Posted in Reviews

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Surprise MeSurprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars.

I’m generally a big fan of Sophie Kinsella’s books. And this one was good, make no mistake; it just wasn’t my favorite of hers. At parts, as I was laughing out loud, howling with laughter; at other points, it’s actually very serious and even a bit dark.

Sylvie and Dan are happily married, if in a little bit of a rut. But when their doctor suggests they may have 68 more years of wedded bliss ahead of them, they decide to shake things up by surprising each other. However, as can be the case with surprises, sometimes things are revealed that make you question everything.

This book had some of the great “I Love Lucy”-type moments that Kinsella is so good at writing. I was howling with laughter at some parts. But like I said, toward the end things get very serious. Which is a nice blend, because it gives balance to the book and makes you think.

But I can’t say that there was anything super surprising or twisty in the plot, which made it kind of predictable, ironically. I didn’t guess the exact details, but I got the general outline. The characters were also a little predictable.

But I liked their growth in the end of the novel. They didn’t stay stagnant like so many characters can, and that’s good.

Like I said, if you enjoy Sophie Kinsella’s work, you’ll also like this one. It’s funny, a quick read and features delightful characters, although they may be predictable. But for brand new readers, maybe start with a different standalone and work your way into this one.

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Posted in Book Extras, For Fun

Teaser Tuesday: Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella


Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. The meme is hosted by The Purple Booker!
It is very easy to play along:
Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

After several intense thrillers, I decided to try something lighter in tone. I am a huge an of Sophie Kinsella, so I am excited to get to read her latest! Here’s a little peak:

I’m baffled. Isn’t she even going to try to sell me the chopper thing? She seems to have been utterly derailed, and I can’t work out why.


About the Book

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.


Posted in Book Extras

#BlogBlitz: Cars, Coffee, and a Badass Ninja Toilet by K.C. Hilton – Excerpt and Giveaways!

Welcome to the Book Blitz for Cars, Coffee, and a Badass Ninja Toilet by K.C. Hilton – which brings all the humor of customer service hell straight to you with great humorous flair! Check out some great giveaways and an excerpt from the book below!

About the Book

If you deal with customers day after day who drive you insane, give you reasons to drink alcohol, or make you want to quit your job, this book is definitely for you.

A chaotic and hilarious portrait of a used car lot owner, Julia Karr. Her feisty attitude and fearless approach to managing a business, how it affects her home life and dealings with customers will have you scratching your head about humanity.

Seeing the business world through Julia’s jaded eyes may convince you that owning a business isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Her attitude is drenched with sarcasm and dipped in crazy sauce. She blames the car lot.

About the Author

K.C. is a wife, mother and manages the family business. K.C.’s husband refers to her as Hobbit size and claims that she is “nuttier than a fruit cake.” She owns a complete set of pink tools, believes in aliens and secretly wants to become a badass ninja. In her spare time, she can be found daydreaming about leaving work early to eat chocolate and drink wine. Sometimes her dreams come true.

Hardback B&N

The author is running TWO giveaways!

