Friday, November 30, 2012

YHL Book Signing

Wednesday, November 28th - Georgetown (Flor)

On a Wednesday evening, my mom, sister and I were able to get out for a girls night with books, cupcakes and very yummy pizza!  We headed to the Flor store in Georgetown for a book signing that was fun for all three of us.  My sister is a crafty blogger and mom and I are book bloggers, so this one book could be enjoyed by all three of us.  

Here we are with John and Sherry from Young House Love, they were personable and just like they are on the blog, it was so fun to chat with them for the quick moment we had!  We of course gushed that we were all bloggers and all fans!  

After the two hour wait in the cold, we decided that we should look for something to eat locally, but first across the street we had to pick up some Georgetown Cupcakes!

Then we wandered M street for dinner and ended up at a great little pizza place that is on my list as one to visit again!  At Pizza Paradisio we started with a twist on bruschetta with bread, goat cheese and prosciutto and we followed it with their 4 cheese pizza which was just sinful.  Mom took the rest home, she wouldn't part with it without a fight!

It was a fun evening that we decided must be repeated!

If you are wanting a signed copy of YHL, then run over to my sister's blog - Underestimated Mom for a chance to win!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review: The Moroni Deception by Jack L. Brody

The Moroni Deception by Jack L. Brody

Publisher: Visigoth Press 
Pages: 285 
Format: ebook 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  Michael Chenault, award-winning investigative journalist with the New York Times, is rousted in the middle of the night by NYPD detectives and accused of the bizarre murder of a complete stranger. After clearing himself, Chenault finds that Martin Koplanski, the retired history professor he’d been accused of murdering, was likely killed for a mysterious Mormon relic long thought to be just a myth. Twenty-four hours later, Chenault receives an email with a photo of the recently murdered wife of Presidential candidate, Brockston Ratchford. She too appears to have been ritually killed in the exact manner as Koplanski, right down to having the same cryptic character scrawled in blood across her forehead. With way more than just a hunch to now go on, Chenault heads out to Salt Lake City, the site of the Ratchford murder investigation, to find out what, if any, connection there is between the murders.

Kritters Thoughts:  I read that this book could be compared to a Dan Brown religious adventure and I completely agree; although what made it different is the contemporary feel compared to Dan Brown's historical angle.  Chenault, the main character, is a journalist and by happenstance is thrust into this scavenger hunt for the unknown at the beginning and then finally a certain religious object that may validate or invalidate the Mormon faith.

The interesting thing about my reading of this book, was my finishing it on the night that a Mormon candidate lost his bid for the White House and my proximity to the White House.  As a religious scavenger hunt, this book was great, but I didn't love the representation of Mormons, it was quite negative.  I am not Mormon and don't wish to share my opinions on religion on this site, but I did feel like the book was a little skewed and really put a negative light on the people who practice that faith, not sure how I would have fixed it, but didn't love it.

The mystery intrigue and hunt of the book were fantastic - I loved following the clues and the twists and turns.  There were some really good hints to unfold a few details, but never too much - the reader knew just the right amount and was kept out of the dark until the bitter end.    

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2012 Challenge: 70 out of 25

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

 Tonight, me, mom and the little sis are heading to the YHL book signing in Georgetown!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: The Twelve Days to Christmas by Michele Gorman

The Twelve Days to Christmas 
by Michele Gorman

Pages: 120 
Format: ebook 
Buy the Book: Amazon Amazon 

Goodreads:  "What if his proposal had an expiration date?"

Hannah’s in a bit of a pickle. In twelve days she flies from Hong Kong to the US with Sam, where he’s finally going to meet her parents… and ask to marry her.

Since overcoming a rather rocky patch in their relationship (which was totally his fault), he really is a new man, and they’re completely in love. The problem is, she feels panicky every time she contemplates matrimony. Which is perfectly normal, isn’t it? Isn’t it?! She has no idea but she’s got to find out before he pops the question... because she’s not 100% sure she’s going to say yes. Which will make for a very uncomfortable family holiday. He’s got to ask her before they go. So Operation Proposal begins. 

