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

Book Hauls

A Very Cozy Weekend Book Haul

Cozy Mystery Book Haul

Happy Monday, puffs! Did you have a great weekend? I had a surprisingly busy weekend but it was a lot of fun. On Saturday morning I met up with my good friend Julie (who is also a bookstagrammer/blogger) for coffee, donuts, and bargain book shopping. My favorite places in town to buy used books is my neighborhood goodwill and Sullivan’s Trade-A-Book. It is exactly what it sounds like, a lovely place where you can bring in your used books and get credit (or just straight up swap out!) for more books! When you walk in you are greeted with mountains and rows filled with stacks of books (which are very well organized) so basically it is a bibliophile’s dream! I wanted to load up on some cozies for the up coming fall seasons which you can see in the pile. The only book I didn’t purchase at Sullivan’s was The Enlightenment of Bees which was actually sent to me for a blog tour I will be doing coming up, I can’t wait to read it and will have more details to share soon! Here is a full list of what I picked up:

Have you read any of the books in my haul? If so please leave a comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Always,

Alicia

A Book & A Bite

A Book & A Bite: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder and Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are about to have a lovely start to your week. Today I wanted to share with you all the first post of a new series I am starting here on the blog called “A Book & A Bite”, where I share a book with a recipe. Some of you may or may not know but I actually graduated from The International Culinary Center in New York City. While I do not actively work in that industry anymore (now I am just a desk nerd), you can often find me in my kitchen at home baking and cooking my butt off! So I thought I would tie my two loves together. If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments below!

Today’s book is Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke and the bite is Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies which are an actual recipe listed IN THE BOOK!

Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies

You will need:

  • 1 Cup Butter (2 sticks melted)
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
  • 2 Beaten Eggs (you can just beat them with a fork)
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour (not sifted)
  • 2 Cups Crushed Corn Flakes (you can just crush them with your hands)
  • 1 to 2 Cups Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375° F and put your oven rack in the middle position.

Melt butter, add the sugars and stir. Add soda, salt, vanilla, and beaten eggs. Mix well. Then add flour and stir it in. Add crushed corn flakes and chocolate chips and mix it all thoroughly.

Form dough into walnut-sized balls with your fingers and place on a greased cookie sheet, 12 to a standard sheet. Press them down slightly with a floured or greased spatula.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then move to a wire rack until they are completely cool. (The rack is important- it makes them crisp)

If these cookies spread out too much in the oven, reduce temp. to 350° F and do not flatten before baking.

Y’all, these cookies are so good! Especially with a cup of coffee, they are perfectly crispy for dipping in. If you decide to try this recipe out please share it with me!

Always,

Alicia

Book Reviews

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass Book Review

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars  Genre: YA Fantasy  Pages: 406  Publication Date: 8/7/12

“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Okay, so let me start this review off by saying I know I am so incredibly late to this game. But in my defense I have heard so many mixed reviews about this series that I just kept putting it off. I can see now why there were so many mixed reviews…

Sarah J. Mass always does such a wonderful job at painting a picture and building a world rich with magical lore. Which is really the only thing about this book that I enjoyed. I found Celaena to be incredibly whiny considering she is suppose to be one of the best assassins in this world. I was hoping that she would develop as character as the story went on but she only had a change in tune for the sake of a BOY! Gross! Also we witness yet another love triangle…not my favorite trope.

Considering Celaena’s insane talent/power she seems to be so one dimensional. There was paragraph after paragraph describing what dress she was wearing or how someones hair looked but I would have much rather read less fluff and more about this beautiful world these characters are living in! However, I think I will continue to read this series if only to learn more about the history but something tells me I will DNF this series…I am not sure.

Have you read this series? Should I continue? Please let me know in the comments below! I really would love to hear some different perspectives because I truly do want to like these books. I simply adored ACOTR so I am hoping as the books go on I will fall in love with this series as well.

Always,

Alicia

Book Reviews

Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart ARC Review

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars Genre: YA Fantasy Pages: 336 Publication Date: 7/2/19

A fierce sequel full of sisterhood, heart pounding action, betrayal, and intrigue in the royal court in a series that “breathes new life into the feminist story of oppression and resistance” (Publisher’s Weekly).

