Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Review: "In a Holidaze" by Christina Lauren


4 stars out of 5

I'll admit that this isn't my usual type of read, however as we head for the holidays I crave lighter, sweeter stories to read, especially as I try to manage the busyness of the season. There are a few holiday classics that I like to read every year, but when I reached out to a book group that I belong to to find a few more festive recommendations, they all recommended this one to me.

This is a light, fun and festive read about two people who have been friends forever finding love with one another. The addition of, well, time-travel is thrown in there for good measure as our main character Maelyn manages to screw Christmas up royally her first time around. As she becomes more and more frustrated trying to find which decisions are the "right" ones to make in order NOT to have to repeat the holiday again, she messes up time and time again. Maelyn eventually comes to the conclusion that life IS messy and that she needs to embrace it in all of its messy glory if she is going to find true satisfaction in her day to day.

Cute, light, yet thought-provoking at the same time, "In a Holidaze" is the gift that keeps on giving! With a fun plot, loads of characters that I came to like, and a sizzling hot romance, I'm sure that I will be re-reading this one in 2021.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Review: Audiobook: Agatha Arch is Afraid of Everything by Kristin Bair O'Keeffe

Agatha Arch really IS afraid of everything! From Fava beans (don't ask) to lightning storms, it would be almost be easier for Agatha to list the things that she wasn't afraid of instead of the things that she is. When she catches her husband of eleven years in a delicate position with the dog walker in their shed Agatha takes a hatchet in hand and goes to work. What follows is the story of Agatha facing the fears that she has one fear at a time while gaining necessary perspective.

It's hard not to love unexpected heroine Agatha Arch, even though she's prickly even at the best of times! As she navigates her fears and heartbreak and disappointment and yes, even her hope for the future, her human side comes out and makes her all the more endearing. I rooted for her to overcome her obstacles from the very beginning despite the fact that she isn't what we would consider to be a traditionally likeable character.

The unexpected secondary character here was in fact not Agatha's cheating husband but the Facebook mom's group that Agatha just couldn't stay away from for very long. I could relate to many of Agatha's grievances but could also see myself in some of the mom's posts. That aspect of the story alone made it worth the listen!

I listened to the audiobook version of this story and I really liked it in that format. The reader's voice seemed to suit the story and it flowed well. I was easily able to pick up where I left off when I had to turn it off and come back to it later. I've had it before where I start an audiobook, find something about it annoying, and end up not finishing it but this wasn't the case here. Both the reader and the story being told were compelling.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story about an untraditional heroine and how she overcomes what is a common and very real fear of many people! Agatha is a flawed character with lots to love about her and I found the writing to be enjoyable and the conclusion satisfying. I can recommend this in either format- either listening to it or choosing to read a paper copy.

My thanks to the publisher as well as Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Spotlight and Giveaway: "The Setpoint Diet" by Jonathan Bailor

Book Details:

Book Title: The Setpoint Diet by Jonathan Bailor
Category: Self-help/ Weight Management, 311 pages
Genre: Adult Non-Fiction
Publisher: Hachette Books
Release date: December 2018
Tour dates: June 17 to July 12, 2019
Content Rating: PG+M

Book Description:

Join the 27,000 people who have achieved dramatic and long-term weight loss with The Setpoint Diet, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Calorie Myth.

Your body fights to keep you within a range of about 15 pounds--also known as your "setpoint weight." New research reveals that you can lower your setpoint and end that battle for good by focusing on the quality of calories you eat, not the quantity. With The Setpoint Diet, you will reprogram your body with a 21-day plan to rev up your metabolism, eliminate inflammation, heal your hormones, repair your gut, and get your body working like that of a naturally thin person--permanently.

The Setpoint Diet is a lower-carb menu that focuses on specific anti-inflammatory whole foods, including tons of produce, nutritious proteins, and therapeutic fats. Its creator, Jonathan Bailor, founded SANESolution, a weight loss company that has reached millions of people. Proven to help you lose weight naturally and maintain it, The Setpoint Diet is your new blueprint for healthy living.

About the Author:

JONATHAN BAILOR pioneered the field of wellness engineering and is the founder and CEO of one of the world’s fastest-growing permanent weight loss and diabesity treatment companies, SANESolution. He authored the New York Times best-seller The Calorie Myth, has registered over 26 patents, has spoken at Fortune 100 companies and TED conferences for over a decade and served as a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, where he helped to create Nike Kinect Training and Xbox Fitness. His work has been endorsed and implemented by top doctors from Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, and UCLA. A summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of DePauw University, Bailor lives outside Seattle with his wife, Angela, and daughter Aavia.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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Ends July 19, 2019

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Giveaway! THE STORYTELLER'S SECRET by Sejal Badani

Book Details:

Book Title: The Storyteller's Secret by Sejal Badani
Category: Adult Fiction, 399 pages
Genre: Literary
Publisher: Lake Union
Release date: September 2018
Tour dates: June 3 to July 12, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (There are some non-explicit sex scenes)

Book Description:

An Amazon Charts, USA Today, and Washington Post bestseller!

From the bestselling author of Trail of Broken Wings comes an epic story of the unrelenting force of love, the power of healing, and the invincible desire to dream.

Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past. Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation.

​Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible.

To read reviews, please visit Sejal Badani's page on iRead Book Tours.


I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Jaya's journey towards knowing more about her own past and how it led to the family dynamics that she is experiencing in the present. The descriptions of India both past and present were intoxicating and made me want to experience them for myself. I have always been fascinated with Indian culture and Badani's book gave me a glimpse in to the fascinating history of that culture.

While I expected Jaya to be the focus of the book it was really her grandmother's story that we were told. A brave and bold story, I was enamored with her as a character and all that women in those situations had to endure.