As time ticks down to their flight, Hannah realizes that her own secrets are threatening their future. Before she can be happy with Sam, she’s got a lot to learn about herself in the twelve days to Christmas.

Kritters Thoughts:  A wonderful holiday novella that will you get you in the mood to find the person you love and tell them why you are glad they are the one by your side through the holiday season.  Sam is a young woman from the United States who has lived in London and now currently resides in Hong Kong - she moved there for a boy (that part of the story hit close to home!).  She is getting back together with the guy she moved for and is trying to decide if this is the relationship that can last a lifetime.  

I especially liked this book because it hit on the topic of women changing themselves to fit into a relationship - not to hop on a soap box, but I think it is vital from the first date on for women and men to be their true selves, so you know from the beginning if you are compatible   I have had some moments where I tried to change a part of myself to fit with another person - it never works.

I loved how each chapter had a header that gave the reader a glimpse into what was going to happen, but also went along with the overarching theme of twelve days til christmas.  The characters were great, the story was full, but a quick novella and it was a great read to start the holiday season.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2012 Challenge: 64 out of 25

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: She Came From Away by D. Edward Bradley

She Came From Away by D. Edward Bradley

Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing 
Format: ebook 
Buy the Book: Amazon  

Goodreads:   After an unknown uncle leaves Riley Barnett his estate in Conception Bay, Newfoundland, Riley is lured from her university life in Toronto to Canada's east coast. Conception Bay seems to be a quiet, quaint town full of friendly townspeople. But Riley quickly discovers that her uncle's death is shrouded in mystery and secrets, and also realizes that not everyone in Conception Bay is happy to have her there.

With Paul Sutherland, an attractive and chivalrous local, and a few loyal friends by her side, Riley faces gunshots, break-ins, and worse in her new town. 

Kritters Thoughts:  An interesting mystery that took place in a place I have never heard of with an interesting set of people in a small town.  Riley, a college student, is surprised to find out she has inherited a home from an uncle that she hasn't heard from in years.  She quickly packs up her things and moves to a new place to see what is left from her mother's side of the family.  

The premise of the story was fantastic.  I loved how this young girl was excited to take a break from school and try a new adventure and just see where it led.  As well, the mystery behind the events that happen to her in this town and in her home were interesting.  I couldn't wait to find out who was terrorizing her and what their intentions were.  My main concern with the book lies in the editing, I think there could have been a few more tweaks to make it flow a little better.

I would recommend this read to those who need a little mystery and intrigue with characters that are easy to fall in love with.

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Ebook 2012 Challenge: 75 out of 25

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Central Avenue Publishing.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

With a holiday week, life was mostly quiet, so I was able to get quite a bit of reading done.  The hubs worked Wednesday and Thanksgiving Thursday, so beyond watching the parade and curling up with the pup, I read this Thanksgiving day away!  Don't fret - we moved Thanksgiving to Friday, so all the traditional things were just pushed back a day!

Yesterday (Small Business Saturday), mom and I made a trip to One More Page to celebrate their small businesses - we had fun with a low key shopping trip and lunch.  Today we are off to celebrate my dad's birthday with dinner and a movie with just the adults, we are going to see Lincoln, I will have to share my thoughts after the 2.5 hour movie ends!

A meme hosted by Sheila at BookJourney. 

Finished this past week:
Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose
She Came From Away by D. Edward Bradley
Dangerous Deception by Cindy McDonald
Death in the Dark by Emily Kimelman
Dancing at the Shame Prom by Assorted Authors
Leaves by Michael Baron
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Currently Reading:
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Next on the TBR pile:
Vanity Fare by Megan Caldwell

Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose

Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose

Publisher: William Morrow 
Pages: 304  
Format: ARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon  

Goodreads:  As a writer for Chick Habit, an increasingly popular women's website, Alex Lyons gets paid to be a bitch. She's churning out several posts a day, and she saves her juiciest ones for blog prime time, when working women eat their sad desk salads in their offices. Alex tells herself she's fulfilling her dream of being a professional writer; so what if it means being glued to her couch and her laptop from six a.m. to six p.m., scouring the web in search of the next big celebrity scandal? Since Chick Habit's parent company keeps close tabs on page views, Alex knows her job is always at risk.