  1. A giveaway for 10 paperback copies 9/1/17-10/15/17 on Goodreads
  2.  Two Signed Paperbacks with SWAG! Enter Here!


By the time I finished my first cup of coffee, I noticed a vehicle parked near the office door. The office didn’t open for another fifteen minutes and I wasn’t in a big hurry to start my day. As I poured a second cup of coffee, I watched another vehicle pull onto the lot and park.
“Today is going to be a busy day,” I murmured to Foxy Boxy, which somehow excited her and made her start jumping around like a rabbit. She probably thought I was offering her a treat. I looked at her cute puppy-dog eyes and caved. “I might as well go see what they want.” I sighed, then tossed her a treat.
As I walked toward the office door, I noticed an SUV pull onto the lot and park near the entrance. The first customer simply wanted to make a payment, only taking a few minutes of my time.
The second customer wanted more information about a truck parked near the garage, not ready for sale, yet. It was a repo vehicle.
“I’d like to know how much your husband would sell that truck for?” she asked.
Oh, my goddess, another woman who thought only a man could run a car lot. If she continued with the only-a-man-can-run-a-car-lot attitude, I’d have to teach her a lesson.
“I can give you a price,” I said in a cheerful tone. “One thousand dollars, plus the transfer costs—which includes the sales tax—and it’s all yours,” I said.
By the look on her face, I knew the price was too good for her to pass up. Even with the higher miles, it was a four-wheel drive and the truck retailed for five times that amount. It was a repo and I didn’t mind selling it cheaper. One person’s loss was another’s gain. The truck needed to be cleaned up, and have the exterior driver’s door handle replaced, but the low price more than compensated for that. The handle could be purchased on eBay for about twenty dollars. I wasn’t sure if it needed any mechanical work, but Tiny didn’t indicate any problems when he brought it to the lot. Even if the truck needed some work, it was still worth it, as is.
As she made her way to the truck, I glanced at the SUV parked near the entrance and noticed a young man making his way toward me. The truck lady would be fine for a few minutes without me, so I decided to meet the young man halfway.
“I’d like to test-drive that SUV in the front row,” he said. He gestured toward it as he approached me.
“Okay, I’ll go get the key.” I made my way back toward the office.
Truck Lady was hot on my heels and followed me inside. “Are you going to clean it?” she asked.
“No,” I said. “For that price, you can clean it yourself.” Truck Lady looked hurt. It wouldn’t kill her to take it home and clean it herself or run it through a car wash. “If you want us to detail it, then I’m going to raise the price another hundred bucks. Your choice.” That got her thinking. Almost positive she would want to take it for a ride, I snatched the truck key and slid it into my pocket just in case. I pointed to the guy waiting outside. “Let me give that customer this key, so he can go on a test-drive. I’ll be right back.”
As I made my way toward the young man, a woman got out of the passenger side of their SUV, walked around, and hopped into the driver’s seat. I was concerned someone might whip their vehicle into the drive and asked him if she could move it to a parking spot.
“It’s a little dangerous being parked at the entrance,” I said. I handed him the key and he asked about our financing. I answered his questions and let him know that we had recently replaced the battery.
The woman began moving their vehicle and I assumed she would be waiting here until he returned. Their SUV was the same make and model of the one the young man wanted to test-drive, although it was a different color. I took another look and it didn’t have a plate on the back, but it did have a sticker for another car lot here in town.
“Are you test-driving that vehicle?” I asked, as he started the SUV.

Posted in Reviews

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophia Kinsella

My Not So Perfect LifeMy Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As soon as I saw Sophia Kinsella’s new book was available for review, I jumped on it. I am a big fan of Kinsella, who is probably most famous for her Shopaholic series, but who also writes some amazing standalones.

While some classify her as “chick lit,” she really is the master of creating hilarious, slapstick-style books which also add in a touch of drama. Just enough, in my opinion.

I’m so happy to say that “My Not So Perfect Life” is yet another winner for Kinsella.

The story centers on Katie Brenner who is trying to make a successful career in London. However her boss is a bit of a nightmare, with her Instagram perfect life, compared to Katies’ efforts to make it look like she has everything together. When Katie gets fired she has to move back home and help her father and stepmother with a new vacation venue on the family farm – “glamping.” When her old boss shows up as a guest, Katie discovers that everything she sees online may not be exactly as it seems.

It’s a fairly simple premise – someone trying to live up to the social-media filtered perfection they think their friends are experiencing- but Kinsella adds in her traditional humor and wacky characters which round out the plot into a great story. I laughed out loud at some points, I cringed at some of Katie’s awkwardness at others – you really feel so engrossed in the book.

I did get frustrated with Katie a little bit when she seems so focused on one thing that she really “couldn’t see the forest for the trees,” but I think that was really part of the overall concept which is that sometimes we get so focused on our online lives that we don’t end up living our actual “real world” lives.

I guessed the major “twist” fairly early on, but I didn’t really hold that against the book – I did, however wonder why it wasn’t revealed sooner, since it was hinted at so strongly. Maybe taking away some of that foreshadowing or somehow revealing things sooner would bump it up to 5 stars.

