Fiction – let’s check it out

I spy some lovely fiction books to read.

Which one will you add to your to read pile?

Cindy loves shoes. A well-placed bow or a chic stacked heel is her form of self-expression. As a fashion-obsessed plus-size woman, she can never find designer clothes that work on her body, but a special pair of shoes always fits just right.  

With a shiny new design degree but no job in sight, Cindy moves back in with her stepmother, Erica Tremaine, the executive producer of the world’s biggest dating reality show. When a contestant on Before Midnight bows out at the last minute, Cindy is thrust into the spotlight. Showcasing her killer shoe collection on network TV seems like a great way to jump-start her career. And, while she’s at it, why not go on a few lavish dates with an eligible suitor?

But being the first and only fat contestant on Before Midnight turns her into a viral sensation—and a body-positivity icon—overnight. Even harder to believe? She can actually see herself falling for this Prince Charming. To make it to the end, despite the fans, the haters, and a house full of fellow contestants she’s not sure she can trust, Cindy will have to take a leap of faith and hope her heels— and her heart—don’t break in the process.

Meet Asha Ray.

Brilliant coder and possessor of a Pi tattoo, Asha is poised to revolutionize artificial intelligence when she is reunited with her high school crush, Cyrus Jones.

Cyrus inspires Asha to write a new algorithm. Before she knows it, she’s abandoned her PhD program, they’ve exchanged vows, and gone to work at an exclusive tech incubator called Utopia.

The platform creates a sensation, with millions of users seeking personalized rituals every day. Will Cyrus and Asha’s marriage survive the pressures of sudden fame, or will she become overshadowed by the man everyone is calling the new messiah?

It’s 1927 when Alec and June meet as children in a tranquil English village. Alec, an orphan, anchors himself in the night sky and longs for adventures. June memorizes maps and railway timetables, imagining a future bright with possibilities. 
 
As the years pass, their loves feels inevitable, but soon the Second World War separates them. Alec enlists as a Royal Air Force pilot flying daredevil fighter sorties at night; June finds her calling as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park, covert work that will mean keeping her contribution to the war effort a secret from Alec forever. Each is following a dream—but those dreams force them apart for years at a time.
 
Their postwar reunion is bittersweet: Alec, shot down and imprisoned in a series of POW camps, grapples with his injuries and the loss of his RAF career. June, on the other hand, has found her vocation and struggles to follow the expected path to domesticity, as much as she loves Alec. But Alec wants nothing more than to make a life and a family together.
 
With the war behind them, their scars—both visible and unseen—make them strangers to each other. Now each must decide how much to reveal to the other, which dreams can be sacrificed, and which secrets are too big to bear alone.

Ben Stephens has never bothered with serious relationships. He has plenty of casual dates to keep him busy, family drama he’s trying to ignore and his advertising job to focus on. When Ben lands a huge ad campaign featuring movie star, Anna Gardiner, however, it’s hard to keep it purely professional. Anna is not just gorgeous and sexy, she’s also down to earth and considerate, and he can’t help flirting a little…

Anna Gardiner is on a mission: to make herself a household name, and this ad campaign will be a great distraction while she waits to hear if she’s booked her next movie. However, she didn’t expect Ben Stephens to be her biggest distraction. She knows mixing business with pleasure never works out, but why not indulge in a harmless flirtation? 

But their light-hearted banter takes a turn for the serious when Ben helps Anna in a family emergency, and they reveal truths about themselves to each other, truths they’ve barely shared with those closest to them. 

When the opportunity comes to turn their real-life fling into something more for the Hollywood spotlight, will Ben be content to play the background role in Anna’s life and leave when the cameras stop rolling? Or could he be the leading man she needs to craft their own Hollywood ending?

Regina Castro, Adelaide Wilson-Chang, and Sophie Walden usedto be best friends. As Army wives at Fort East, they bonded during their book club and soon became inseparable. But when an unimaginable betrayal happened amongst the group, the friendship abruptly ended, and they haven’t spoken since.