So when an anonymous tipster sends her the year's most salacious story—a politico's squeaky-clean Ivy League daughter caught in a very R-rated activity—it's a no-brainer. But is Alex really willing to ruin the girl's life by igniting the next Internet feeding frenzy? And what she doesn't yet realize is how this big scoop is about to send her own life spiraling out of control.

Kritters Thoughts:  Are you looking for a quick chick lit to read to put you in a good mood?  Are you a blogger and want to read a book about a fellow blogger?  This is the book to pick up, it was a perfect chick lit read for this blogger!  Although Alex and I have very different blogs, it was so fun to read a book that centers around a very consuming hobby of mine!  Alex blogs for a blog titled Chick Habit that specializes in the celebrity and issue related news that is happening here and now.  She spends most of her day on her couch looking for the next story that must be ready to go to "print" within 45 minutes of finding the news blurp.  

Although blogging isn't my full time job, I still loved reading about Alex's story and how your job or hobby can consume your life and one can forget to keep a well rounded life by spending time with friends and family beyond your job or hobby.  I can definitely be guilty of devoting a lot of time to my full time job and my full time hobby - I must remind myself to cut time out for those I love that doesn't involve blogging or job pursuits.  

A perfect chick lit book for a weekend of reading.  I will definitely be passing this on to bloggers and non-bloggers for a good read.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Harper Collins.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Review: The Paternity Test by Michael Lowenthal

The Paternity Test by Michael Lowenthal

Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press 
Pages: 288 
Format: book 
Buy the Book: Amazon  

Goodreads:   Pat Faunce is a faltering romantic, a former poetry major who now writes textbooks. A decade into his relationship with Stu, an airline pilot from a fraught Jewish family, he fears he’s losing Stu to other men—and losing himself in their “no rules” arrangement. Yearning for a baby and a deeper commitment, he pressures Stu to move from Manhattan to Cape Cod, to the cottage where Pat spent boyhood summers.

As they struggle to adjust to their new life, they enlist a surrogate: Debora, a charismatic Brazilian immigrant, married to Danny, an American carpenter. Gradually, Pat and Debora bond, drawn together by the logistics of getting pregnant and away from their spouses. Pat gets caught between loyalties—to Stu and his family, to Debora, to his own potent desires—and wonders: is he fit to be a father?

Kritters Thoughts:  A book that was definitely out of my normal reads, but I was more than excited to read it because of the central subject matter.  A gay couple - Pat and Stu are hoping to start a family and look into using a surrogate - but they have quite the list of requirements.  Through fate and a website they find the perfect woman to help them make their dreams come true, but it isn't the easiest journey to parenthood.

This book hits close to home because I have a very very close friend, who may be a boy who likes boys.  I would do anything for him and believe that someday he will be such an amazing parent.  I was beyond excited to read a book about a new kind of family that is becoming more accepted in our country.  I was a bit disappointed by how the book ended, but was excited to read and review a book and talk about a subject that hits very close to home.

Although, I didn't love bits of the plot, I think this is a timely book due to our country starting to recognize these couples as legitimate.  Maybe I would have changed a few plot points, but I hope to see more books like this one out in the fiction world.  No matter where you stand on the subject, this book is a read that opens your eyes to how families can look in 2012.

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from BookSparks PR.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review: Enchanted by Starlight by Tina L. Hook

Enchanted by Starlight by Tina L. Hook

Pages: 331 
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon  

Goodreads:  Be careful what you wish for… Grace, Skylar and Alina are connected by destiny when an enchanted comet crosses the night sky. As their most secret ambitions ignite, their ordinary lives take a magical detour down a powerful but dangerous path.

Grace, emerging from her dejected childhood, develops the power to make men fall in love with her. Skylar leaves her impoverished past behind and pursues the social status she has always longed for. Without dreams of her own, Alina covets the power to unravel other lives and seeks revenge. As they crash into and slip away from each other in a cycle of envy, deception and love lost, these three women are forced to look deeper into their own hearts for the true meaning of enchantment.

