Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sea Glass Book Review

The third book in the series Sea Glass Island (An Ocean Breeze Novel) by Sherryl Woods was both a happy and sad book for me.  I was so glad that I got to enjoy the wonderful series and sad that it was over.  I couldn't believe that I read it all in only a few days.  I can't wait to investigate my next great series by Sherryl Woods!!

With her two younger sisters heading for the altar, will Samantha Castle exchange old dreams for new ones? Lately she'd rather be on the North Carolina coast with family than in New York with agents and actors. Though she vows not to let her teenage crush on Ethan Cole influence her decision, it's hard to ignore her feelings for the local war hero.  Ethan lost more than his leg in Afghanistan. He lost his belief in love after coming home and losing his fiancĂ© because she couldn't take him not being "whole". Even being surrounded by couples intent on capturing happily-ever-after won't open this jaded doctor's heart. It's going to take a sexy, determined woman—one who won't take no for an answer.

The great conclusion to a great series!  I loved getting to know the third sister in this book and learning a little more about the other two in the process.  This book was filled with the great charm of the North Carolina town and the residents and the wonderful Castle family.  I hope that you pick up this book and the others in the series.  I know that you will love it as much as I did!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Two Roads Home Book Review

I picked this book from the publisher when I got the email because it seemed interesting.  I did love the cover and who doesn't love to see books set in inns!!  I thought about not choosing it because it was the second in the series but I thought that I might love it and why pass up the chance to check out a new series.  Two Roads Home: A Chicory Inn Novel - Book 2

Minor-but-nagging setbacks continue to sour Grant and Audrey Whitman’s initiation into the world of innkeeping, but larger challenges brew when an innocent flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitmans’ son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington’s friendly, outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a sales career that has earned him and his wife, stay at home mom, Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. But Corinne and Jesse are both restless—and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and trumped-up charges of harassment from a disgruntled coworker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk. With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a wonderful life before it all crumbles beneath them?

The book takes a little bit to get into the characters for me because I wasn't following them over from the previous book but it does stand on its own as its own book.  The characters seem to have a lot of complaining about the things in their lives that are going wrong.  Audrey Whitman, the innkeeper, is complaining if she has guests because she doesn't want to feel put out and not be able to have her family around but then she is complaining when there are no guests at the inn to pay for the upkeep on the place.   Audrey seems equal whiny about having her grandchildren with her because they are too loud for the guests at the inn even though no guests have complained and she is forever going out of her way to fix breakfast at all hours for guests.  I think that most of here problems could be solved by letting families and any people stay at the inn and having set times for serving breakfast (like almost all bed and breakfasts have). I think that the same lessons hold true for the rest of the people in the family that they need to set boundaries for themselves and the rest of the people in their families.  That being said, once I got over the lack of backbone of the characters, I actually liked the books.  The characters grew and chanced with the things that they had to overcome.  It wasn't a book that I couldn't put down but I was entertained by reading it.  It took such a long time to get the different issues with the characters resolved and then the end came a little too quickly for me.   I hope that you check it out for yourself and see what you think.

**I received a copy of the book for a review and honest opinion.  All opinions here are my own.  My amazon review can be seen here.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Wind Chime Point Book Review

The second book in the series, Wind Chime Point (An Ocean Breeze Novel) by Sherryl Woods, was the next book in my pile to read.  I picked it up on the day that I was at the new house waiting for contractors and my husband was out of town.  A horrible storm hit and instead of being scared out of my mind, I crawled into bed and read most of the book before he got home.  I finished this book in less than 24 hours and was ready to jump right into the last book in the series.

Facing a personal crisis, ambitious and driven Gabriella Castle retreats to the welcoming arms of her family. Everything she's worked for has been yanked out from under her, and she seeks the serenity of her grandmother's home on the North Carolina coast. With difficult decisions to make about her future, the last thing she wants is an unexpected love.  Wade Johnson fell for Gabi the first time he saw her. It's not the only time he's found himself in the role of knight in shining armor, but Gabi isn't looking for a rescuer. To get her to stay, Wade will need a whole lot of patience and gentle persuasion…and maybe the soothing sound of wind chimes on a summer breeze.