That’s why, eight years later, Regina and Sophie are shocked when they get a call for help from Adelaide. Adelaide’s husband is stationed abroad, and without any friends or family near her new home of Alexandria, Virginia, she has no one to help take care of her young daughter when she has to undergo emergency surgery. For the sake of an innocent child, Regina and Sophie reluctantly put their differences aside to help an old friend.

Gabi Bloom doesn’t believe in signs. She believes in photographic evidence, the view through her camera lens, and the snap of the shutter. It’s why she traveled to Europe—to satisfy her wanderlust and to kick off her photography career. But in Ireland, all of that changed when Gabi gazed into the impossibly blue eyes of an American bartender. She wasn’t prepared for their intense and immediate attraction, or the fact that she’d be bringing Ethan home with her . . . as her fiancé.

Gabi’s upcoming marriage is the cherry on top of her mother’s current predicament. Stumbling toward forty, Alissa is a pastry chef who raised her daughter single-handedly while Gabi’s father traveled the globe. Now her baby girl is getting married after a whirlwind romance and Alissa—well, Alissa is pregnant. Again. And not only is her ex the father, he wants her back. For good. Until she can figure out that part of the puzzle, Alissa is hiding her big little secret even as she helps Gabi plan a happily-ever-after wedding. But somewhere between disaster and hope, life might just bloom in a way that is breathtakingly unexpected . . .

1917, Petrograd. Fleeing the murderous flames of the Russian Revolution, Princess Svetlana Dalsky hopes to find safety in Paris with her mother and sister. But the city is buckling under the weight of the Great War, and the Bolsheviks will not rest until they have erased every Russian aristocrat from memory. Svetlana and her family are forced into hiding in Paris’s underbelly, with little to their name but the jewels they sewed into their corsets before their terrifying escape.

Born the second son of a Scottish duke, the only title Wynn MacCallan cares for is that of surgeon. Putting his talents with a scalpel to good use in the hospitals in Paris, Wynn pushes the boundaries of medical science to give his patients the best care possible. After treating Svetlana for a minor injury, he is pulled into a world of decaying imperial glitter. Intrigued by this mysterious, cold, and beautiful woman, Wynn follows Svetlana to an underground Russian club where drink, dance, and questionable dealings collide on bubbles of vodka.

Out of money and options, Svetlana agrees to a marriage of convenience with the handsome and brilliant Wynn, who will protect her and pay off her family’s debts. It’s the right thing for a good man to do, but Wynn cannot help hoping the marriage will turn into one of true affection. When Wynn’s life takes an unexpected turn, so does Svetlana’s—and soon Paris becomes as dangerous as Petrograd. And as the Bolsheviks chase them to Scotland, Wynn and Svetlana begin to wonder if they will ever be able to outrun the love they are beginning to feel for one another.

I spy a Non Fiction Book

Everyone wants love right?
I thought this book would be good to share to those who are looking for love.

A comprehensive and intimate guide to finding, keeping, and enjoying love after fifty, the best kind of love there is.

Studies keep showing that love after fifty is more satisfying than at any other stage in life, and it makes sense: at this stage, you are more emotionally stable and more focused on the present; you know what you absolutely have to have, but also what you can live without; partnering is no longer about building family and fortune—it’s about sharing intimacy as grounded individuals. And sex isn’t pass/fail anymore, but about becoming erotic friends.

So if this is the promised land, how do you get there?

In Love After 50, journalist Francine Russo interviewed the best experts in the field and dozens of couples to help show the way. Her practical advice includes:
-How to recover from the emotional damage of divorce, the grief of widowhood, or a history of unfulfilling relationships
-How to build realistic requirements for a partner
-What attitudes to bring to dating
-How to overcome the physical challenges of sex and embrace your erotic selves
-How to evaluate the financial, emotional, and practical results of marrying, living together, or living apart
-How to deal with (hostile) adult kids to safeguard your relationship and family

Love After 50 is not only practical, it is unassuming and candid. It is full of stories of real people (including the author’s own), with vivid examples of couples who have overcome their pasts to form healthy and nurturing partnerships. In other words, it’s as real as love after fifty can be.

