but that’s not to say this one doesn’t belong with them. It includes stories and comics that are going to speak differently to different people and is an important inclusion in the ‘series’ (for lack of a better word). I do love collections like this because you get exposed to different writing styles, voices and in this case, art styles while also opening up conversations and sharing experiences.

Happy reading!

Blitz | Holiday Fakeout

Holiday Fakeout
Publication date: October 19th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Desperate for a *fake* date for the holidays? Oh Joy and Cheers! We’ve got you covered with 22 holiday tales to heat up your season!

Travel from small towns to cosmopolitan cities, snow covered mountains to gorgeous mansions. You’ll meet sexy billionaires, brainy tech gods, buff journalists, sinfully cocky athletes, and sizzling hot chefs. They’re naughty and nice (and everything in between) and they’re enough to fulfill any romantic fantasies.

These 22 swoon-worthy heroes are ready to be your plus-one at holiday events, from Christmas weddings to Chanukah and Kwanza celebrations. Each starts out as a charade, and though they might lie to family, friends, or co-workers, they won’t be able to fool themselves when a very real romance develops.

Escape into addictive tales of second chances, new beginnings, secret crushes, friends to lovers, love triangles, and forbidden rendezvous. Throw in a mix of suspense, laughs, passion, and temptation, and your holidays are set.

Download HOLIDAY FAKEOUT now to get your Christmashanakwanzika season started. The tingles, butterflies, and swoons brought on by these sweet and scorching stories will have you wondering which book boyfriend you should bring home for the holidays.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


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Review | Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

Allie Brosh returns with a new collection of comedic, autobiographical, and illustrated essays.

Solutions and Other Problems includes humorous stories from Allie Brosh’s childhood; the adventures of her very bad animals; merciless dissection of her own character flaws; incisive essays on grief, loneliness, and powerlessness; as well as reflections on the absurdity of modern life.

This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features all-new material with more than 1,600 pieces of art.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’ve followed some of Brosh’s work for years and was excited to see that she came out with her second book. The way she tackles hard topics with her usual sense of reasoning and also humor. It’s exactly the brand of humor I like and is totally relateable. With this book there are definite trigger warnings for grief, depression, anxiety and death of a loved one. She rehashes what she went through during some traumatic events in her life, which happened in some of the years she was absent. She also recounts tales from her childhood and other parts of her adult life. It’s not always cheerful but is always brutally honest.

Solutions and Other Problems definitely tackles not only the traumatic experiences she went through but also the awkwardness that comes with being a human in general and not knowing how to cope or continue with everything, but knowing you have to find a way to.

Happy reading!

Review | Star-Crossed!! Vol 1 by Junko

From the creator of the hit manga and anime Kiss Him, Not Me! comes another off-the-wall, geeky shojo comedy! A series of mixups leads to God misplacing the souls of a girl and the handsome idol singer she adores–in each other’s bodies! And they can switch back and forth by…kissing?!

DIVINE INTERVENTION

Has a concert ever changed your life? Azusa adores Chika-kun, the cutest and most popular star in the idol group Prince 4 U, and she’s thrilled to get front-row seats to his latest show. She would do anything for him. So when a stage light falls, Azusa leaps onstage and…fails to save Chika’s life. The two are off to heaven, where God gives them a second chance—except a mixup resurrects Azusa in Chika’s body, and vice versa! What on Earth could be in store for this odd couple of pampered celeb and drooling fangirl?!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I won’t lie, as soon as I saw this contained the switched bodies trope, I wanted to check it out. When it was a fan and their idol, that was sure to add some hilarity. I have seen stories similar to this in the past, but this still had a lot of hilarious moments and mishaps. I feel it was a good introduction to the characters and snippets of their personalities, but I think it was just a surface layer in some ways. I hope that future volumes will expand more on their pasts and what has shaped their personalities, as well as a possible love story between them. I did find this first volume enjoyable and would be interested in checking out future volumes.

Happy reading!

Cover Reveal | I Put a Spell On You by Sarah Vance-Tompkins

I Put a Spell On You
Sarah Vance-Tompkins
Publication date: March 23rd 2021
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales

A novice fairy godmother falls in love with Prince Charming. What could possibly go wrong?

AVIANA WILLOWBROOK has no idea that her mother is a living legend until the day the tattered old copy of “The Fairy Godmother’s Rulebook” arrives in the mail on her twenty-first birthday. Estranged from her mom, and living in Beverly Hills with her father, her stepmother and two super-achieving stepsisters, Aviana is unhappy and directionless.