Even better than the first. I couldn't put it down and had a hard time stopping so that I could go to sleep.  I loved to read about the over stressed and over worked Gabi Castle trying to relax and embrace a new life....since I am still working on that after quitting my job over 4 years ago, I understand that it takes time.  The plot and characters followed straight from the first book and straight into the third.  I hope that you pick up this book and others by this great author and this great series.  I know you will enjoy them as much as I have!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sand Castle Bay Book Review

The first book in the series was Sand Castle Bay (An Ocean Breeze Novel) by Sherryl Woods.  I decided to pick up this series for two reasons.  Doesn't that cover look like a great summer reading book?  I couldn't pass up the title or the series name and bonus was that the library had all three of them in the series.  I got them all at once and was able to read through them without taking a break (both good and bad).

In a trade-off she's lived to regret, Emily Castle left home years ago to become an interior designer. The youngest of three sisters, Emily desperately wanted to prove herself. Success, though, came at the cost of leaving behind the man she loved.  For Boone Dorsett, losing Emily left his heart shattered, but another woman was waiting in the wings. Now a widower with a young son, Boone has a second chance with Emily when a storm brings her home. But with his former in-laws threatening a custody suit, the stakes of loving her are higher than ever.  Will fate once again separate them—or is the time finally right for these two star-crossed lovers?

I loved this book set on the North Carolina coast.  The family has a restaurant run by Cora Jane Castle, grandmother to Emily and her two sisters.  She is well respected in the community and when the restaurant is hit by the hurricane, all the granddaughters come to help clean and get the restaurant up and running again.  There are tons of great characters in this book that you can't wait to get to know more so shortly after finishing this book, I was straight into the second book.  I loved it and I know that you will too.  Check out this book at your local library or bookstore and see for yourself.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dogwood Hill Book Review

I was excited and sad to get to the last book in the Chesapeake Shores series.  Dogwood Hill (A Chesapeake Shores Novel)

It was great to read about two new people to town that we haven't met before.  That made the book a lot different then the other books in the series because neither person had grown up in the small town of Chesapeake Shores.  The two newcomers are trying to make their way in this tight knit town with the knowledge that they are being pushed together.  There is still lots of appearances by the meddling O'Brien family and all of the characters that we have grown to love.  I hope that you check out this great book and see for yourself.  I know that you will enjoy it as much as I did!!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 6/22

We are really getting the last of the stuff moved over.  I took all the plates, bowls and most of the kitchen stuff over on Sunday.  I still have to move over the silverware but we are almost all unpacked with the kitchen things that were moved...minus some early boxes that might be buried somewhere in the basement or other hidden box place.  We still have a long to do list but we are super excited to start living and sleeping full time at the new house this week (at least that is what the hubby promised).

Menu ideas for the week:

Spaghetti- Literally the only food left in the house so we are going to have it before I make it to the grocery store.

Chicken nugget wraps and homemade fries- This is my son's favorite dish so we have been lessening things with having yummy treats like this almost every week.  Probably going to do it after his first day in summer camp so that I have time to cut everything.

Lasagna -I know it is like 100 degrees out but I had one in the freezer and I just defrosted it so there wasn't a huge choice in the matter!  We are going to get really cold and enjoy it until winter comes back around.

Chinese Take Out- My mom is coming into town so we are probably going to get take out at least once while she is here because it is all of our favorites and my son likes the white rice.

I have a few options in the freezer like taco meat, salsa sloppy joes and french dip sloppy joes but I am hoping to hit the store and get some chicken to grill and other yummy options while my son is at summer camp which is my designated free time to get stuff done so we will see what sales are out there and how much time I have to make some yummy meals instead of eating out way too often like we did this week.  Hope you have a yummy week planned!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

CVS Shopping Trip- Done by My Husband!!!

I haven't had a lot of time to do much grocery shopping.  I normally hit Aldi's whenever we run out of milk and grab a little junk food and very little of nutritional value recently because of the move.  We have been eating out more sadly and not having enough time to cook or shop.

My husband was so sad that we didn't have soda and I was so under the weather that he went to CVS and did two deals (which he found by himself online but I printed all the coupons and wrote it all out for what he was supposed to do) to get all the stuff that was on sale and bring us home a load of groceries.  He got 14 boxes of cereal, two cans of Chicken Noodle soup, two rolls of paper towels and 8 cases of soda (only brought in two to photograph and the rest went to the new house).

