A Book & A Bite

A Book & A Bite: Interview with Mystery Author Ellie Alexander and Hoppy Cupcakes

Happy Monday, puffs! Or should I say…Hoppy Monday! See what I did there? Yeah, I know…I will stop now. Today I am SO excited to be sharing my first ever author interview. I feel like we are starting this series off strong because if you don’t know who Ellie Alexander is, where have you been!? Ellie is a cozy mystery author, baker, and all-around badass. I will be linking all of her socials below so you can give her a follow. Also, be sure to check out my Instagram for the very awesome giveaway I have going on where one lucky winner will receive the grand prize of a signed copy of Beyond a Reasonable Stout, the latest addition to The Sloan Krause Mystery Series, as well as some other bookish swag! You can also pick up a copy of Beyond a Reasonable Stout at your local book retailer. It is also available in e-book format as well!

Interview with Ellie Alexander

Ellie, can you tell us what inspired you to start writing culinary mysteries? And how you “brewed” up the idea for a beer inspired series?

I have loved mysteries since I was little. In fact, I wrote my first mystery in second grade. I still have it, and I have to say that my handwriting was much, much better back then. It’s interesting that food and mystery pair so well, but I think it has something to do with the formula or recipe for both. It’s about piecing together clues to figure out whodunit in a culinary mystery and that blends beautifully (in my opinion) with sifting through perfect ingredients when baking or cooking. In terms of the beer series, I live in the Pacific Northwest, which is known for its craft beer culture. You can literally walk a block and find a brewpub on every corner. I thought that would be an interesting and unique setting for a mystery. Plus, my husband has been homebrewing for many years and I find that the process of brewing has a lot in common with baking. There are so many flavor profiles and combinations to get right when brewing and then of course there are lots of ways that a beer can go wrong, which makes for great fiction! 

When deciding on the setting of your latest series, did Leavenworth come to mind immediately?

 I had been toying around with the idea of setting a mystery in brewpub for a while. I knew I wanted my protagonist to be a woman, because I love exploring the idea of a character doing something that’s traditionally been viewed as a “man’s job”. I was visiting Leavenworth for Oktoberfest and suddenly I knew that I HAD to set the series there. It hits all the right notes for this style of mystery. It’s a gorgeous small Bavarian village nestled in the Northern Cascade Mountains with year-round festivals themed around beer. My husband and I were having a pint outside at Icicle Brewing and I read that one of the owners was a woman!  It was like the beer gods smiled upon me and said, “Here’s your perfect setting.” I went home and started sketching out ideas right away. Around the same time I read an article about the Pink Boots Society. It’s a group of women who work in every aspect of craft beer and have banded together to support one another. I love that concept of women supporting women, so Sloan, my brewer turned sometimes sleuth was born from there.

The characters in your novels seem so real, how do you keep them so true to life?

I try to pull upon all of my life experiences. The vast majority of my characters are based on people I know or have known.  Before I started writing, I worked as a speech therapist in an early intervention program. My caseload included a lot of foster kids and foster parents. Their stories and resolve stayed with me. When I was first trying to figure out who Sloan was (other than an incredible brewer) I thought it would give her some interesting depth if she had been part of the foster system. I always try to have a bigger story and growth arc for my characters and for Sloan that means figuring out how she defines family. Since that’s her ultimate quest, I hope that helps lend some realism to the stories.

Do you ever come up with recipes for your books that don’t end up making the cut?

YES, YES, and YES! You should see my office whiteboard. It is literally packed with so many recipes that haven’t made the final cut. In both my series there’s a lot of food writing. When I’m working on a new manuscript, often whatever comes to mind in the moment is what makes it onto the page. Once I finish a first draft and a few rounds of edits, I’ll take one final pass for the food and beer and really try to figure out which recipes I’m going to focus on. Sadly, that means that there are a plethora of loney recipes waiting to make it into a future book. I think at some point I’m going to have to write a cookbook. 

What started your interest in baking and the culinary world?