Kritters Thoughts:  Three friends are interconnected in many ways and weave in and out of each other's lives in this chick lit meets paranormal book.  Grace, Skylar and Alina all are impacted by a comet that provide them each with special "powers" that they can use at their whim.  The reader is taken through each of their girls histories through each of their own viewpoints - this I loved.  I loved being able to hear the story from each of the girls.  

Not only do you hear each of their stories, but throughout the book, the girls pop into each other's lives.  There were quite a few characters, mainly men in the book, so I had to make quite the chart to keep them all straight.  A few hopped around a bit, if you know what I am inferring!  The interweaving of the girls lives was my favorite part, it was creative and different the ways that you could see them or family members showing up.

What I didn't love was the comet energy that popped up randomly in the book.  Maybe I should have known ahead of time that this wasn't going to be my favorite read of 2012 because there was just a little too much paranormal too it.  I really would have loved the book without it. 

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from BookSparks PR.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Pages: 228 
Format: ebook 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  Colie expects the worst when she's sent to spend the summer with her eccentric aunt Mira while her mother, queen of the television infomercial, tours Europe. Always an outcast -- first for being fat and then for being "easy" -- Colie has no friends at home and doesn't expect to find any in Colby, North Carolina. But then she lands a job at the Last Chance Cafe and meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel, best friends with a loving yet volatile relationship. Wacky yet wise, Morgan and Isabel help Colie see herself in a new way and realize the potential that has been there all along.

Kritters Thoughts:  This was surprisingly my first Sarah Dessen read, I have quite a few books of hers on my bookshelf, but had yet to read one, so in the middle of a cold snap, I decided it was the perfect book to curl up with and read in one sitting!  I was right!

Colie is the daughter of a famous mom - known for her work out tips and paraphernalia.  As her mom is taking a trip abroad during the summer, Colie goes to live with her crazy aunt!  While staying in the small North Carolina she is taken under the wing of two women who help her grown into a young lady.  I loved these two ladies, they were funny and entertaining.  I felt like with them Colie was able to make a transition during the summer away from the pressures of her mom and her life.

It was a perfect clean YA read that I could recommend to young and old young adult readers.  I am definitely going to curl up soon with another Sarah Dessen book.      

Rating: perfect YA read

Ebook 2012 Challenge: 72 out of 25

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

It was quite the week at work, the boss is traveling quite a ton and it took a lot of work to nail down all the meetings, so by the time I got home each night I completely crashed.  

Next week is Thanksgiving, maybe a whole day curled up reading, as we are celebrating on Friday.  

What thankful reading will you be doing?

A meme hosted by Sheila at BookJourney. 

Finished this past week:
Enchanted by Starlight by Tina Hook
Nobody Has to Know by Frank Nappi
The Paternity Test by Michael Lowenthal
Invisible by Carla Buckley

Currently Reading:
Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose

Next on the TBR pile:
She Came From Away by D. Edward Bradley

Across my Doorstop

Another two weeks worth of books that came across my doorstop, it was quite an eventful 2 weeks!  The book club I attend is run by Jen from Jen's Bookshelves and she can come with bags and bags of books that are up for grabs for the members - so that is where the Book Club Pick Ups came from!  

And now looking at this long list, I have quite a lot of reading to do!

For Review:

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan  (Goodreads  Amazon)
The Books They Gave Me by Jen Adams  (Goodreads  Amazon)
Dancing at the Shame Prom (Goodreads  Amazon)

Book club pick ups:
Only One Life by Sara Blaedel  (Goodreads  Amazon)
The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo  (Goodreads  Amazon)
The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen  (Goodreads  Amazon)
Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber  (Goodreads  Amazon)

Swap Sites:
Sorcery and the Single Girl by Mindy Klasky  (Goodreads  Amazon)
Hand-Me-Down by Lee Nichols  (Goodreads  Amazon)
Girls Guide to Witchcraft by Mindy Klasky  (Goodreads  Amazon)
The Shadow of Your Smile by Susan May Warren  (Goodreads  Amazon)
American Girls About Town by Assorted Authors  (Goodreads  Amazon)
The Tiny One by Eliza Minot  (Goodreads  Amazon)

Purchase for a signing!!:
Young House Love by Sherry & John Petersik  (Goodreads  Amazon)

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