His total out of pocket expenses for this trip was $35.45 (If my memory is any good because I don't have the receipts out now).  He also got a $10 gift card back which paid for the next trip to the store where I got four bottles of Advil, one cough medicine and a roll of Tums.  Can you tell we have all been sick?  I only had to pay $0.96 after activating the $3 ECB for downloading the CVS app and the $10 gift card and three coupons.

We have already used or started to use most everything in the picture so it was a great trip and I am super proud that my husband went out and did coupon shopping for me.  My mother in law was shocked so I thought I would post the haul so that everyone could see. 

Happy Father's Day to all especially my wonderful husband who wanted soda and went to the store and saw that it was $6.99 for a case and knew that I would be sad if he paid that much for soda so he came home to find a deal.  He must be married to a couponer :)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Christmas Bouquet Book Review

I was really excited to have  The Christmas Bouquet (A Chesapeake Shores Novel)to read right after finishing the last book but I can tell you that I was a little bummed that it was too Christmas books in a row.  Funny thing is that this one wasn't set all around Christmas like the last one was so it was totally fine!  There was just a little mention of Christmas at the end and I was a little sad that there was no Christmas celebration like there was in the last book.

For the very driven medical student Caitlyn Winters, catching the bridal bouquet at a Christmas wedding has set off a chain reaction that she's sure is more curse than blessing. Not only has she fallen in love with family medicine resident Noah McIlroy, but an unexpected pregnancy threatens her well-laid plans for the future. It doesn't help that Noah, with a whole lot of help from her O'Brien relatives, is completely on board with the prospect of marriage and happily-ever-after.  It takes a whole lot of patience, love and family persuasion to help Caitlyn realize that she can still have everything she ever wanted, including a home in her beloved Chesapeake Shores and a man who understands all of her dreams.

It was a good book but probably not the best in the series because in the end you will probably want to drag Caitlyn down the aisle or scream at her at why it took her the whole book to figure out that she is going to marry the person she loves that she is having a baby with.  It isn't even that she isn't sure if she loves him or that she never wants to get married but just that it doesn't work into her plan.  It is hard to read the same fight over and over but I still laughed and cried so I guess there was still lots of emotion on the book.  I hope that you check out this book and others in the Chesapeake Shores series.  I am off to read the last one now!!!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer's List Book Review

I was in the middle of reading the entire Chesapeake Shores books series and I didn't want to take a break to start the book that I knew that I had to review because I kept saying that I would have plenty of time.  It was already Tuesday by the time that I started the book and I had to read the book, write the review and do all the other work on the back end to get it posted.  I knew that I shouldn't have waited to the last minute but luckily the book pulled me in from the beginning.

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman's life. Life hadn't been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother's bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love... didn't turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.  Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer's past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?  With lovable characters and surprising twists, Summer's List is a simple delight.

At the beginning of the book, I thought that the writing was a little flowery for my liking. The more that I got into the book, the more that I realized that it was that way because it was displaying Summer's personality.  There is an adventure unfolding following Granny's list with Summer and Martin which makes the book interesting yet predictable path.  The list is already set so you know what is going to happen in the future even if you don't know exactly the right order but I still had trouble putting the book down to see what was going to happen next.  That being the case, the ending of the book is still amazing and unexpected.  There are lots of ups and down that had me laughing and crying!  I hope that you check out this book and see for yourself.

**I was given a copy of this book for my review and honest opinion.  All opinions here are my own.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Seaside Christmas Book Review

I loved the cover of this next book in the Chesapeake Shores series, A Seaside Christmas: Santa, Baby (Chesapeake Shores)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer Garden Book Review

I was sort of sad because I finished the last book too quickly and started on The Summer Garden (A Chesapeake Shores Novel) by Sherryl Woods.  It was a wonderful book and I had trouble putting it down but that meant that I finished it way too quickly.  The even more sad news is that when I was done, the other books still hadn't come off reserve.  Luckily, I went to the library to return a few books and had to pick through the carts that weren't even shelved yet and I was able to find the next three books to continue my reading binge.