Hotel heir and tech billionaire, NASH NOLAN doesn’t know Aviana exists until the day she transforms into a fairy godmother. The chick with the phobia about being pecked to death by a pack of winged creatures suddenly has a pair of unruly wings of her own to deal with. As if that isn’t enough, Aviana’s first assignment is to spark a romance between her wicked stepsister and the tall and handsome tech billionaire who’s been her crush forever.

Will Aviana use her powers to help her wicked stepsister find happiness, or will she use her pixie dust to make sure Nash is destined to be hers?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


Author Bio:

Sarah Vance-Tompkins received an MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California, and went on to work in feature film development in Hollywood. Prior to film school, she wrote and produced radio and television commercials. She grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan, and now lives in Southern California with her husband and a glaring of unruly cats.

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Review | Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono

Nostalgic fans of the Miyazaki film and newcomers alike–soar into the modern classic about a young witch and her clever cat that started it all!

Half-witch Kiki never runsfrom a challenge. So when her thirteenth birthday arrives, she’s eager to follow a witch’s tradition: choose a new town to call home for one year.

Brimming with confidence, Kiki flies to the seaside village of Koriko and expects that her powers will easily bring happiness to the townspeople. But gaining the trust of the locals is trickier than she expected. With her faithful, wise-cracking black cat, Jiji, by her side, Kiki forges new friendships and builds her inner strength, ultimately realizing that magic can be found in even the most ordinary places.

Blending fantasy with the charm of everyday life, this enchanting new translation will inspire both new readers and dedicated fans.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Since the movie is one of my favorite Studio Ghibli movies, I definitely wanted a copy of the source material so I could read it and I was not disappointed. There are definitely some differences between the book and movie, with the book being more a slice of life coming of age story. Some of the subplots that we see in the movie are not part of the book because the book really centers on finding your place and being content. I loved Kiki’s escapades and the relationships she built. Overall it was a really adorable story.

Happy reading!

Can’t Wait Wednesday | 2/17

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings based on the meme Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking the Spine. In this weekly post people share a book that they’re excited about being released.

I really enjoyed The Serpant’s Shadow by Sayantani DasGupta so when I saw she had a new series coming out, I definitely wanted to check it out and add it to my TBR.

From New York Times bestselling author Sayantani DasGupta comes the story of a demon who must embrace her bad to serve the greater good.

Pinki hails from a long line of rakkhosh resistors, demons who have spent years building interspecies relationships, working together to achieve their goal of overthrowing the snakey oppressors and taking back their rights. But she has more important things to worry about, like maintaining her status as fiercest rakkhosh in her class and looking after her little cousins. There is also the teeny tiny detail of not yet being able to control her fire breathing and accidentally burning up school property.

Then Sesha, the charming son of the Serpentine Governor, calls on Pinki for help in defeating the resistance, promising to give her what she most desires in return — the ability to control her fire. First she’ll have to protect the Moon Maiden, pretend to be a human (ick), and survive a family reunion. But it’s all worth it for the control of her powers . . . right?

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa | Review

Wicked faeries and fantastic danger… Welcome to book one of the new trilogy in New York Times bestselling author Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey fantasy series, as infamous prankster Puck finally has a chance to tell his story and stand with allies new and old to save Faery and the world. 

“YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF ME…”

Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Prankster, joker, raven, fool… King Oberon’s right-hand jester from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The legends are many, but the truth will now be known as never before, as Puck finally tells his own story and faces a threat to the lands of Faery and the human world unlike any before.

With the Iron Queen Meghan Chase and her prince consort, Puck’s longtime rival Ash, and allies old and new by his side, Puck begins a fantastical and dangerous adventure not to be missed or forgotten. Filled with myths and faery lore, romance and unfathomable dangers, The Iron Raven is book one of a new epic fantasy trilogy set in the world of The Iron Fey.

Buy Links | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Books-A-Million | AppleBooks | Google Play

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have not read the other books set in this world, but having loved some of Julie Kagawa’s other books I definitely wanted to pick this one up. It can definitely be read without reading the past books, but I’m sure having them as a foundation would give more oomph to it.

I really enjoyed how fast paced this was, I didn’t really feel like there were any sections that dragged. It was easy to get immersed in the quest that the characters went on and no one really felt superfluous to me. I will definitely be going back and reading the previous books in this world and look forward to any future installments that are coming in the future!

JULIE KAGAWA is the New York Times, USA TODAY and internationally bestselling author of The Iron Fey, Blood of Eden, The Talon Saga and the Shadow of the Fox series. Born in Sacramento, she has been a bookseller and an animal trainer and enjoys reading, painting, playing in her garden and training in martial arts. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and a plethora of pets. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Happy reading!