This Chick Read: The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

The Garden of Small Beginnings was about your every woman.  Lilian Givran has faced life’s difficulties and has soldiered through finding light raising her two small girls, and unexpectedly also finds passion while gardening. I couldn’t believe this was Abbi Waxman’s debut novel. Lili’s voice was solid, funny, exasperating, sad and sarcastic. I laughed out loud multiple times and also cried softly as Lili struggled to find her way after the loss of her husband in a tragic accident. The fact that Lili finds that path while taking a gardening class is a great analogy for how each moment in life starts with a seed.

The cast of characters in this book added to the comedic highlights. The two daughters who say everything that comes into their heads, distracted, in a good way, from some of Lili’s more serious moments. Lili’s sister, Rachel, avoids serious relationships (sleeps around) because she wants to be available if Lili needs her. Her alcoholic mother who is narcissistic and says inappropriate things that embarrass her daughters. The class full of gardener wanna be’s who don’t have anything in common but end up being great friends with each other. Then there’s the teacher who makes her think there may be a little life left in her. This was a dream ensemble cast with a ton of personality.

Each chapter started off with a note about how to grow a vegetable. You could hear Lili’s voice speaking sardonically about why strawberries or carrots, I can’t remember, should not be planted in a bed after you’ve grown dill. These charming and funny intro’s set the stage for a really enjoyable, uplifting, love your family and keep your friends close kind of story. I don’t know if I’ve done a very good job of portraying why the book was so good, or even what the plot was like, but if you are a fan of women’s fiction, like humor, and like chick flicks, then put this on your TBR. Read it.

I received an Arc of this book, through NetGalley, for my honest review, and it was honest. 

 ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️


Buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo!

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer is about a Lost City named Weep, a young Librarian named Lazlo Strange, and a journey of self discovery. Lazlo Strange is the first hero that Is normal. He doesn’t have any super powers, he just has big dreams. Dreams that he wants to make a reality. He has that chance when citizens of a lost city, now named Weep, search for people who can help them, and they arrive in the city where Lazlo resides. Lazlo almost doesn’t go on this journey, as he is not seen as important enough by his own people, to have anything to offer. However, Lazlo has been dreaming of, and researching this city for years, and he speaks up offering his services as an apprentice or secretary and they accept.

Lazlo’s journey begins when he arrives in the land of Weep. The story of each character unfolds and through Lazlo, we find understanding of what has come to pass. Through Lazlo, we dream, we love, and we find heartbreak. Las LI finds within himself the strength to dream a little bigger. 

This book took a little while to get into. Lazlo was just so ordinary. I am so used to reading magical realism fantasy novels where the hero or heroine has a power of some sort that I kind of set myself up to expect the same from this book. Strange the Dreamer is not a fantasy novel, it is a fairy tale of the Grimm variety. The monsters revealed in this book are Gods, and these Gods did horrible things to this city and its inhabitants. As the story unfolds more conflict is revealed and my expectations of Lazlo became so great, I impatiently turned the pages hoping for a solution to be revealed, for him to become my hero with a capital H.

This was such a good story, but so hard to read! Laini Taylor did an amazing job of creating a world that was alien to the reader and also the characters in this book. I think at times I was confused at what I was reading. It’s a good thing Lazlo was there to provide a solidity and strength to carry me through to its conclusion. ❤️❤️❤️❤️


Buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo!

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read : Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Ilona Andrews

I recently re-read this book because the second book in the series, White Hot, will be released in the next couple months and I loved loved loved this book, but read it a long time ago. Burn for Me is set in our contemporary world, but there are some slight differences. Hierarchy is created by how much psychic and magical power you hold. The levels of power are ranked, the highest being a Prime.  These Prime families have bred to increase their Continue reading “This Chick Read : Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Ilona Andrews”

This Chick Read: Marked in Flesh (Others #4) by Anne Bishop

Marked in Flesh continues the story of shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, Simon Wolfgard, and cassandra sangue Meg Corbyn. The terre indigene have rescued the cassandra sangue, and in doing so have given the HFL (Humans First and Last) Movement ammunition to further human prejudice against the terre indigene. In this novel, that anger comes to a head and are acted on, providing impetus for the terre indigene to act, protecting their land and people. Marked in Flesh may be urban fantasy, but it’s storyline is a metaphor for our world today. Unfortunately for us, we don’t have an indigent species to save ourselves and our planet from our own greed, corruption and inhumanity.