Falling for "Maddening Moira" O'Malley was the unexpected highlight of Luke O'Brien's Dublin holiday. So when she pays a surprise visit to Chesapeake Shores, Luke is thrilled…at first. A fling with this wild Irish rose is one thing, but forever? Maybe someday, but not when he's totally focused on establishing a business that will prove his mettle to his overachieving family.  Given Luke's reaction, Moira has some soul-searching of her own to do. Scarred by her father's abandonment, she wonders if Luke, with his playboy past, is truly the family man she longs for. Adding to her dilemma, she's offered an amazing chance at a dream career of her own.  Deep down, though, Moira knows home is the real prize, and that love can be every bit as enchanted as a summer garden.

It was an amazing book that had me reading so quickly and not putting it down that I know that I finished this book in less than 12 hours.  There is not a lot else getting done when I spend that much time with my nose in the book but it was great to loose myself in such a good book.  This was a great extension of the family trip to Ireland to have the family friends come back and get to tour Chesapeake Shores.  It is great to get to know Luke, the youngest of the O'Brien children, and learn a little more about him while he is working to open a traditional Irish pub in Chesapeake Shores.  Ups and Downs cause a lot of happiness and sadness in this book which did lead to a few tears.  I related to the characters and couldn't wait to see what happened next.  I enjoyed it and I hope that you do to.  Pick this up at your local library or bookstore soon for a great summer read!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

An O'Brien Family Christmas Book Review

I made a special trip to the library because I was out of books!  What!?!?!  I read all the books in my pile and I had to get more.  I was lost without the great O'Brien family and I had to find out what was going to happen next.  The great news is that the library I stopped at had the next two in the series and just to be on the safe side, I put the other two on hold.  Sadly, when I finish those four, I will be done with the series.  I am hopeful that more will be added because I don't know what I will do without my new family!!  The next one in the pile to read is An O'Brien Family Christmas (A Chesapeake Shores Novel)

Dating Matthew O'Brien, a playboy and a younger man, cost Laila Riley her career and her parents' respect. A high price, even for love and when Laila decides it was just a fling, she breaks it off, despite Matthew's objections.  But the O'Brien family has other ideas, and they conspire to get Laila to join them on a Dublin holiday. It's a great time to get away from it all, but Laila has reservations about the trip. Matthew's bound to be there, and she's far from immune. What if she can't resist temptation?  Meanwhile, the O'Briens are in an uproar over matriarch Nell's unexpected romance with an old flame. Will she follow her heart, despite the risks? And will Laila discover that some risks are actually once-in-a-lifetime opportunities?

I loved this book!  It was the first one that was out of the little town of Chesapeake Shores and set in Ireland.  It was great to see this big extended family enjoy each other without work and other distractions.  There was still a lot going on with all of the family members working to bring Laila and Matthew back together.  I thought that it might have been the best book yet with ups and downs for all of the characters, I was riveted.  I hope that you check it out and see for yourself all of the wonders that Ireland and the O'Brien family have to offer.  Check it out at your local library or bookstore.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 6/15

I should probably change the name of this post since things at our house are kind of a mess but the good news is that my husband has connected the microwave and double oven at the new house.  I think that the stove is coming soon but I can't be sure.  Hopefully the dishwasher won't be long after it!!  We have been hard at work and I moved almost all of the kitchen stuff over to the new house and unpacked it in the cabinets.  I can only do about 3-5 boxes before I get overwhelmed with the process so I start unpacking things and putting them on the counter.  The great news is that this helps me think about how to rearrange everything again to try to fit them in the remaining spaces.  I am making great progress but I am almost positive that there are still some missing boxes somewhere in the house.

Sadly my son is sick and we are now in a holding pattern until he gets a little better.  I was supposed to get to the store and get a few more things done but instead we are staying home from school which is double sad because it is his last week of school.  I have moved most of the food to the new house so we are going to have an interesting time making due if we don't get over there soon but here is our plan for the week. I might have to move around the days based on my sick little man but we will be close to this.