Banished by Asa at the end of Grace and Fury, Nomi and Malachi find themselves powerless and headed towards their all-but-certain deaths. Now that Asa sits on the throne, he will stop at nothing to make sure Malachi never sets foot in the palace again. Their only hope is to find Nomi’s sister, Serina, on the prison island of Mount Ruin. But when Nomi and Malachi arrive, it is not the island of conquered, broken women that they expected. It is an island in the grip of revolution, and Serina–polite, submissive Serina–is its leader.

Betrayal, grief, and violence have changed both sisters, and the women of Mount Ruin have their sights set on revenge beyond the confines of their island prison. They plan to sweep across the entire kingdom, issuing in a new age of freedom for all. But first they’ll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.

Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, and build something better in its place.

Be still my feminist heart!!! When I first picked up Grace and Fury last year I honestly did not know too much about it but the moment I started reading it sucked me right in! Tracy Banghart has done it again in this absolutely stunning sequel. It is just as satisfying as it is empowering.

Set in a lush yet harsh world, the characters are being pushed even further to help rise above their roles of submission in a patriarchal society to help make the necessary decisions for a better future for their kingdom. The women in this book are so strong and complex that you can’t help but to fall in love with them. Also holy character development! I can’t help but be proud of who the characters have become. This book is filled with twists and turns while painting a beautiful picture of true sisterhood. While it is bittersweet that this is the end for this series, the ending is extremely satisfying and will leave you with a sense of hope! I highly recommend everyone pick up a copy of this book…it is an ABSOLUTE MUST!

Book Reviews

The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter ARC Review

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who will perish when I call?

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars Genre: YA Fantasy Pages: 544 Publication Date: 6/25/19

In this tale of vengeance and woe, foe may be friend and friend may be foe.

WELCOME TO THE FOREST OF GOOD AND EVIL.

A DREAM COME TRUE…AND A LIVING NIGHTMARE.

Far, far away, in the realm of Enchantia, creatures of legend still exist, magic is the norm and fairy tales are real. Except, fairy tales aren’t based on myths and legends of the past—they are prophecies of the future.

Raised in the mortal realm, Everly Morrow has no idea she’s a real-life fairy-tale princess—until she manifests an ability to commune with mirrors.

Look. See… What will one peek hurt?

Soon, a horrifying truth is revealed. She is fated to be Snow White’s greatest enemy, the Evil Queen.

With powers beyond her imagination or control, Everly returns to the land of her birth. There, she meets Roth Charmaine, the supposed Prince Charming. Their attraction is undeniable, but their relationship is doomed. As the prophecy unfolds, Everly faces one betrayal after another, and giving in to her dark side proves more tempting every day. Can she resist, or will she become the queen—and villain—she was born to be?

The battle between good and evil is on.

When I found out that Gena Showalter was coming out with a snow white retelling and that it would be a series I did the happiest of dances. Then when I received an ARC from Inkyard Press in the mail I actually cried happy tears. I love Gena Showalter and I LOVE a good retelling. This book absolutely did not disappoint!

Gena Showalter has this amazing gift of being able to create highly immersive and enchanting (see what I did there?) worlds. With every page you want to learn more and more about the world that she is building being hopelessly entranced by this insanely unique and visual setting.

The characters in this story are so multi-faceted and often fall into a “gray” moral area, which is SO REFRESHING! There is no clear definition on who is bad or good which makes them totally relatable. You very quickly become invested in these characters and their storylines.

I would like to note that while this is a retelling it is by no means your typical fairy tale. It is a dark story with unpredictable twists and turns that explores the meaning of what is right and what is wrong as well as passion, destiny, romance, family dynamics, and self discovery. I can’t wait to see more of this world and see where the story continues to take us.

If you enjoyed Gena’s White Rabbit Chronicles then this book is an absolute MUST! I devoured that series and it was so satisfying to read this story as the writing was very similar to those. Even if you are new to Gena Showalter I still highly recommend picking this one up as it is one of the most entertaining books I have read so far this year!

Are you a fan of Gena or retellings? Let me know in the comments below. Can’t wait to chat with you!

Always,

Alicia