Book Review: Sweet Lake by Christine Nolfi

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Author: Christine Nolfi
Summary from Amazon:

Linnie Wayfair knows just how many people are counting on her. But knowing doesn’t make doing any easier.
Everyone in Sweet Lake, Ohio, wants her to muster all her business sense and return the Wayfair Inn to its former glory. Her parents hope she’ll forgive her scoundrel of a brother and reconcile the family. The eccentric Sweet Lake Sirens want her to open the inn—and her heart—to new possibilities. And her hilarious lifelong friends Jada and Cat are dropping none-too-subtle hints for her to ignite a romance with Daniel Kettering, the sexy attorney who’s been pining for her for years…
Now a shocking turn of events will open old wounds and upend the world Linnie has carefully built. She has to make changes quickly—and the results, though not entirely what she expected, might be what she’s been yearning for all along.

Personal Review:In this book, we meet Linnie. Her life is anything but easy and this story follows throughout the new adventures in her life. Part romance, part adventure, her world is turning out not quite how she thought it would.

I enjoyed this book. I thought the plot was interesting and the characters were well developed. I appreciated that it seemed like a care free read, but kept your attention in the same regard.

I would recommend this book for those who enjoy books from Nora Roberts or Nancy Thayer. Thanks for the opportunity to review this book.

Disclaimer: I was awarded this book from the author. Though I did not pay for the book, the opinions are strictly my own.

Happy Reading!

Bookmark Monday: Hogwarts

Monday, February 27, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Just stopping today with a the new book meme that I learned about recently:  Bookmark Monday! This is hosted by: Guiltless Reading.

Here is what you do:
Do you have a bookmark you want to share? Just take a photo and link up in the linky!

Sounds pretty easy right?

I am excited to share with you this bookmark that my bother in law gave me with the Hogwarts houses on it. It is a really beauty! :)

Happy Reading!

Reading Recap

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hi Everyone!

It’s been a while since I popped by with some mini-reviews, so let me share a few that I have been reading:

Where Am I now?
In this book, we meet up with Mara Wilson, who is famous for being a childhood actor. I enjoyed this book because we get to hear from her on her perspective growing up both in the spotlight and off camera. Several times in this book did I feel like she was telling me a story about her childhood that was funny and witty at the same time. I enjoyed her perspective on her life so far and I hope she writes more books in the future.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
I loved this book. It was the screenplay of the movie and I am so glad that I had a chance to read it after I saw the movie. It really brought it life for me. I enjoyed this and am really looking forward to the next parts of this to come out!

Meditations of John Muir
I adore this book. If you love nature and the quiet collection of a great outdoorsman, this would be a good recommendation for you. I loved the daily thoughts and mindfulness about the world around him. John Muir was a fascinating person and I recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about life.

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)
Lara Jean is back! In the follow up to Jenny Han’s first book about her, we get another look at her relationships and how things have progressed since the first book. I enjoyed this book every bit as much as the first one and I am delighted that a third one will be coming later this year. If you are looking for a fun contemporary read/series, I would highly recommend these books!

Have you read any of these books?

Happy Reading!

Stacking the Shelves

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Stacking the Shelves
Hosted by: Tynga’s Reviews
Description: Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Hi Everyone!

Just stopping by with a quick stacking the shelves post...

Here are a few added to my TBR:
-Nocturnals: The Fallen Star
-Heartless by Marissa Meyer
-The Joy of Losing Your Job

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Anybody Can Do Anything

Friday, February 24, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Happy Friday! I am excited to be here today to bring you another Betty McDonald book. This book continued the mindset of a quirky, fun read and I enjoyed it much like the other two. If you haven't read or listened to anything by Betty McDonald, I encourage you to check it out!

In this book, we pick up following the Egg and I. Things are still not easy for Betty and her family following the Great Depression. That said, she always finds a way to laugh at herself and the situations she gets in.

I enjoy the narrator of this book and have enjoyed the progression of these books. Thanks Jess for the opportunity to be part of this tour!


Audiobook Info

Audiobook Title: Anybody Can Do Anything
Author: Betty MacDonald
Narrator: Heather Henderson
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press
Length: 8 hours 30 minutes
Audio Release Date: May 30, 2016
Synopsis: "The best thing about the Depression was the way it reunited our family and gave my sister Mary a real opportunity to prove that anybody can do anything, especially Betty."
After surviving both the failed chicken farm - and marriage - immortalized in The Egg and I, Betty MacDonald returns to live with her mother and desperately searches to find a job to support her two young daughters. With the help of her older sister Mary, Anybody Can Do Anything recounts her failed, and often hilarious, attempts to find work during the Great Depression.

Buy Links

Buy on Audible

Author Bio

Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, andThe Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.
MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).
Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.