Monday- Nachos or Enchiladas with saffron rice
Tuesday- Spaghetti with garlic bread
Wednesday- French Dip Sloppy Joes with chicken rice
Thursday- Chicken Nugget Wraps with homemade fries 
Friday- Leftovers or Take out after pool
Saturday- Salsa Sloppy Joes with mac and cheese
Sunday- Leftovers

Friday, June 12, 2015

Beach Lane Book Review

The last book that I had from the library so I should have savored it but I used it as my break from packing and unpacking boxes. Beach Lane (A Chesapeake Shores Novel)

In the close-knit community of Chesapeake Shores, Maryland, Susie O'Brien and Mack Franklin's "not dating" claim befuddles everyone, especially since the two spend every spare minute together. Susie's thrilled when their friendship finally heats up. Then, just when happily-ever-after seems within reach, Mack loses the job he loves and Susie faces a devastating diagnosis.  But O'Briens always unite in a crisis. Even her cousin Jess, Susie's rival for most of their lives, becomes her staunchest supporter—especially when Mack's former lover comes to live and work in town. The stakes are higher than ever before, but Susie's definitely up to the challenge…as long as Mack's right there by her side.

This book had a lot of crying for me but it was an amazing book.  I have been reading the whole series with Mack and Susie "not dating" for at least three years and it was great to see them finally come together.  The emotions that they both go through are very raw and anyone that has had family go through a medical battle will appreciate this book because it really hits home.  There are rays of hope that shine through even with the tough subject so make sure you pick it up and see how much you enjoy the happy times.  I hope that you check this out at your local library or bookstore.  It was amazing and a great book to read even by itself but especially with the rest of the series.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Moonlight Cove Book Review

I was excited to try to take this book slowly so I didn't start it immediately after finishing the other book... okay the next morning. Moonlight Cove (A Chesapeake Shores Novel) by Sherryl Woods.  I was glad that I took way too many out of the library at the same time so that I had this one when it came time to read it.

Jess O'Brien has overcome a lot—the challenges of attention deficit disorder, the near bankruptcy of her beloved Inn at Eagle Point and her self-perception as a screwup in a family of overachievers. Now she's ready to share the future with a man. Her friends persuade her to join a dating service—but she gets no takers! Which is fine with her childhood friend, psychologist Will Lincoln, who's already chosen the perfect man for Jess: himself.  Will has loved Jess practically forever. He knows her faults and her strengths. But for all Will's sincerity and charm, Jess fears he views her as some psychological case study. With her family and the town of Chesapeake Shores behind him, Will finally makes his case. But is it enough to convince Jess to take the risk of a lifetime?

Loved it!  I can't say enough about how great this book was because the characters main problem was her own self doubt about how others saw her.  I think that we can all relate that we are our toughest critics.  I know that I am!!  Anyway, the insight into Jess and Will is amazing and watching their lifetime friendship blossom into something more is wonderful.  I hope that you pick up this book and see for yourself.  Check it out at your local library or bookstore soon.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Driftwood Cottage Book Review

I was excited to have the next one in the series when I finished the last book because there was so much left hanging and I wanted to find out what happened next. Driftwood Cottage (A Chesapeake Shores Novel) by Sherryl Woods was finished in less than 24 hours!! So I should say that I was also happy to have the next book in the series to read as soon as I had a chance.

Single mom Heather Donovan's dreams of home and family are tantalizingly within reach when she settles in Chesapeake Shores. The welcoming arms of the boisterous, loving O'Brien clan embrace her and her son. But accepting their support seems to further alienate her son's father, Connor O'Brien. His parents' divorce and his career as a high-powered divorce attorney have left him jaded about marriage.  Then everything changes. Will the possibility of a future without Heather make Connor look at love and his career differently? Heather's just about given up on her old dreams—of love, of family and especially of Driftwood Cottage, the home she secretly wishes were hers. It's going to take a lot of persuasion—and some help from the O'Brien family—to make Heather believe that some dreams are worth fighting for.