Like with reading, I started baking at a young age. Food was definitely a love language in our house. Many of my early memories are of being in the kitchen watching my mom kneading bread dough and my dad piping mocha buttercream onto a hazelnut apricot torte. There’s something so sensory and almost therapeutic about baking. I enjoy exploring that in my writing. You have to be present and in the moment when you’re in the kitchen. It’s a place of connection, and it can also be deadly! 

Do you have a set writing schedule or process? How long does it typically take you to write your mysteries? 

I have a very set schedule for my writing. I write 2,000 words every day. Most mornings, I drop my son off at school and then I’m at my desk until I hit my word count. That translates to writing really fast first drafts. It takes me about six weeks to write a first draft. Once I have a completed draft, I print it and store it away for a few months. I think  you need space and distance from your writing in order to see what needs to be fixed and strengthened. I will come back to the first draft after I’ve given myself time away from it and work on edits. That process usually takes another month or two. So typically it takes about six or seven months in total. 

When did you realize you had a taste for murder and mysteries? 

LOL! For many, many years I wanted to write a book, but had no idea where to start. Let’s just say that I have STACKS of unfinished manuscripts that will never see the light of day. In hindsight, I think those early years of scribbling ideas that quickly died off were so helpful in my writing path. We have to experiment and fail to find our voice. I failed a lot! There’s one story that sticks in my head. My working title was One Dead Toe. That’s not a joke. The only scene that I could visualize is a hospital room with a patient who has frostbite and is losing their toe. Needless to say that story hasn’t ever developed into anything, but it did teach the importance of having a good initial hook (dead toe-dead body etc.) to get the reader excited about turning the page. 

Are there any authors that inspire your writing? 

How much time do we have? So many authors have inspired my writing. I read anything and everything I can get my hands on from mysteries to sci-fi and historical fiction. Some of my favorite authors include: Ursula Le Guin, Katherine Mansfield, Willa Cather, Jane Austen, P.D. James, and of course the great dame Agatha Christie. 

In your opinion, what is the hardest part of being an author?

That’s a great question. I think maybe the biggest challenge for me is trying to extinguish the myth that writing is somehow magical. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when it feels magical and I’m deeply grateful that I get to share stories for a living. However, it’s also work. I sit at my desk every day and don’t leave until I hit my word count. When I first started writing friends and family would assume that because I was writing at home it wasn’t really work. They were sort of put out that I said no to meeting for coffee or going for a walk in the middle of my writing time. I had to develop really firm boundaries around my writing. That process taught me so much about making a commitment to writing, and it’s one piece of advice that I always try to share with new writers–treat it like a job. It’s a super fun job, but it’s a job! 

Do you have anything for us to “nibble” on for the upcoming year of 2020? Will you be doing any traveling? 

Yes! The 4th book in the Sloan Krause Series, WITHOUT A BREW, is coming out in October. And, the 11th book in the Bakeshop Mysteries, NOTHING BUNDT TROUBLE, releases in June. I will be traveling quite a bit for both books as well as sharing some exciting promotions on social media. 

Okay, Ellie, just one more important question…what is your beer of choice? 

IPA! Always. It’s the PNW girl in me. The more hops the better! 

More about Ellie

Ellie Alexander (also known as Kate Dyer-Seeley) is a Pacific Northwest native. Her love for the Pacific Northwest runs deep. Hence why all of her books (whether she’s writing as Ellie or Kate) are set here. From the Shakespearean hamlet of Ashland, Oregon to the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, Washington to the hipster mecca of Portland, Oregon and a variety of other stunning outdoor locales, the Pacific Northwest is a backdrop for every book and almost becomes another character in each series.

When not writing, you can find her testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouse or brewpubs nearby. You’ll also find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of “research”.

Be sure to follow her for baking videos, giveaways, sneak peeks and more!