Meg is still liaison to the Lakeside Courtyard, but even more, through her prophecies she is providing insight into how their future world will be re-made. With the help of her friends, or female pack as the residents of  Lakeside call her group of female human friends. Meg is also providing a service for the other rescued cassandra sangue. It is up to her, the pathfinder, to figure out how to make the world a comfortable, safe place for her kind to live. I like how this sub plot has given Meg more of a purpose than to provide the only humor in these books. Although I did miss the humor.

Simon is also given a bigger purpose. Because of his involvement with Meg, the Elders are watching the terre indigene closely, and his group most especially. Simon is aware of how his reactions and actions with humans will affect their future. We get to know a lot more people outside our Lakeside group, since the HFL movement has spread to the whole world. I’ll admit, that even though I like the growth my favorite characters have made, I miss the smaller storyline of Simon and Meg’s budding relationship. It’s still there, but the book is more politically focused, and the romance is put on the back burner.

This fourth installment in the series is very powerful, driving us towards a conclusion that could possibly end the majority of the human race. I can’t wait to find out what human qualities they decide to keep around!  ❤❤❤❤


Buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo!

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Blogger Stats Book Tag #Sundayblogshare

Yesterday I was catching up on my reading and saw this tag on Always Trust In Books blog. Her answers were really interesting.  I thought it would be fun to share my own answers to those questions.

The last three books you read?

  
Kind of an odd group of books, right? I like to mix things up a bit. The Garden of Small Beginnings is a debut novel by Abbi Waxman and had that perfect blend of humor, warmth, and growth. Loved it! I have just discovered Aimee Easterling this year and Half Wolf is my second novel by her. It was good, but I was a little disappointed by the characters. Sin With Me, is the third novel in J. T. Geissinger’s Bad Habit series. A rocker romance – I just love those broody self hating rockers! It was not a disappointment.

Spoilers or spoiler free?

I guess it depends upon if the review can be told succinctly without giving away the plot. I prefer no spoilers and I think if I am giving anything pertinent away, I always give fair warning!

How long have you been book blogging?

I have only been book blogging for about a year and a half. I am still learning how to attract followers, so if you all have any suggestions, pls feel free to chime in!  I have been mixing things up on my blog this year, trying to keep it interesting and fun.

  A book you read in one sitting?

Boy, it’s been awhile since I’ve done that! I think it was One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews. Their books are amazing and I always get wrapped up in the story.


Your favourite genre?

Fantasy, definitely! I like it even more if there is a hint of romance. I have read a TON of YA this year because I was writing a YA novel and it was great research. I got hooked into several series, and leaned towards YA fantasy within that genre. So, yeah, fantasy!  Lol.

Preferred book size? (novella, tome…etc)

Just a normal sized novel? 275-375 pages? I did read a 900 pager this year and it was fabulous, but it would take a fabulous book to keep me reading for 900 pages. (That was Robert Thier’s Storm and Silence if you’re interested, it was great!) I have read some novellas, but I feel that most of them are too quick and the characters aren’t fully developed and so I’m usually disappointed.

Amount of books on your TBR?

Oh, God, really? This is kind of embarrassing to admit.  I have 371 on my to read on Goodreads. I also have a stack of about 75 that aren’t on Goodreads that I’d also like to read. It seems to grow continuously!

 A book you have DNF’d?

Shadow’s Messenger: An Aileen Travers novel by T. A. White. I loved a couple of her other books, but this YA I just couldn’t get into, believe me, I tried! If anyone read this book, please tell me it finally got interesting!


Recent awards or milestones?

I finished my ya fantasy novel at the end of last year. I’m exploring how to go about getting it published, and have several ideas for other books I’d like to write.

Best interaction with an author you enjoy?

There are quite a few actually! I met Laura Carter last year at the RT Convention in Las Vegas and we had the funniest conversation about how to write a sexy scene! We were sharing a bench trying to find 10 minutes to gobble down some sandwiches and just hit it off. I’ve read and reviewed her books, she writes contemporary romances. It’s been fun to see her writing style grow by leaps and bounds! Her most recent book, Scarred by You was her best yet! She has also been kind enough to give me some brief advice on some books to read about how to get my novel published.


Average number of books you read per month?