This book was great because it involved getting over the past to move on to the future.  The town and the people are so great that you can't help but love to meet more of them.  In this book, Heather moves to Chesapeake Shores to start a new life with her son because she has left her boyfriend and son's father in Baltimore.  Making it more complicated, she moved to the town where he is from and all his family live.  It is a great story about how she makes her own life and all of the friends that she makes along the way.  There was a lot of emotion in this book for me and a little bit of crying so be prepared.  I hope that you check this out at your local library or bookstore soon.  It is a great summer read and should go straight on your reading list now!!  Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Chesapeake Shores Christmas Book Review

I went to the library to kill some time while there was someone looking at the house which is never a good thing.  It is like other people going to the mall because I always come out with more books.  I was supposed to be finishing up the book that I was reading and not looking for more but I couldn't help myself.  I came home with four new books!! The first in the series was A Chesapeake Shores Christmas (A Chesapeake Shores Novel)

After years apart, Mick and Megan O'Brien are finally ready to make it official…again. Most of their grown children couldn't be happier about their rekindled love and impending marriage this holiday season. Only Connor is a holdout. Driven to become a divorce attorney after what he views as his mother's abandonment of their family, Connor's not about to give his blessing to this reunion romance.  The last thing Megan wants to do is hurt her family again. After all, is she really sure she and Mick can make it this time around? And when an unexpected delivery causes chaos, it seems only a miracle can reunite this family.  Of course, it is Christmas—the season of miracles.

The only thing difficult about this book was it was in the fiction section and not in the romance section.  It was hard to find!  I loved the book and the wonderful holiday setting.  It was great to read more about the couple who started this great family and see them try to work out their differences.  I enjoyed seeing them talk about problems from years and years ago and change to build a better relationship in the future.  I am happy that I got a chance to read this heartwarming holiday novel.  I hope that you take the opportunity to read this and other books in the Chesapeake Shores series.  I enjoy this one as much as the first with the great writing and great characters!  I hope that you enjoy this family and town as much as I did when I read it.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 6/8

We made the best effort to move everything out of the house but things did not go forward with enough progress (which has been the answer to every part of this move and construction).  My new goal is to try to move things over through the week and really move in this weekend.  Cross your fingers and hope that we can get it done.  My husband has to hook up the lights in the two bathrooms and on the microwave hood.  The plumber is coming on Friday to hook up the kitchen sink, garbage disposal, water line for the fridge and the last bathroom sink with hope that also means the dishwasher.  I need to call the phone and cable company and get those shut off at the other house and hooked up at the new house....wonder how long that takes to get an appointment.
We still have the stove top and the oven sitting on the floor and everything else sort of a mess but I am so ready to move in and not be going back and forth to two different houses that it doesn't matter to me.  I went to the grocery store to get some ground beef.  I am going to make tacos tonight for dinner and then make at least two freezer containers of French dip sloppy joe and two containers of salsa sloppy joes at the old house to freeze at the new house.  I made a batch of rolls last night at the old house and threw them in freezer.  My husband has to get the propane filled and then I think that we will be grilling lots of our meals at the new house until he gets the oven and stove hooked up
Monday- Tacos with saffron rice
Tuesday- Spaghetti with garlic bread
Wednesday- Salsa Sloppy Joes with mac and cheese
Thursday- Leftovers or Take out
Friday- Chicken Nugget Wraps with homemade fries
Sunday- Picnic for Soccer
I am hoping that the week goes well and I have a chance to move a bunch more to the new house but things are slow going at this point and we have a lot of things still left to do and not enough hours to do them in so we will see how that goes

Saturday, June 6, 2015

May Reading Review

I read a bunch of different books this month and had tons of books to review.  I signed up for lots of books through the publishers to read because I thought that we would be settled in the new house so I signed up for at least once a week (sometimes two).  I try to read the books ahead of time and get all of the work done before it is supposed to be published on my blog.  Of course, not being settled into one house made it a little hard to keep up on the reviews but I tried to write the date on my calendar to keep track and make sure that I got all the books that I was expecting.  The hardest part is when they come in different orders then you are supposed to read them in but I tried to get the reading and the review done as quickly as they came in because I knew that I had a bunch to read for the month.  There were a few that I actually got to pick up at the library when I finished all my other books for review.