Website Facebook Instagram Twitter Youtube Pinterest

Hoppy Citrus IPA Cupcake Recipe

For the cupcake batter you will need:

  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsps Mexican vanilla
  • One orange—grate peel into batter and squeeze in a tablespoon of juice and reserve remaining juice for
  • frosting
  • ½ cup citrus IPA (I used Tropi Cannon IPA by Heavy Seas Beer, it was perfect!)
  • ¼ cup sour cream

For the citrus cream cheese frosting you will need:

  • 12 oz cream cheese, cold
  • 6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp each freshly squeezed orange/lime juice
  • 1 tsp each orange/lime zest
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

For the beer cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3
    minutes.
  • Add eggs, beating after each addition then add the vanilla and zest.
  • Combine sour cream and beer and alternatively add this mixture and the flour mixture to the
    butter/sugar mixture with the mixer on low speed, starting and ending with the flour.
  • Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 18 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
  • When cupcakes are done, poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes with toothpicks and brush some beer
    on each while still warm.

For the citrus cream cheese frosting:

  • Cream together the cream cheese and butter in an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2-3
    minutes.
  • Add the citrus juice and zest and gradually add the powdered sugar until well-combined. Beat until
    smooth for about 2 minutes.
  • Load frosting in a piping bag fit with a large star tip and pipe cupcake tops once cooled.
    Recipe yields 24 cupcakes.

And that is it, y’all! I hope you enjoyed this very special edition of A Book & A Bite. If you make these cupcakes please share a photo and tag both Ellie and me on social media! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with.

Always,

Alicia

Book Tours

Shantallow Book Tour

Shantallow was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and reviews are my own. 

Genre: Young Adult, Horror Publication Date: May 12th 2019 Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis:

Tanvi isn’t the girl of Misha’s dreams; she’s the girl from his nightmares. She has appeared in his chilling dreams before he even meets her; when he DOES meet her, he falls for her.

Their relationship turns stormy, bordering on abusive, and takes a dramatic turn when they are held captive by a group hoping to extract money from Tanvi’s wealthy family.

But there is something more sinister at work, and the kidnappers and their victims find themselves struggling for survival as a supernatural force from Misha’s nightmares makes itself known in the real world.

My Thoughts

Who doesn’t love a good “spooky book” this time of year!? Especially one that fits into the supernatural horror genre! Cara Martin really sets the mood through highly descriptive language and keeps you hooked through a very diverse cast of characters. It is a little slow to start but once you are a few chapters in, it is hard to set down. I highly recommend anybody picking this up and adding it to their October TBR! Happy haunting, friends!


Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43429071-shantallow


Purchase:

Amazon: https://books2read.com/u/3LpN2M?store=amazon

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shantallow-cara-martin/1130529201

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/shantallow/id1468946105?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/shantallow-1

AUTHOR BIO:

Cara Martin is the author of several acclaimed novels for young people published under the name C. K. Kelly Martin. Her most recent novel, Stricken, was released in 2017. A graduate of the Film Studies program at York University, Cara has lived in the Greater Toronto Area and Dublin, Ireland. Within the space of 3500 miles she’s worked a collection of quirky jobs at multiple pubs and video stores, an electricity company, a division of the Irish post office, a London toyshop, and an advertising analytics company. She’s also been an image editor for a dot-com startup that didn’t survive the 90s, and a credit note clerk for Canada’s largest national distributor of General Merchandise. Cara currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband and is still afraid of the Child Catcher from the film adaptation of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG.


Author links:

http://www.caramartin.ca/

https://www.facebook.com/ckkellymartin

https://twitter.com/CKKellyMartin

https://www.instagram.com/ckkellymartin/

A Book & A Bite

A Book & A Bite: Harry Potter & Weasley Family Inspired Ginger Molasses Cookies

Weasley Ginger Molasses Cookies

Happy Monday, puffs! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Mine went by entirely too fast. Why is it that weeks go by so dang slow but you blink your eyes then *POOF* it is already Monday again!?