The Storyteller's Secret is both a fascinating look at Indian culture as well as the story of one woman who dared to be more than what society said that she could be. An interesting and timely read!

Buy the Book:

​Watch the Book Trailer:

Meet the Author:

​A former attorney, Sejal Badani left the law to pursue writing full time.

She is a USA Today, Washington Post & Amazon Charts bestselling author, Goodreads Fiction Award Finalist and ABC/DISNEY Writing Fellowship Finalist.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ​~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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Ends July 20, 2019

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Giveaway! HIIT Your Limit by Dr. Len Kravitz

Book Details:

Book Title: HIIT Your Limit: High-Intensity Interval Training For Fat Loss, Cardio, and Full Body Health by Dr. Len Kravitz
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 208 pages
Genre: Fitness and Wellness
Publisher: Apollo Publisher
Release date: October 19, 2018
Tour dates: April 15 to 26, 2019
Content Rating: G (The book is a workout manual. It contains no graphic language or images.)

Book Description:

Get lean, build muscle, and stay healthy in only ten minutes a day! A Fitness Hall of Fame inductee and world-famous exercise scientist explains the #1 new fitness trend and how to get and keep the body you’ve always wanted.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an extraordinarily effective form of training that mixes high- and low-impact activities during periods ranging from seconds to eight minutes. In HIIT Your Limit, Dr. Len Kravitz, who has been inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame and been an internationally-renowned exercise scientist for the past thirty-six years, and sold nearly 100,0000 copies of his last fitness book, explains what HIIT is, how it effects your entire body (externally and internally), gives 50 workouts and a guaranteed plan to whip you into shape fast, and presents a wealth of nutritional and other advice to further its impact.

HIIT was recently rated the #1 new fitness trend by the American College of Sports Medicine and is the key to staying fit for celebrities like David Beckham, Britney Spears, Hugh Jackman, and Scarlett Johansson. In addition to fat loss, it’s been proven to have major health benefits on blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol. Through this groundbreaking volume you’ll learn why, and see how to get fit quick, and have a fun and a truly sustainable exercise program, no expensive personal trainer required.

My Review:

I am a six-days-a-week at the gym kind of girl, and I strongly believe in mixing it up. I try not to repeat the same kind of workout even once through the week and enjoy surprising my body by doing something different all six days. I kick box, do yoga, spin, and do interval training. I also make sure that I do my research about fitness and nutrition. I don't believe everything that I hear, and make sure that I back up what I do with actual facts.

All of this led me to HIIT Your Limit by Dr. Len Kravitz. I'm already a firm believer in the long-term benefits of HIIT training, and was very interested to read everything that Dr. Kravitz had researched. I found his findings very interesting! Dr. Kravitz provides not just a plan to his readers to help them to eat better and exercise more efficiently but he also provides the science behind it all. A section with Q&A's, a comprehensive exercise plan, and 100 tips for effortlessly cutting calories are all included. This results in a very interesting read for anyone on any point of their fitness journey. If you're beginning one you will have access to a lot of the information that you need to get started on a healthy path. It drives me crazy when people embark on fad diets hoping to lose weight and I love this this book is not about fad diets but about getting healthy the practical and long-lasting way! There is a lot of information in this book that was useful for me as well, and I am well in to my fitness journey. This is a book for all fitness levels.

If you are looking for a book with useful, scientifically-backed information and exercise plans, look no further than HIIT Your Limit. This is a book that you will find yourself referring back to again and again as you strive to be your best self!

Buy the Book:

About the Author:

Dr. Len Kravitz has thirty-six years of experience as a researcher, writer, and speaker on fitness, and is the coordinator of exercise science at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of Anybody’s Guide to Total Fitness (now in its eleventh edition with nearly 100,000 copies sold), and Essentials of Eccentric Training; has published more than 300 articles in dozens of health and fitness publications; and regularly travels the country as a speaker on fitness and health. Among other awards, he was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame. Dr. Kravitz lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Saturday, March 2, 2019

FINDING ANNA by Katie Cross

Anna is a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, trying to break free from the confines of her family. Her mom and dad mean well, of course, but they want her to follow their path in life and Anna is determined to follow her own. With the help of a few good friends, including a BFF and a quirky room mate, Anna struggles to find her own way in the world without hurting her parents along the way.

Finding Anna is the story of one young woman determined to be as true to herself as she can be.

I loved this sweet story about a young, ambitious woman, determined not to fall in to the path carved for her by her parents, since it isn't even close to what she wants for herself. I admired her inner strength even when the going got tough and I really enjoyed meeting her new friends, especially her quirky room mate, Melanie. I was really rooting for Anna the whole time and hoping that she would be able to find her own path without upsetting too many apple carts!

This is a short and sweet read, perfect for devouring in a single afternoon with a hot cup of tea by your side and a blanket. I truly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from Katie Cross.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

MAYBE THIS TIME by Jill Mansell

Jill Mansell has been my favourite women's fiction author for years and I always look forward to her new release every year in January. This January has been particularly cold and dreary and I eagerly started this one as soon as it was released. It was like a warm hug on a cold day!

I devoured this book in only two days! The story is one that you have likely encountered before; girl likes boy, boy likes girl, but will they figure out how they feel about one another in time? The fact that the story was familiar made it no less enjoyable. Mansell writes in a way that is at once comforting but makes me want to turn the pages as fast as I can to find out what comes next. Her writing is enjoyable and her characters impossible not to both love and root for. Mimi, her main character in MAYBE THIS TIME, is flawed yet determined to make the best of the circumstances foisted upon her.

Full of "aww" moments, as well as moments of anticipation while we wait to find out if our main characters will realize their feelings for one another, this book was enjoyable for me from beginning to end. This is perfect light reading for while you're on vacation somewhere warm, or for when you are cuddled under a blanket on a cold day.