Post Hypnotic Press: WebsiteTwitterFacebookYoutubeLinkedInSoundcloud

Narrator Bio

Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts.  Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire;  and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine.   She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry.  In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.



TBR Thursday

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I am here today with a new book theme to me, TBR Thursday. It is hosted by: Kimberly Faye Reads and here is how it works:

The purpose of the feature is to spotlight a title from your shelf or eReader to see what others think about it. Have you read it? Should I read it or put it back on the shelf? It’s a way to dust off those older books that have been sitting on our TBR and decide if they’re worth reading or just need removed from the list!

So given that, here are a few books on my me pick! What should I read first?

Please let me know in the comments below! 

Waiting on Wednesday: Maybe in Paris

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week I am excited to feature a book that appeals to me because of the setting! :) 

Release Date: June 20th, 2017

Summary from Goodreads:
Keira Braidwood lands in Paris with her autistic brother, Levi, and high hopes. Levi has just survived a suicide attempt and months in the psych ward—he’s ready for a dose of the wider world. Unlike their helicopter mom and the doctors who hover over Levi, Keira doesn’t think Levi’s certifiable. He’s just . . . quirky. Always has been.

Those quirks quickly begin to spoil the trip. Keira wants to traipse all over Europe; Levi barely wants to leave their grubby hotel room. She wants to dine on the world’s cuisine; he only wants fast food. Levi is one giant temper tantrum, and Keira’s ready to pull out her own hair.

She finally finds the adventure she craves in Gable, a hot Scottish bass player, but while Keira flirts in the Paris Catacombs, Levi’s mental health breaks. He disappears from their hotel room and Keira realizes, too late, that her brother is sicker than she was willing to believe. To bring him home safe, Keira must tear down the wall that Levi’s sickness and her own guilt have built between them.

Guest Post: Suzanne Sherman

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here today to bring you a guest post from author, Susanne Sherman. Please help me by giving her a warm welcome! 

Guest Post:Creating Girlhood in America: Personal Stories 1910 - 2010

I was a writer and editor at 36 when I found a job of my dreams. No, I wasn’t earning a six-figure salary or having adventures in foreign lands. I was teaching memoir—guiding people in writing about their wonderful, complicated lives.

Twenty-one students at least 40 years older than me circled the big table on that first day of class, the oldest among them Gertrude, an 89-year-old who remembered trembling while her grandmother held her close in a bomb shelter as bombs went off across London during World War I. A New Yorker in class met his wife of 70 years when they were in high school. He married her without a ring—“Who had money?”
My students wrote amazing stories about ways of life I’d never known, about climbing on a chair to put a nickel into the gas meter in a tenement apartment to heat the house for another day. I read about city kids in the ‘20s picking sticky tar bits from the edges of newly laid streets and chewing it like gum. One woman wrote about rag sellers with horse-drawn carts on the streets of San Francisco. Another wrote about the Depression, with her family living out of the back of a truck as a squatter by a Tennessee River. During World War II one woman saw her Japanese school friends taken away and moved to fenced compounds in a different state for the duration of the war.
Ten years later my students had different stories to write. One woman hitchhiked to Woodstock at 16. Another wrote that she was raised by the TV after school and had a bedroom at her mom’s and her “weekend dad’s” houses.
I could see the wheel of time was turning. The contrast of the present made me realize even more the importance of the past.
And then I had an aha moment.
I had to collect this amazing whirl of change, had to capture these jewels about our culture on paper for more people to see. I had to unlock the treasure chest.
I decided to create “100 Years in the Life,” a new book series, and to start with women. The series would begin with girlhood stories of life before age 13 in every decade of a century and go on to teenage girls—coming of age stories, which I’m collecting now. (Go to for details.) The third book in the series will feature women’s lives throughout a century, with all the many ways we have lived.
To create Girlhood in America I selected 25 stories from my oldest memoir students for the first four chapters, the 1910s through the 1940s. For the 1950s through the 2000s I interviewed 30 women and girls from around the country, transcribed their words and edited them into the fabulous stories they are.
Each chapter focuses on a decade, opening with a cultural history about the country and what affected young girls, an interesting list of the 10 top girls’ names (from Mildred to Zoe), and fun highlights from pop culture. For each decade there are five or six girls’ stories, from Maine to Molokai’i. It’s history in motion, a rare chance to go time-traveling while seeing yourself, in ways, reflected in every story. The book is available on Amazon (, as an e-book, and by order through Ingram for libraries and bookstores. *******************
Thanks Suzanne for coming by the blog today. 