So I don’t know about y’all but I have been getting into the fall mood lately. The weather is starting to cool down and the sweaters are slowly being pulled out again. Whenever the weather gets cool my favorite thing to do is read (or watch!) the Harry Potter series. It is just so cozy and feels right to read during the cooler months.

As I was sitting drinking my morning coffee this weekend, I got to thinking about my favorite HP characters and what kind of baked goods would represent their personalities the best. Yeah, I know, I am a weirdo…but HEY! This is just what it is like in my head. So naturally, when thinking of the Weasley clan I immediately went to ginger. Yes, because their red hair is so distinctive but they all have a bit of spice in them. They aren’t afraid to back down and stand up for what they believe in (unless it is spiders, then in that case “you tell those spiders, Ron!”) no matter what danger they are faced with. But I also thought of The Burrow and the cozy warm feelings it brings, filled with memories. With all of that being said, I think these slightly spicy but comforting chewy ginger molasses cookies are a perfect representation of the Weasley Family. I highly recommend having these with a warm cup of apple cider, complete and total fall bliss!

Red hair… and a hand-me-down robe… you must be a Weasley.

-Draco Malfoy

Weasley Family Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Yeilds: About 30 Cookies

You will need:

  • 3/4 Cup of Butter
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 Cup Molasses
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon (pinch) Salt
  • 2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Sode
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Ginger
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Clove
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar (coarse if you can find it) (set aside for rolling)

Instructions:

In a large bowl beat together 3/4 cup of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar until smooth (about 1 to 2 minutes)

Add 1 egg and 1/4 cup molasses to the large bowl. Mix until fully incorporated.

Add all dry ingredients into bowl and fold into wet mixture. Make sure everything is incorporated well but be sure not to over mix or the cookies will be tough and not chewy.

Cover the bowl and chill in fridge for about 2-3 hours. Be sure to properly chill dough or cookies will be greasy and flat!

After the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar to a bowl.

Shape dough using your hands into walnut sized balls and place into bowl of sugar. Roll the balls of dough in the sugar until they are completely coated, then place on lined baking sheet with about 2 inches of space in between.

Bake at 350 for about 8 to 9 minutes. Once you see the tops of the cookies to crack, they are ready to go and make sure to pull them out immediately!

Sprinkle with more granulated sugar to add some extra sparkle/magic! Or if you don’t have a big sweet tooth like me, you can skip this step!

Let cool and enjoy!

Always,

Alicia

Reading Wrap Ups

August 2019 Reading Wrap Up

Happy September, y’all!! This year is flying by! I can’t believe there are only 4 more months left in the year. August was a really crazy and honestly pretty crappy month. As I am typing this there is a literal hurricane happening outside of my window. I have been cooped up in the house for several days now and the cabin fever is hitting hard! So I thought I may as well type up my first ever reading wrap up, even if this wasn’t a very impressive reading month.

Books I Read in August:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
  • Strawberry Shortcake Murder by Joanne Fluke
  • Wild Savage Stars ARC by Kristina Perez
  • I Woke Up Dead at The Mall by Judy Sheehan
  • Crown of Midnight by Sara J. Mass

Typically I can get a lot more reading done with audiobooks as well but I have been on such a podcast kick! I need to refocus on listening to more audibooks! It is just so hard when all I want to do is listen to true crime stories all day hahahaha. Anybody else a true crime/podcast addict like me?

Anywho, what do you all think of what I read? Would you like to see any full reviews? I have to say I was quite happy with everything I read! Nothing below 3.5 or higher, which is so rare because typically there is a dud (or two!!) every month.

I hope that everyone who is in the path of Dorian is staying safe as well and that everyone is having a great week. I am hoping to be back on here soon with a lot more reviews and posts!