How Not to Fall in Love Review

Summary:
Harper works in her mom’s wedding shop, altering dresses for petulant and picky brides who are more focused on hemlines than love. After years of watching squabbles break out over wedding plans, Harper thinks romance is a marketing tool. Nothing more. Her best friend Theo is her opposite. One date and he’s already dreaming of happily-ever-afters. He also plays the accordion, makes chain mail for Ren Festers, hangs out in a windmill-shaped tree house, cries over rom-coms, and takes his word-of-the-day calendar very seriously.
 
When Theo’s shocked to find himself nursing his umpteenth heartbreak, Harper offers to teach him how not to fall in love. Theo agrees to the lessons, as long as Harper proves she can date without falling in love. As the lessons progress and Theo takes them to heart, Harper has a harder time upholding her end of the bargain. She’s also checking out her window to see if Theo’s home from his latest date yet. She’s even watching rom-coms. If she confesses her feelings, she’ll undermine everything she’s taught him. Or was he the one teaching her?

I received an e-arc from Netgalley and HMH Books for Young Readers for an honest review! So here it is!!

My Review
I received this story as an e-arc. Oh my gosh! I could not stop reading it. I did have some issues trying to download it. Luckily I did get some help from Netgalley! Thank you.

Back to the story – I love all the names in this book for the characters. The beginning of the book hooked my attention and kept going throughout the entire story. When I kept reading on so many interesting things were happening with Harper. I loved the fact she helped her mom out and that their relationship was pretty interesting.

I had a hunch that this book would be up my alley to read and it was.

I can see how some people might see this book as a triangle love story but to me it seemed more about Harper’s sense on love and how to figure out how love works in a relationship. She learns how to cope with those feelings. I also believe these same concepts go to Theo. The story focuses on Harper as the main character and I think Theo would be the second main character. Felix, Pippa, Harper’s mother and Theo’s family also come into play which is great.

Such a sweet novel with friendship and love! I really liked it.

So if you are looking for something sweet, fast paced, coming of age of what love is, friendship and a geek like me who likes great endings, then you need to read it.

(Sorry if this is review is a bit different than my usual ones but I just loved the whole book!)

Some things that I liked:

Harper helping her mother out at the bridal shop

Communication between Harper and her mom about birth control

Loved Theo’s creativity of stories and LARPing

Harper and Theo sharing a tent

Treehouse

Kissing

Harper and Theo share and help each other with SAT/ACT vocabulary. There were some words I did not even know.

Love that Theo plays the accordian

Funko Pop is mentioned

Harper finding out who she is and what love it

Theo finding out who he is

Pippa’s description

The ending!

Quick Update

Quick update in my world of reading…..

Currently Reading:

TheBeautifulRenee Ahdieh

 

Finished reading:

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What the book is about:
368 Pages
William Morrow Paperbacks
July 23, 2019

To Leila Abid’s traditional Indian parents, finding a husband is as easy asmatch, meet, marry. Yes, she wants to marry, but after 26 years of singledom, even Leila is starting to get nervous. And to make matters worse, her parents are panicking, the neighbors are talking, and she’s wondering, are her expectations just too high?

But for Leila, a marriage of arrangement clashes with her lifelong dreams of a Bollywood romance, where real love happens before marriage, not the other way around. So she decides it’s time to stop dreaming and start dating.