If you are interested in finding out more about the book, feel free to click on the title and it will take you back to the summary and review in the original post.  I hope that this helps and that you add a few books on to your list for summer reading! The first four books of the month were all for review and I took a quick detour with some books that came off my reserve list at the library and appeared on my shelf.

by Natalie Snapp

by Becky Wade

by Marlene Miller

by Leslie Gould

by Shelley Shepard Gray

Going to the Chapel
by Janet Tronstad

Never Say No
by Mark and Jan Foreman

The Proposal at Siesta Key
by Shelley Shepard Gray

As Waters Gone By
by Cynthia Ruchti

The Inn at Eagle Point
by Sherryl Woods

Flowers on Main
by Sherryl Woods

Harbor Lights
by Sherryl Woods

Total Books Read 2015

January       9
February     13
March         14 
April           9
May          12

Total Books    57

Currently Reading
Fatal Trauma
by Richard Mabry
(review due on Friday, June  5th)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Fatal Trauma Book Review

I was eager to read Fatal Trauma by Richard L. Mabry because I remembered really liking Critical Condition by Richard L. Mabry M.D.  If you haven't read any books by this author, you should really check them out.  They are medical based thrillers which are super well written because they are written by a retired doctor!  Gotta love that he is an author and a doctor to use his life experiences to make it even more interesting to the reader.

The gunman had nothing to lose, and therefore, the lives of everyone in the emergency room were at risk. Dr. Mark Baker and nurse Kelly Atkinson were on duty during the standoff, but despite their efforts, at the end of the evening, three men were dead—one police officer and two members of the feared Zeta drug cartel. But the killing is not over, because when the drug cartel loses its members, revenge is not far behind. Mark’s life continues to be in danger, but to make matters worse he finds he is under suspicion as a killer! He turns to his high school sweetheart, attorney Gwen Woodruff, for help, while Kelly helplessly looks on, hiding her feelings for the doctor. The characters in Fatal Trauma face life and death situations that cause them to question their faith, their priorities, and the meaning of their lives, while learning that God can use everyone— even people who’ve failed—because doesn’t that include all of us?

I got this late so I was feeling rushed to read the book but I got it read with plenty of time because I couldn't put it down!! I loved the last book that I read by this author and this was no different.  It had great writing and great characters which were really opened up through the book to show the reader how they were growing in response to everything that was happening.  As I was reading it, I felt like I was in the middle of all the drama and action going on in the book so I was on the edge of my seat.  There was so many different things going on at the same time that it was action packed even if it was just two people eating lunch because you learned really important information.  I love when an author tells the story through the actions of the characters instead of more of a narration because it makes you feel like you are in the middle of the action.  I really need to add some of his other books to my reading list but I always forget so this book was a reminder for me.  I hope that you add this and others by Richard Mabry to your reading list soon!!!  I know that you will enjoy this one and I can't wait to hear what you think!

**I was provided a copy of this book for my review and honest opinion.  All opinions here are my own.  If you are interested in getting books from the Litfuse publishing group, you can check out their website at here.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Harbor Lights Book Review

I enjoyed the first two books that I had to pick up the third book as soon as I was done with the last. Harbor Lights (Chesapeake Shores) by Sherryl Woods is the third book in the series and luckily I reserved it at the beginning.  I was glad to have this one to follow up and super sad when it was over because I didn't have the fourth book!!

Struggling in his role as a newly single father, former army medic Kevin O'Brien moves home to Chesapeake Shores. He wants a haven for himself and his toddler son, surrounded by the family he knows he can count on, and a future that's nothing like his past. But Kevin is suddenly facing a risk he hadn't anticipated, in the form of Main Street bookseller Shanna Carlyle.  Shanna immediately recognizes Kevin as a wounded soul—she's had way too much experience with the type. Still, this charming O'Brien man and his son are almost impossible to resist.  Then, just when the barriers are toppling, someone from Shanna's past appears. Confronted with a threat to their hard-won serenity, Kevin and Shanna face their toughest challenge—learning to trust again.

Loved it!!  Who doesn't love a story about a single father and how they are making it through and making the best life for their son.  There is a lot emotion in this book because of the loss of Kevin's wife at war and the grief that he is feeling.  The writing and characters are great and really make you feel like you are living in this small Maryland town and going through all of the emotions of the characters.  I was really interested on how things would turn out in this book for all of the members of the O'Brien family, especially Kevin and his son.  I loved the book and I hope that you check it out in your local library or bookstore!!  I know that you will enjoy this book and others in the series.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Flowers on Main Book Review

I reserved the second book in the series as soon as I picked up the first at the library and I was super glad when it came in right in time! Flowers On Main (Chesapeake Shores) by Sherryl Woods is the second book in the Chesapeake Shores series.