Always,

Alicia

Book Hauls

Barnes & Noble #BookHaul Blow-Out Sale Haul

Barnes and Noble Book Sale

Happy Monday, my fellow bookworms! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I caught up on some much needed R&R, this summer heat is just sucking the dang life out of me. I can’t wait for that colder weather! But other than getting some much needed rest I did pop over to my local Barnes & Noble for their epic #BookHaul Blow-Out Sale. If you haven’t heard the news yet the sale entailed a ton of amazing books being on sale for 50% OFF! So of course, I just had to go. I picked up way more than I had anticipated but who was I trying to fool? If you say “Book Sale”, you know I am going to be there making my wallet cry hahah! So here are the details on everything I picked up this past weekend!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Goodreads Community Rating: 3.95 Stars Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.

So…I am fully aware I am late to the game on this one. I have kept telling myself “I am going to read this next” but other books keep getting in the way. Next month I AM READING IT! I promise!

The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Goodreads Community Rating: 3.94 Stars Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller

Synopsis:

Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed… again.

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot. 

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

So this is one of those books that I have been seeing everywhere and I am going to say “Bookstagram made me buy it” and that is just a fact. The cover is super intriguing but also the synopsis just sounds amazing. I just love a good murder mystery!

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads Community Rating: 4.55 Stars Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Synopsis:

Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with that of her father’s—a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa the daughter of a coward, her chances of attending Flight School slim to none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.

I have been meaning to snag this book for quite some time as Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors. He is able to create these highly immersive unique worlds that you just can’t get enough of. I have a feeling this book is going to be no different than his others as I have heard nothing but good things. I can’t wait to dive into this one!

The Witch’s Kind by Louisa Morgan

Goodreads Community Rating: 3.92 Stars Genre: Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Synopsis:

Barrie Anne Blythe and her aunt Charlotte have always known that the other residents of their small coastal community find them peculiar — two women living alone on the outskirts of town. It is the price of concealing their strange and dangerous family secret.

But two events threaten to upend their lives forever. The first is the arrival of a mysterious abandoned baby with a hint of power like their own. The second is the sudden reappearance of Barrie Anne’s long-lost husband — who is not quite the man she thought she married.

Together, Barrie Anne and Charlotte must decide how far they are willing to go to protect themselves — and the child they think of as their own — from suspicious neighbors, the government, and even their own family…

Can you tell I am so ready for fall with this pick? I just love a moody dark witchy read. The description reminded me ALOT of The Wicked Deep meets Practical Magic which is like…MY JAM! Okay…now I need a PSL and to watch some Halloween movies ASAP!

The Chef by James Patterson

Goodreads Community Rating: 3.58 Stars Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction

Synopsis:

In the Carnival days leading up Mardi Gras, Detective Caleb Rooney comes under investigation for a murder he is accused of committing in the line of duty–as a Major Crimes detective for the New Orleans Police Department. Has his sideline at the Killer Chef food truck given him a taste for murder?

While fighting the charges against him, Rooney makes a pair of unthinkable discoveries. His beloved city is under threat of attack. And these would-be terrorists may be local. 

As crowds of revelers gather, Rooney follows a fearsome trail of clues, racing from outlying districts into city center. He has no idea what-or who-he’ll face in defense of his beloved hometown, only that innocent lives are at stake. 

So I brought my mom along with me to the sale as she is also a big lover of books, her and my grandmother are the reason I am such a big bookworm, and I told her to go ahead and pick out a book that she would also enjoy reading so she could borrow it after she is done with her current read. This was her choice! She loves James Patterson (who doesn’t?) and we both agreed this one seemed so interesting!

Chocolate Creampie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Goodreads Community Rating: 3.59 Stars Genre: Cozy Mystery, Fiction

Synopsis:

When The Cookie Jar becomes the setting of a star-studded TV special about movies filmed in Minnesota, Hannah hopes to shine the spotlight on her bakery—not the unsavory scandal swirling around her personal life. But that’s practically impossible with a disturbing visit from the shifty character she once believed was her one and only love, a group of bodyguards following her every move, and a murder victim in her bedroom. Now, swapping the crime scene in her condo for her mother Delores’s penthouse, Hannah and an old flame team up to solve a case that’s messier than an upended chocolate cream pie. As suspects emerge and secrets hit close to home, Hannah must serve a hefty helping of justice to an unnamed killer prowling around Lake Eden . . . before someone takes a slice out of her!