It’s an impossible mission of satisfying her parents’ expectations, while also fulfilling her own western ideals of love. But after a series of speed dates, blind dates, online dates and even ambush dates, the sparks just don’t fly! Now, with the marriage clock ticking, and her 3-month deadline looming in the horizon, Leila must face the consequences of what might happen if she doesn’t find “the one…”

My thoughts:
I enjoyed this book. I could not put it down because I wanted to see what would happen with Leila concept of her dreams vs. reality.  There were parts that made me laugh when she goes on the dates.  I enjoyed how her parents are looking out for her and yet can be a little demanding.  I can see Leila’s loves her parents but also wants her own thing.   I think this book is rich, funny, charming and has diversity in it!  If you are looking for a book to read in one sitting this might be it for you.   It took me a few days to read because my life has other things that come first.   If I had all the time in the world, this book would be done in one day.  I look forward to more books by this author.

 

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338 pages
Silver Wing Press
April 30, 2019
Author: Elise Kova

What it is about:
Vi Solaris is on the eve of getting everything she’s ever wanted—her family, her home, her throne—and to save the world she’s going to have to give it all up.

The Empire sees her as their Crown Princess, returning at long last. But Vi only sees visions of fate guiding her to the world’s gruesome end. Across the sea is a man who holds the keys to deciphering her premonitions and thwarting the ancient evil ravaging their world. But to get to him, Vi will have to contend with enemies of the crown, romance she didn’t expect, sorcerer pirates, and a betrayal she never saw coming.

She will learn the hard way that some evils never die… They only bide their time…

My Quick Review:
I enjoyed Vi’s adventure in this book.  She had to make a hard decision and her brother supported her in it.  It was nice to see what her brother was all about, Romulan.   It continues on and on with twists and turns.  Some I never saw coming and some that I had a hunch on.   It is a fast pace book and just so cool. If you are a fan of fantasy and adventure, this is a must read.  Read the first book first though!   As one thing after another happens in this book, Vi shows strength and determination.  She wants to save her father and figure out her vision.  I think it’s pretty cool that she has visions and has these abilities to fight.    Elise Kova’s world of magic and fighting and adventure explodes in this book.  So amazing!!    This book I managed to read in few days due to being a mom!   Anyways I am ready for book three and can’t wait to see what adventure Vi goes on next.

 

Jump into these Fiction books

Mystery, history, general life, and fantasy……

which will you choose to read?

 

 

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The Good Son
You-Jeong Jeong
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books
Date: June 5, 2018

Who can you trust if you can’t trust yourself?

Early one morning, twenty-six-year-old Yu-jin wakes up to a strange metallic smell, and a phone call from his brother asking if everything’s all right at home – he missed a call from their mother in the middle of the night. Yu-jin soon discovers her murdered body, lying in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs of their stylish Seoul duplex. He can’t remember much about the night before; having suffered from seizures for most of his life, Yu-jin often has trouble with his memory. All he has is a faint impression of his mother calling his name. But was she calling for help? Or begging for her life?

Thus begins Yu-jin’s frantic three-day search to uncover what happened that night, and to finally learn the truth about himself and his family. A shocking and addictive psychological thriller, The Good Son explores the mysteries of mind and memory, and the twisted relationship between a mother and son, with incredible urgency.

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Another Side of Paradise
Sally Koslow  
Twitter
Instagram
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Harper
Date: 
May 29, 2018

In 1937 Hollywood, gossip columnist Sheilah Graham’s star is on the rise, while literary wonder boy F. Scott Fitzgerald’s career is slowly drowning in booze. But the once-famous author, desperate to make money penning scripts for the silver screen, is charismatic enough to attract the gorgeous Miss Graham, a woman who exposes the secrets of others while carefully guarding her own. Like Fitzgerald’s hero Jay Gatsby, Graham has meticulously constructed a life far removed from the poverty of her childhood in London’s slums. And like Gatsby, the onetime guttersnipe learned early how to use her charms to become a hardworking success; she is feted and feared by both the movie studios and their luminaries.