Check out the information here for more details about her book: 

Author bio:
   Suzanne Sherman, editor, memoir consultant, coach and teacher (, is the creator of the new book series, 100 Years in the Life. These collected short memoirs reveal a century of American life through personal voices from every decade. Girlhood in America: Personal Stories 1910 – 2010 starts the series, available in print and e-book ( 

About the book:
an important testimony to the lived history of decades of young girls. Informative, fun and illuminating!" -- Linda Joy Myers, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers

The period of 1910-2010 ushered in huge changes—in social codes and lifestyles, discoveries and inventions, and of course—entertainment. Family life, education, and daily concerns transformed in this century of challenges and discoveries, devotions and losses, privileges and prejudices. These true stories of more than 50 girls under 13 transcend age and gender. You'll learn about yourself, your children, your mothers, and your grandmothers. It's history in motion, powered by the personal.

For more information:

Bookmark Monday

Monday, February 20, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Just stopping today with a the new book meme that I learned about recently:  Bookmark Monday! This is hosted by: Guiltless Reading.

Here is what you do:
Do you have a bookmark you want to share? Just take a photo and link up in the linky!

Sounds pretty easy right?

I am excited to share with you this bookmark that I got from my niece. :) She not only took the time to pick out the orange, but added tulips and cats because she knows I am a fan.

Happy Reading!

Love-A-Thon Mini Challenge: Let Me Sing You A Love Song

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Just popping by quickly to participate in one of the mini-challenges for the Love-A-Thon.

In this challenge you pair up songs with characters. I thought I would just do a couple for fun.

I thought it sounded like fun, so here we go:

Photo Credit
My Song for Dorothy would be 'Feels Like Home To Me'.

Photo Credit   

My Song for the Berenstein bears is 'We are 

What characters would you pair up with songs?

Happy #Loveathon!

Guest Post: Larissa Reinhart, 15 Minutes

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I am super excited to be here with you today to feature a guest post from author, Larissa Reinhart. Please help me by giving her a warm welcome!


15 MINUTES, Maizie Albright Star Detective, by Larissa Reinhart
Doing HHI As Research for My Reality Star Heroine

Last May 2016, my family had our TV debut in HGTV’s House Hunters International. Our episode was “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya, Japan” and is now showing as a rerun (most currently on February 21st at 12:30 pm EST). The shoot took five days and was a lot of fun. The crew was wonderful, very friendly and sweet with our children. We’ve been longtime fans of the show and were thrilled to be a part of it.

When my husband first inquired about the show’s application process, I didn’t think we’d have a chance of getting picked. We’d lived in Japan three times previously, how could we be interesting to viewers? However, I had started writing my first Maizie Albright Star Detective story, 15 Minutes. Mazie’s an ex-child and teen star whose star imploded and landed her on a reality show between bouts of rehab. She’s forced by a judge to leave LA and her celebrity lifestyle to return to her hometown in Georgia, where she decides to become a private investigator (after playing one on TV).

Unbeknownst to Maizie, her reality show follows her to Georgia, so I thought it’d be great research to see what went into applying to be on a reality show. Little did I know, that by the time I finished writing 15 Minutes, I’d be on a reality show and using what I learned for the other books in the series.

Here’s five things I learned.

1)    A lot of your filming day is waiting for sound and light. When you’re indoors, light is always an issue. Sometimes indoor light reflects green, so the cameraman has to find an angle that works. For HHI, he needs shots of the interior before we come in to look at the house. When you’re outdoors, sound is always an issue. The mixer needs to constantly do background noise checks. And for some reason, waiting is exhausting.
2) On a reality show, everything is improvised, the words are yours, and your reactions are genuine. However, when there’s only one camera, the director may want to get other angles. Then you have to do the same scene again and repeat what you just said. And sometimes you have to do it many times because you forgot what you said or you flub it. Or a loud truck rumbles by and ruins the sound. 

This happened a lot, especially in the first days of our filming. However, in our last big scene where we discuss our three housing options and decide which house to choose, we did it one take. That felt great!

3) The director is watching the action and listening to sound from a small TV screen that’s connected to the camera wirelessly. The cameraman is paying attention to angles, light, and composition, what technically will look good. The sound mixer is wearing headphones and checking for sound clarity. The director is thinking about the story and creatively what looks good. She’s also in charge of the filming time table each day. Camera and sound are the trees and she’s the forest. No one’s paying much attention to you unless you screw up.

4) The worst thing you can do is look at the camera. If you look at the camera, you have to do the shot over.

I learned this the hard way. Many times.

5) Our shoots were 8 to 5 with an hour break for lunch every day. We all went to lunch together but at the end of the day, the crew went back to their hotel and worked. They had to upload the film, check it, and prepare for the next day.

There’s no after-party with the crew. They take their job seriously and like everyone, when the work is over, they want to go home.

Thanks Larissa for being here today!

Happy Reading!