Okay, so I am only on book #2 of this series (and this is #24!!!) but I just LOVE it so far. I can tell I won’t be able to get enough and when I had to opportunity to buy another book in this series I just had to! Plus it is an exclusive edition that is SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR show how could I pass this up!? I just had to snag it!

And that concludes my book haul! See anything you have read or want to read? Let me know in the comments below. I can’t wait to chat!

Always,

Alicia

Book Tours

Blog Tour: The Year I Left by Christine Brae

Title: The Year I Left
Author: Christine Brae
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: August 20th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance,Women’s Fiction

Synopsis:

“A thousand half loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”

Carin Frost doesn’t understand what’s happening to her. A confident businesswoman, wife, and mother,

she begins to resent everything about her life. Nothing makes sense. Nothing makes her feel. Maybe it’s the recent loss of her mother in a tragic accident. Or maybe she’s just losing her mind.

Enter Matias Torres. As their new business partnership thrives, so does their friendship—and his interest in her. Carin is determined to keep her distance, until a work assignment sends them to Southeast Asia where a storm is brewing on the island. In the midst of the chaos, Matias asks her to do something unimaginable, exhilarating, BOLD. Carin knows the consequences could be dire, but it may be the only way to save herself.

An honest look at love and marriage and the frailties of the human heart, this is a story of a woman’s loss of self and purpose and the journey she takes to find her way back.

Purchase:
Amazon: https://books2read.com/u/b5QQWG?store=amazon
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-year-i-left-christine-brae/1132544543
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/the-year-i-left/id1473496140?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-year-i-left

Goodreads

My Thoughts:

This book is by no means an easy read as it is intense with emotion. However, it is truly captivating. A beautifully written story that everyone who has experienced loss can relate to. This book really speaks to the soul and I highly recommend picking it up!

About The Author:

Christine Brae is a senior executive with a full time career, who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Christine has written six books since her first release in 2013. She is the author of The Light in the Wound and His Wounded Light (2013), Insipid (2014), In This Life (2016) and Eight Goodbyes (2018).

Her latest book, The Year I Left is scheduled for release in August, 2019.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.

Christine is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management.

Author Links:

https://www.christinebrae.com/

So, do you think you will be picking this one up? Let me know in the comments below, I can’t wait to chat!

Always,

Alicia

Book Tours

The Enlightment of Bees – Blog & Social Media Tour

Welcome to the Takeover Tour for The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden with JustRead Publicity Tours! 

Title: The Enlightenment of Bees
Author: 
Rachel Linden
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: 
July 9, 2019
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Sometimes a shattered dream leads to an amazing journey. 

At twenty-six, apprentice baker Mia West has her entire life planned out: a Craftsman cottage in Seattle, a job baking at The Butter Emporium, and her first love—her boyfriend, Ethan—by her side. But when Ethan declares he “needs some space,” Mia’s carefully planned future crumbles.

Feeling adrift, Mia joins her vivacious housemate Rosie on a humanitarian trip around the world funded by a reclusive billionaire. Along with a famous grunge rock star, a Rwandan immigrant, and an unsettlingly attractive Hawaiian urban farmer named Kai, Mia and Rosie embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

From the slums of Mumbai to a Hungarian border camp during the refugee crisis, Mia’s heart is challenged and changed in astonishing ways—ways she never could have imagined. As she grapples with how to make a difference in a complicated world, Mia realizes she must choose between the life she thought she wanted and the life unfolding before her.

In a romantic adventure across the globe, The Enlightenment of Bees beautifully explores what it means to find the sweet spot in life where our greatest passions meet the world’s greatest need.

So what do you think?Will you be picking this one up? Let me know in the comments below! You can also check out my Instagram post HERE!

Always,

Alicia