A notorious drunk famously married to the doomed Zelda, Fitzgerald fell hard for his “Shielah” (he never learned to spell her name), a shrewd yet softhearted woman—both a fool for love and nobody’s fool—who would stay with him and help revive his career until his tragic death three years later. Working from Sheilah’s memoirs, interviews, and letters, Sally Koslow revisits their scandalous love affair and Graham’s dramatic transformation in London, bringing Graham and Fitzgerald gloriously to life with the color, glitter, magic, and passion of 1930s Hollywood.

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How Hard Can it Be?
Allison Pearson
Twitter  
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date: June 5, 2018

Look, I was doing OK. I got through the oil spill on the road that is turning forty. Lost a little control, but I drove into the skid just like the driving instructors tell you to and afterwards things were fine again, no, really, they were better than fine.

Kate Reddy had it all: a nice home, two adorable kids, a good husband. Then her kids became teenagers (read: monsters). Richard, her husband, quit his job, taking up bicycling and therapeutic counseling: drinking green potions, dressing head to toe in Lycra, and spending his time―and their money―on his own therapy. Since Richard no longer sees a regular income as part of the path to enlightenment, it’s left to Kate to go back to work.

Companies aren’t necessarily keen on hiring 49-year-old mothers, so Kate does what she must: knocks a few years off her age, hires a trainer, joins a Women Returners group, and prepares a new resume that has a shot at a literary prize for experimental fiction.

When Kate manages to secure a job at the very hedge fund she founded, she finds herself in an impossible juggling act: proving herself (again) at work, dealing with teen drama, and trying to look after increasingly frail parents as the clock keeps ticking toward her 50th birthday. Then, of course, an old flame shows up out of the blue, and Kate finds herself facing off with everyone from Russian mobsters to a literal stallion.

Surely it will all work out in the end. After all, how hard can it be?

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The Story Peddler
Lindsay A. Franklin
Twitter    

Series: The Weaver Trilogy (Book 1)
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Enclave
Date: May 1, 2018

Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories–she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down…and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers…and they’re after her too.

In the stacks I saw these

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The Takedown
by Corrie Wang
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Freeform (April 11, 2017)

Kyla Cheng doesn’t expect you to like her. For the record, she doesn’t need you to. On track to be valedictorian, she’s president of her community club, a debate team champ, plus the yummy Mackenzie Rodriguez has firmly attached himself to her hip. She and her three high-powered best friends don’t just own their senior year at their exclusive Park Slope, Brooklyn high school, they practically define the hated species Popular. Kyla’s even managed to make it through high school completely unscathed.

Until someone takes issue with this arrangement.

A week before college applications are due, a video of Kyla “doing it” with her crush-worthy English teacher is uploaded to her school’s website. It instantly goes viral, but here’s the thing: it’s not Kyla in the video. With time running out, Kyla delves into a world of hackers, haters and creepy stalkers in an attempt to do the impossible-take something off the internet-all while dealing with the fallout from her own karmic footprint. Set in near-future Brooklyn, where privacy is a bygone luxury and every perfect profile masks damning secrets, The Takedown is a stylish, propulsive, and provocative whodunit, asking who would you rely on if your tech turned against you?

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The Disappearances
by Emily Bain Murphy
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (July 4, 2017)

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home—and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together—scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream—vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible—and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind.

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.

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Flame in the Mist
by Renee Ahdieh
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (May 16, 2017)

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace. Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and track down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

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Eliza and Her Monsters
by Francesca Zappia
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (May 30, 2017)

Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of Monstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.

Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds meets Nimona in this novel about art, fandom, and finding the courage to be yourself. Features illustrations by the author throughout. Perfect for readers of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, this is the second novel by the acclaimed author of Made You Up.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, smart, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community. Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart. With pages from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

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When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (May 30, 2017)
The rom-com that everyone’s talking about! Eleanor & Park meets Bollywood in this hilarious and heartfelt novel about two Indian-American teens whose parents conspire to arrange their marriage.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

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Geekerella: A Fangirl Fairy Tale
by Ashley Poston
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books (April 4, 2017)
Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.
 
Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

Non Fiction books

Since I work at a library, I come across tons of nonfiction books. Some are cool and some are not and some are boring but hey they are books!   Oh I see tons of cook books too! When I see those, I tend to get hungry while I’m at work quicker.  These books caught my attention while I was at work.   Perhaps they will spark your interest as well.  I briefly glance at some of them and even got a few recipes out of the cook books!

 

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  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Author: Penrose Halson
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (May 2, 2017)

A riveting glimpse of life and love during and after World War II—a heart-warming, touching, and thoroughly absorbing true story of a world gone by.

In the spring of 1939, with the Second World War looming, two determined twenty-four-year-olds, Heather Jenner and Mary Oliver, decided to open a marriage bureau. They found a tiny office on London’s Bond Street and set about the delicate business of matchmaking. Drawing on the bureau’s extensive archives, Penrose Halson—who many years later found herself the proprietor of the bureau—tells their story, and those of their clients.

From shop girls to debutantes; widowers to war veterans, clients came in search of security, social acceptance, or simply love. And thanks to the meticulous organization and astute intuition of the Bureau’s matchmakers, most found what they were looking for.

Penrose Halson draws from newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, and interviews with the proprietors themselves to bring the romance and heartbreak of matchmaking during wartime to vivid, often hilarious, life in this unforgettable story of a most unusual business.

 

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  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Author: Edward McClelland
  • Publisher: Belt Publishing (December 1, 2016)

Pittsburgh toilet, squeaky cheese, city chicken, shampoo banana, and Chevy in the Hole are all phrases that are familiar to Midwesterners but sound foreign to anyone living outside the region. This book explains not only what Midwesterners say but also how and why they say it and covers such topics as: the causes of the Northern cities vowel shift, why the accents in Fargo miss the nasality that’s a hallmark of Minnesota speech, and why Chicagoans talk more like people from Buffalo than their next-door neighbors in Wisconsin. Readers from the Midwest will have a better understanding of why they talk the way they do, and readers who are not from the Midwest will know exactly what to say the next time someone ends a sentence with “eh?”.

 

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  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Author:  Shonda Moralis
  • Publisher: The Experiment (January 3, 2017)

Moms can feel as if they are sprinting through life, crashing onto the pillow at day’s end only to start again the next morning. In Breathe, Mama, Breathe, psychotherapist Shonda Moralis outlines the benefits of daily meditation and shows moms how to do it—in just five minutes! Plus, she shares over 60 “mindful breaks” that will help moms tune into their own well-being (along with everyone else’s):

  • Eat a mindful breakfast—with no phone, TV, or newspaper!
  • Cuddle your child and take three deep breaths together.
  • Give yourself a mindful-mommy high five—because moms can use positive reinforcement, too.

Every mom—whether caring for a new baby, an over scheduled grade-schooler, or an angsty teen—can become a mindful mama!

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  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Author: Richard Blais
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (May 16, 2017)

Fans know Richard Blais best as the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars, the first competitor to be invited back as a permanent judge on Top Chef, and now as a Food Network regular as well. On television, Blais is famous for his daring cooking, making use of science (think liquid nitrogen) to dazzle and impress. But how does he cook at home when the cameras are off? That’s what this book will answer, with elevated homestyle recipes and personal stories which invite you behind the scenes and into his own kitchen for the first time. Some recipes might look familiar, like spaghetti and meatballs, but have a secret, flavor-boosting ingredient, and others feature clever but unexpected techniques, like his fried chicken which is first marinated in pickle juice. These are creative recipes that anyone can make and are sure to excite, from Seabass with Ginger Beer and Bok Choy to Jerked Spatchcock Chicken and Plantains, making this this the book Blais fans have been waiting for.