Overall, I really liked this book. Fans of Kinsella’s other works will love it, as will new fans! Highly recommended.

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Posted in Reviews

Deader Homes and Gardens by Angie Fox

Deader Homes and Gardens (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, #4)Deader Homes and Gardens by Angie Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you’re looking for a cozy mystery to entertain you on a plane ride or during your holiday break with family, this would be a great choice. It’s a light romp through the spirit world, with some spooks, but nothing too scary.

This novel is the fourth in the series and while it can be read as a standalone novel, some storylines do carry over, and it would probably be helpful to read the other novels beforehand. However, you don’t have to. I didn’t, and I certainly enjoyed this novel.

The main character, Verity is trying to make a go of it as a full-time ghost hunter, with help from her resident ghost helper, Frankie. Her first job is to investigate the town’s most cursed mansion, where an entire family was wiped out within days before the mansion was shut up for good. And when Verity gets there, she finds that the ghosts may take drastic measures to keep their secrets secret.

This novel isn’t a mystery in the traditional sense of the word, in that there really aren’t clues that you use to work toward the bad guy – they just kind of reveal themselves and then the other ghosts fill in the rest. That’s really the major difference between this and a cozy mystery. But the tone and light-hearted fun are all the same.

The backstory works pretty well, and it was unique enough. Though there are some holes in the plot and the setup (Verity gets her powers from a unique source) I don’t feel that took away too much from my enjoyment of the book. I mean, it’s not War and Peace, so I’m not going to overthink it, if you know what I mean.

Also, the ending sets up the next book – something I’ll be looking for!

Overall, it’s not going to become a literary classic- but it’s really pretty fun.

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Posted in Reviews

The Art of Murder by Nicola Slade

The Art of Murder (Harriet Quigley Mystery)The Art of Murder by Nicola Slade
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I struggled with what to give this one. I settled on three stars because it’s not bad……it’s just not particularly good.

Based on the cover and description, I was expecting some kind of creepy tale with some great characters, but instead, it is a super cozy mystery akin to “Murder She Wrote.” In fact, one of the main characters refers to the other, his cousin, as Miss Marple. It was a letdown.

The story centers on the cousins, Sam and Harriet, who join an art groups’ weekend retreat to help out Harriet’s friend make up the money for the trip. The group’s leader organized it, but everyone on the weekend getaway pretty much hates her. And the leader, Linzi, thinks she’s being stalked. Which of the cast of characters are responsible?

I’ll start off by saying there are way too many characters to keep track of. I couldn’t, really. That also means I really didn’t care what happened to any of them. Plus, they were all kind of terrible.

It was drawn out and by the end, I didn’t really care “who dunnit,” I just read to finish it out.

I gave 3 stars because while I didn’t love it, if you are a fan of Miss Marilee, you might. If crime-solving retirees don’t excite you, skip this one.

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Posted in Reviews

A Proposal to Die For by Vivian Conroy

A Proposal to Die For (Lady Alkmene Callender Mysteries, #1)A Proposal to Die For by Vivian Conroy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For fans of cozy mysteries and classic who-dunnits, the Lady Alkmene Callendar series offers a nice, quick read. 3.5/5, rounded up.

The debut novel in the series, “A Proposal to Die For,” follows Alkmene as she meets a young woman, recently come to London to meet her rich uncle. When the uncle winds up dead, Alkmene joins forces with journalist Jake Dubois, to figure out whether his death was truly an accident or the work of someone out to get their hands on his vast fortune.

It’s a pretty straightforward mystery, which has the leads following the clues to find the bad guy. For fans of intricate, tightly-wound thrillers, this won’t be complicated enough, but I thought it was a nice breath of fresh air.

The story definitely picks up in the last third of the story, once Alkmene and Jake leave London to track down a backstory that could lead to the killer. I wish some more of the story had concentrated on this part; it was truly the highlight of the novel.

With a series planned, some loose ends are left open, and I’d be interested to see where they go.

Overall, a nice, light beach read or mid-flight escape for fans of light-hearted cozies.

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