On average I read three to four books a week, so I’d say 15-20? I feel like that’s a lot, but like a lot of you, I have slow weeks, where I get stuck in a book that seems to take days to finish. In fact, I’m having one right now!  Lol. Only two books read this week.

Top three publishers?

Kensington, Berkeley and Avon.  I also like Bookoutre and St. Martin’s Press. Once you get on NetGalley, you learn pretty quickly who are your go to publishers.

Social media sites your blog uses?

Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin, Tumblr, Instagram, GoodreadsGoogle+,  Pinterest…. Follow me by clicking on any of those links!

Average amount of time you spend networking?

My New Year’s resolution is to be better at networking than last year. I try to spend at least an hour a day. When I first started I didn’t understand the whole blogging thing. I’m finally catching on!  Lol.

Most comfortable blogging position?

See that chair? Picture me in it, laptop or IPAD on my lap, feet on the coffee table. Not as often as I would like!


Music or quiet when writing reviews?

TV on because my husband is always camped on the couch in the room with me. Sports, The Voice, Dancing with the Stars. Anything without a plot, I can write to, once we turn on a sitcom or drama, my eyes are glued to the tv and I’m not writing.

Can you sum up your blogging style in 5 words?

Honest, Relatable, Insightful, Funny (at times), Grammatically Correct! Shoot, that’s six!

A blog you looked up to starting out?

There are definitely a few! Cleopatra Loves Books, Cafe Book Bean, Orang-utan Librarian, The Fiction Vixen.  I still follow these, but they were among my first. Check them out they’re awesome!

The best book you have reviewed so far?

This is a tough one to answer because I have read so many good books.  I would have to say Amanda Bouchet’s Promise of Fire. Romantic fantasy at its absolute best. The second novel in this series was pretty dang good too.

Best piece of blogging advice?

Blog because you love it. Don’t lose sight of the reason you started. In my case I love to read and  I love bookish discussions.


I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me! I would love to hear your thoughts and how YOU would answer these questions!

Until next Sunday!

Deb

This Chick Read: Baron (The Knickerbocker Club #2) by Joanna Shupe

Set in New York City during the Industrial Age, Baron tells the story of millionaire Will Sloan and Ava Jones. What set this story apart from other historical romances was the setting, the class structure, and the gritty details of New York during this time in history. Will Sloan was a rather arrogant guy at the beginning of this story. He’s running for office and Ava Jones, a medium, could be the one to stand in his way. Will’s attitude towards people in a lesser class definitely needed adjusting, and through his budding relationship with Ava, he begins to see what the lower classes must do to live. It was refreshing to see the man in a romance learn a life lesson and see the changes he makes to his life because of it. Continue reading “This Chick Read: Baron (The Knickerbocker Club #2) by Joanna Shupe”

This Chick Read: Sin With Me (Bad Habit #3) by J. T. Geissinger

Sin with Me continues my fascination with the band Bad Habit, this time following the story of Brody and Grace. As I know from having diligently read the first two books in this series, these  bad boy rockers are very bad, but have an inner nugget of goodness that ends up shining through. Sin With Me is not as dark as the previous novel, but Brody and Grace BOTH carry an inner demon. I think this is a is a first for this series. Grace’s demon comes from her lack of memory. She was in a horrible car accident in her teens, where both her parents died and she doesn’t remember them. She lives life like every day could be her last because she was told that she could lose her memory again at any moment. With that possibility on her agenda she does not emotionally let anyone in, but she does give give them a notch on her bedpost. Brody is a little more of a mystery. We are only given hints of Brody’s inner agonies, but there is definitely a devil inside him that he’s trying to ignore and we know it has similarities to Grace’s past.

I feel like we know these two pretty well. They’ve been making googly eyes at each other for two years, and things have always been a little tense between them, so it’s not really a surprise when his novel starts off pretty quickly – in bed. In fact, isn’t there a drinking game with -in bed tacked on to the end? Oh, that’s a fortune cookie game. Well, anyway, if I had to take a drink every time they got down to business I’d need to read this book over time or I’d be wasted! However, in between all the sex was a solid storyline. It was nice to see Grace lighten up a little, and to get to know Brody a bit better. As a side note, I really enjoyed his relationship with his housekeeper Magda, it added a little comic relief and gave his background more depth. 

J. T. Geissinger writes a gritty love story and I’ve really enjoyed this series. Dare I hope that there will be another one?