 

everday

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Authors: Cooking Light
  • Publisher: Oxmoor House (May 16, 2017)

This all-new book by the editors of Cooking Light, isn’t just for vegetarians. It’s for anyone who wants to add more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to their meals and omit meat-without sacrificing flavor-even if it’s just once or twice a week.

Beyond the health benefits, you’ll find plenty of bold flavors and rich textures in these appealing dishes that include fresh salads (Fried Egg and Crunchy Breadcrumb Breakfast Salad, Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Penne Salad with Goat Cheese), sandwiches (Avocado, Sprout, and Cashew Spread Sandwich; Portobello Sandwiches with Red Pepper Sauce), soups (Smoky Farro and Chickpea Soup), and hearty one-dish meals, risottos, and bowls (Quick White Bean, Asparagus, and Mushroom Cassoulet; Risotto Primavera; Brown Rice Bowl with Miso, Poached Egg, and Kale-Radish Slaw).

Inside the book, you’ll find:

  • Over 150 flavorful recipes, including a full-color photograph of every dish
  • Complete nutritional information for every recipe
    Vegan recipes are identified
  • A guide to building an everyday vegetarian kitchen, including details about versatile, flavor-building ingredients that are ideal to keep on hand
  • Techniques that visually explain a cooking method or procedure
  • Tips that provide insight on ingredients and advice on using them
  • A seasonal produce guide, metric equivalents, and much more

Find your place at the vegetarian table with this collection of crave-worthy meals and discover an immensely satisfying way to eat with Everyday Vegetarian.

NoMeat

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Author: Matt Frazier
  • Publisher: The Experiment (May 16, 2017)
A fast-growing global movement, No Meat Athlete (NMA) earns new fans every day by showing how everyone from weekend joggers to world-class competitors can become even healthier and fitter by eating whole plant foods.

Now The No Meat Athlete Cookbook—written by NMA founder Matt Frazier and longtime health coach, yoga teacher, and food writer Stepfanie Romine—showcases 125 delicious vegan recipes, many inspired by plant-based foods from around the world. Put nourishing, whole foods on the table quickly and affordably, with:

  • Morning meals to power your day (Almond Butter–Banana Pancakes, Harissa Baked Tofu)
  • Homemade sports drinks to fuel your workouts (Cucumber-Lime Electrolyte Drink, Switchel: The Original Sports Drink)
  • Nutrient-packed mains to aid recovery (Naked Samosa Burgers, Almost Instant Ramen)
  • Sweets that work for your body (Two-Minute Turtles, Mango Sticky Rice)
  • Oil-free options for every recipe; gluten-free and soy-free options throughout

 

BakeSales

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Author: April Peveteaux
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (April 11, 2017)

Living the food allergy life and having a kid who can’t have dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, or soy is not easy. And neither is worrying about accommodating all the food requirements at a play date.

From avoiding major food allergens and respecting food preferences like vegetarian or vegan to being aware of religious practices like keeping kosher, making a simple snack resembles navigating a minefield. Thankfully, Bake Sales Are My B*tch is here to help.

April Peveteaux’s 50-plus recipes cover the eight major food allergens and everything from school lunches, kids parties, sleepover foods, after-school snacks, and, yes, bake sales. In Bake Sales Are My B*tch, she gets into the nitty-gritty of food allergies, from deadly serious reactions to how to deal with those who don’t take your kid’s allergy seriously. Whether you’re a freaked-out parent or not, Pevetaux lends some much-needed guidance―and teaches you to make party foods that’ll be a surefire hit.

 

July update

It’s July!  Whoooo!  Hope everyone has an excellent July!

July 4th is a special holiday to me because it was a time just for my dad and I only.  Father and daughter bond.  I loved it and will continue to love it with my kids.  I’m passing the tradition on and I hope my kids will love it too.

Songs that have been in my head is Change by Christina Aguilera,  All of Me by John Legend with Lindsay Stirling,  and  People Like us by Kelly Clarkson.