When her last two plays are dismal failures and her relationship with her temperamental mentor falls apart, writer Bree O'Brien abandons Chicago and the regional theater where she hoped to make a name for herself to return home. Opening Flowers on Main promises to bring her a new challenge and a new kind of fulfillment.  But not all is peaceful and serene in Chesapeake Shores, with her estranged mother on the scene and her ex-boyfriend on the warpath. Jake Collins has plenty of reasons to want Bree out of his life, but none of those are a match for the one reason he wants her to stay: he's still in love with her.  Jake might be able to get past that old hurt if he knew Bree was home to stay, but is she? The only way to know for sure is to take a dangerous leap of faith.

I enjoyed the book and couldn't put it down!!  I haven't gotten much done around the house with the move or much sleep for that matter with all this reading.  This was a great follow up to the first book where we now get to learn about another of the O'Brien family.  This was a great look into the small town and the quirky family that I came to love in the last book.  This gave me all new insights into the working of this barely talked about sister, Bree, with dealing with every aspect of her life and trying to find out what she is going to be "when she grows up."  The flower shop is a great place where you get to find out all about the things that Bree is working though and get to see even more of the great town.  I hope that you pick up this book at your local library or bookstore and check it out for yourself.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Inn at Eagle Point Book Review

I went to the library in search of a great summer read because it is super hot here already and who doesn't love a good summer read.  I was looking for something fun and I found this new Sherryl Woods series that I haven't read before which was set on the water in Maryland.  The Inn At Eagle Point (Chesapeake Shores) by Sherryl Woods is the first book in the series which was in the large print section, sadly none left in the paperback section.  I picked that up and put the second two paperbacks on reserve.  They came in right after I finished the read so that I can continue with the series.  Super excited to find such a good summer read series!

It's been years since Abby O'Brien Winters set foot in Chesapeake Shores. The Maryland town her father built has too many sad memories and Abby too few spare moments, thanks to her demanding Wall Street career, the crumbling of her marriage and energetic twin daughters. Then one panicked phone call from her youngest sister, Jess, brings her racing back home to protect Jess's dream of renovating the charming Inn at Eagle Point.  But saving the inn from foreclosure means dealing not only with her own fractured family, but also with Trace Riley, the man Abby left ten years ago. Trace can be a roadblock to her plans…or proof that second chances happen in the most unexpected ways. You have to pick up the book to find out what happens next!

I hope that you check out this series and other books by this author.  She is a wonderful writer and she does a great job bringing this ocean front community to life and all the characters in the town.  There seems to be a little extra house for you on the block so that you can get to know them all because the descriptions are like you have known these characters your whole life.  I had a hard time putting down the book when I was reading because you just want to find out what happens next.  I hope that you pick it up at your local library or bookstore and enjoy it as much as I have.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 6/1

I am getting close to the end of living in the old house living with everything going in construction and moving!!!  We are getting the last of the work done on the house and we are almost out of food at this house so there isn't much to figure out what to serve.  I really don't know what I am going to do to get us through the week with the food we have in the house but I guess I will have to run out and get some chicken or ground beef but I just don't know when I am going to have time to do it between all of the things I have going on so we will see how much we end up eating out or getting take out.

Grilled Cheese and mac and cheese or soup
Spaghetti with garlic bread or Sausage Lasagna (if I get it made)
Chicken Nugget Wraps with homemade fries
Beef Quesdillas with Saffron Rice or Leftovers
Homemade Simplified Chicken Fried Rice with take out egg rolls
Hamburger for husband and Baked Potato with cheese and bacon for me and son's choice
Breakfast for Dinner or Leftovers

We are going to figure out a way to make it through the week and hoping to start moving food and kitchen stuff over to the new house so that we will be able to start grilling and eating at the new house.  Super excited to be close to the end of trying to balance two houses and excited to use my new kitchen.  Do you have anything yummy planned for the week??