Book Hauls · Book Reviews · Reading Wrap Ups

August ARC List

Spaces (5)

HAPPY AUGUST! Wow, it has been a minute, hasn’t it? I would make up some excuse as to why I have not posted on here in a while but to be honest…life just got in the way! Which happens and that is totally okay! BUT here I am, ready to POST POST POSTTTT away and annoy you all with my love of all the books 🙂 I thought a great thing to share would be my current list of ARCs so that way my fellow bloggers can know what I have selected for review (and maybe give them a lil’ inspo!) but also so y’all can see what books I will be reviewing within the next couple of weeks/months. So here we go!

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Netgalley ARC List as of August 9th 2020:

  • Fable by Adrienne Young (*Finished – review coming soon!)
  • On Borrowed Crime by Kate Young
  • Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella
  • You Have a Match by Emma Lord
  • The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult
  • In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

 

SOOOO, what do you guys think of my list? Anything you are excited to read or pick up yourself? I can’t wait to share these reviews with you!

 

Always,

Alicia

Book Tours

Foul Is Fair by Hannah Capin Blog Tour

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

Foul is Fair_Cover

Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Contemporary Publication Date: February 18th 2020 Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis:

Jade and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Jade’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Jade as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

My Thoughts

Described as a ‘feminist modern re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth…part Cruel Intentions and Kill Bill’, I was totally sold on this book!

Capin writes a haunting story about the power of women and revenge. It is full of action and the plot is razor sharp. It may not be for everyone but the suspense and camp had me on the edge of my seat, loved it!

I don’t want to spoil too much but if you are looking for a fun slasher-esque, action packed, feminist read then this one is for you!

About the author:
Hannah Capin is the author of Foul is Fair and The Dead Queens Club, a feminist retelling of the wives of Henry VIII. When she isn’t writing, she can be found singing, sailing, or pulling marathon gossip sessions with her girl squad. She lives in Tidewater, Virginia.

What people have been saying about Foul Is Fair:
“Fierce, vicious, and electric. If books had teeth, Foul Is Fair would have fangs. Capin’s language glitterdark and her writing cuts deep. Revenge is a dish best served by this deliciously unapologetic coven.” – Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of Firsts and Last Girl Lied To

“Capin’s writing will seduce you with its beauty and then, when you least suspect it, slice you to the bone—just like Foul is Fair’s captivating, vicious, entirely unforgettable heroine, Jade.” – Layne Fargo, author of Temper and co-host of Unlikeable Female Characters Podcast

“Vicious and beautifully brutal, Foul is Fair gives a sword to every girl who has ever been a victim and makes them a warrior. This book is pulls no punches and will make anyone think twice before uttering the phrase ‘just a girl’. An unapologetic feminist battle-cry that leaves you breathless and thirsting for vengeance.” – Sonia Hartl, author of Have a Little Faith in Me

Foul is Fair delivers the story of a girl who snatches control back from a world that stole it away, through whatever means necessary. Hannah Capin deftly combines stunningly lyrical prose with the raw power of engulfing fury, sending a message written in blood. In a world where too many are forced into silence, this book roars back.” – S. Gonzales, author of The Law of Inertia and Only Mostly Devastated

Follow Hannah Capin: @tldaaollf

Buy The Book Here: https://wednesdaybooks.com/the-real-deal/foul-is-fair/

Book Recommendations

5 Books to Read If You Are Gilmore Girls Obsessed

I live in two worlds; one is a world of books

– Rory Girlmore

Happy Friday, puffs! I can’t believe it is 2020! Wow! Where has the time gone? Are you having full blown post holiday funk even though we are about 2 months into the year? Because I sure am! The only thing that really truly has been helping me recently is to put on a pot of coffee, pull out a box of poptarts, sit on the couch and watch my all time favorite show…Gilmore Girls! If you know me at all then you know that on most days I truly wish I were in Stars Hallow. So I thought I would compile a list of books that I think some fellow Gilmore Girls fans may also enjoy! Even if you are not a fan of the show I still recommend giving these books a shot.

 

Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

Image result for Talking as Fast as I Can, by Lauren Graham

Okay, how can I make this list and NOT include this book? Of course if you are needing something to fill that hole in your heart while you patiently await more episodes of Gilmore Girls (one can only hope) then this book is perfect. The queen herself, Lauren Graham, discusses all of the behind the scenes details of the show from start to finish as well as what she learned along the way while taking on the amazing role of Lorelei. I highly recommend giving the audiobook a try as Lauren reads it herself and you really feel like you are just sitting down and having coffee with Lorelei. I love it!

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

One of the best parts of Gilmore Girls is the small town setting that just makes you feel so cozy and part of the community. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a heart warming story all about community! When Sara travels all the way from Sweden to meet her bookworm pen-pal, Amy, to Broken Wheel, Iowa she is welcomed into their small community after a tragedy and she helps breath life back into the community through the best way possible…BOOKS!

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion ties together some of my favorite GG elements: sisterhood and friendship. The book focuses around a main character named Sookie (yes, just like our beloved chef Sookie!) who is finally looking forward to her “golden” retirement years with an empty nest, when one day a mysterious package shows up on her door step that will shake up her plans as a story of sisterhood and re-imaging your “destiny” unfolds.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

If you watched Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life then you will be super familiar with Cheryl Strayed’s book. Sure, Lorelei may of given up not very far along the trail when she decided to “go Wild” but this book did help her deeply. With both the loss of her father and her situation with Luke. In Wild, Cheryl shares how she felt as though she hit rock bottom in her life and needed a very big change. So she made the decision to set out on the Pacific Crest Trail totally alone with no former training. Along her journey she learns so much about herself and her capabilities.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

I recently fell in love with cozy mysteries this past year and Joanne Fluke has easily become a favorite! The main character, Hannah Swensen, reminds me so much of Lorelai with her quick wit and sharp tongue. Set in a small town in Minnesota, filled with eccentric locals, you will feel like you are right back in Stars Hallow. Also, Hannah is the owner of a cookie shop and the novel includes recipes that go along with the story! You can find out more about the book as well as one of the recipes (Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies!) on my Book & A Bite blog post.

 

So have you read any of these? Do you have any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments below! I can’t wait to chat with you all!

Always,

Alicia

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

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 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