I just recently saw a movie called “Only Lovers Left Alive” with Tom Hiddleston in it.  Vampires are what this movie was about.  It was rather fascinating to watch but felt a tad long for my liking.  I loved the guitars that were shown. There were  a few awesome lines that made me chuckle.  Check it out if you want to try something new or you are a fan of Tom Hiddleston.  I do have to admit Tom as a moody vampire is pretty hot.  There is a nude scene in it too!  The only reason I found this film was due to Anton Yelchin passing away.  (Anton Yelchin was awesome in the Star Trek movie!  RIP)

ONLY

I’m still reading the one book called “Summoning” by Carol Wolf.  It’s packed with adventure of the supernatural.  Hopefully I can get that done soon.

SUMMONING

My To Read Pile of Books keeps growing!  On Good Reads I think I have over 800 books.  I have no clue if I can accomplish that.  Books that I have read is over 400.    Plus I have tons of books sitting in my one room that needs to be read.  So hopefully after I finish “The Summoning”, I  can tackle another one.  So many books and so little time.  I think I may have to snag a page in every free moment I get.

I saw the movie God of Egypt as I thought the storyline was awesome but the cast should have been a bit more realistic in how Egypt was.  Do not get me wrong that I think Gerald Butler is amazing but it was weird seeing him casted as a God.  The whole plot was pretty amazing.   Adventure and love!  It kind of reminded me of the movie: The Mummy.  Action and adventure and love!   I much prefer Gerald Butler in Phantom of the Opeara or PS I Love You.

GOD

One more movie to mention….It’s a Hallmark movie called The Wedding March.  I got sucked into the Hallmark channel..Yes I do love romance and love and happy endings.   Anyways, this movie was pretty good.

WeddingMarch
When former college sweethearts Olivia Parsons and Mick Turner are unexpectedly reunited the weekend of Olivia’s wedding, the former couple initially locks horns but as the events of the weekend unfold, Olivia and Mick find old feelings rising to the surface. Will the bride-to-be walk down the aisle as planned or will she decide to give her first love a second chance?

On a serious note, I have too many thoughts in my head of lately.  Juggling the life of a single mother, a woman,  and a worker.  Not an easy task to do.  I’m glad I have help around when I need it but I can only imagine to those who do not have it.  It is tough!

Someone asked me once if I would ever date again.  The I told them,  “No not right now. Life is a tad busy and I have other priorities in life to tend to than dating.”

As I reflected on this question for a bit in my head I began to wonder.  I was right on the note that I would not even have the time for dating.  How and what and when would I do this?  I’m tired sometimes by 9:30 pm or 1o pm unless my night owl kicks in gear.   Then I thought about my kids thinking this would confuse the hell out of them so no way!  Then I thought about myself.   Would I ever be suitable for any normal and decent guy out there?   Would I want to snuggle and enjoy another’s company?  All these questions bouncing in my head like a beach ball.

Some days I’m like it would be nice to snuggle as other days I’m like I do not need drama.

I realized that everyone is different.  Some people need others and some people can handle being alone.   Then I realize that divorce does suck no matter what.  No matter what the situation is, it hurts.   Everyone’s situation is different.  The past few months I have know three other women in process of getting divorce.   Each of them has their reasons for it.

For me in my mind, I think divorce figures out who you are and that what your definition of a relationship is.  For me my reason is complicated.  I rather keep it private.   Although   the process of going through it:  You get mad, you then grieve and then you stand up for yourself eventually.  That’s what I went through and how I felt.   To those going through it, hang tough.  To those who have been through it, keep living!

What possessed me to write about this?  I just felt like I should say my piece in a nice way.  Things happen: whether it’s happy or sadness or an emotional roller coaster, you find something on the other side.  You live somehow.  You learn from your mistakes and you learn to reach for the better.

Everyone’s life is different.

Okay..that was pretty serious wasn’t it?   Maybe I should do a serious topic in each bit of the blog along with other bits?

I am going to end for now.  More to come soon.