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Read my review of Sweet as Sin HERE ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Read my review of Make Me Sin HERE ❤️❤️❤️❤️


Buy it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Revealed to Him (Kerr Chronicles #3) by Jen Frederick

My first impression is, ok, I like this authors style of writing. The characters are unique, the mystery had a good hook, and these two characters were emotionally involved.  Good stuff! Did I care I started in the middle of the series? Nah!

Natalie is agoraphobic. She has made some money writing a video game so she can afford to hole up safely in her own home. However, she is not comfortable with her psychosis. She desperately wants to get better! But just as she starts to make progress, she is threatened by a stalker which sends her into a tailspin and her agoraphobia rears its ugly head. Her cousin, a famous pro quarterback with relationship issues (future book?), hires a private investigator to try to help Natalie find the person who is threatening her. Jake Tanner. The name Jake always brings to mind tall dark and handsome doesn’t it? Private investigator Jake Tanner definitely fits the bill. Our Jake is a vet who lost his limbs in a bomb blast over seas. He wears prosthetics on one leg and one arm. When they first make contact, Natalie and Jake have an instant connection. Yet, she’s agoraphobic and although he seems pretty well adjusted, he does have some psychological hang ups associated with his loss of limbs. This love story deals with all of these psychoses, solves a mystery and packs an emotional punch. I was really interested in their story and rooted for their hea.

I liked how Jen Frederick dealt with these serious psychological issues, while the characters were falling in love. There was no hesitation from either party about their feelings about the other person. All of their hang ups were in their own head, and I found that fascinating. I have already got book one on my kindle ready to go -thank you kindle unlimited. I hope that book can live up to my expectations, this one certainly set the bar. ❤❤❤❤❣


Buy it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything is a love story between a girl who can’t leave her home because the outside world may kill her and a boy named Olly who moves in next door. That is the simple version and it’s the truth, but this book has so much more. It’s about first love, taking chances and discovery. 

Surprisingly Maddy is very well adjusted. I mean, if I could die at any moment and my mom and my nurse were my closest friends I would be glued to my window watching the world outside my bubble.  Maddy seems to have come to grips with her situation. Until Olly moves in next door. I think what draws her to Olly was not his appearance, although he was cute, it was actually his circumstance. His father was an abusive drunk. When Maddy witnesses and hears that abuse I think it opens her eyes that other people’s lives may be worse than her own. 

Olly was every teenage girls dream boyfriend. He was cute, mysterious and sensitive. I, too would have risked my safe world to embrace all sorts of harmful bacteria and live in the moment with him.

Everything, Everything was not just a lighthearted teenage romance. Because of Maddy’s dangerous disease, every move she made was wrought with tension and even though you rooted for her to have a moment of happiness you hoped it wouldn’t kill her and that gave this romance an edge. There was a HUGE twist at the end of this book that added another dimension to the emotion in this story that you should not miss. ❤❤❤❤


Buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo!

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved

This Chick: Take ONE book off your TBR and join our discussion!

Yesterday in my Sunday Commentary post an idea germinated between Donna @ Heron There & Everywhere and me. My post Lets Talk Books was a brief post asking for your help on what to read next. I gave six choices and Donna commented that she’d had Kulti by Mariana Zapata on her kindle for awhile and maybe we should read it together? I thought that sounded like a fun idea. We could read and review it, and link to each other’s posts!

If both Donna and I own this book and have let it sift to the bottom of our TBR pile,  how many other bloggers also have it, want to read it, and just haven’t gotten around to it?

Read it with us!

Rules! There aren’t really any but the following…

1) Read Kulti by Mariana Zapata


2) Post your review on May 15, 2017

3) Link back to Donna’s and my blog, and we’ll add your review links to ours!

Please let me know in a comment below if you are going to take part. I would love to belong to a book club with my fellow bloggers! But, if it’s just Donna and I, I’ll expect you all to read our reviews, like them, and be super jealous that we took one book off our TBR’s!

I look forward, to reading your review of this book!

Here’s a synopsis of Kulti to get you excited to start reading. I love sports romances, and this one has a twist! Our protagonist playing sports is female….

“Trust me, I’ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.”

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.

It didn’t take a week for twenty-seven-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon—why she’d ever had his posters on her wall, or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man that hadn’t known she’d existed. So she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive shadow of the explosive, passionate man he’d once been.

Nothing could have prepared her for the man she got to know.

Or the murderous urges he brought out in her.
This was going to be the longest season of her life.