Book Talk Tuesday: Pintip Dunn

Big thank you to YA Books Central for revealing the cover of Seize Today!

Pintip croppedAnd a big thank you to Pintip Dunn for stopping by today to share her upcoming release with us.

The stats:

Author: Pintip Dunn

Title: SEIZE TODAY

Release Date: October 3, 2017

Publisher: Entangled TEEN

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Olivia Dresden can literally see the path to goodness in each person. Her precognition means that different versions of people’s futures STflicker before her eyes. But forced into isolation, she can only watch as her mother, Chairwoman Dresden, chooses the dark, destructive course every time. Even so, she remains fiercely loyal to the woman her mother could be.

When the chairwoman captures Ryder Russell, a boy from the rebel Underground, Olivia sees a vision of her own imminent death. Despite her bleak fate, she rescues Ryder and flees with him, drawing her mother’s fury and sparking a romance as doomed as Olivia herself. As the full extent of Chairwoman Dresden’s gruesome plan is revealed, Olivia must find the light in her mother—or blink out of existence with the rest of the world.

Author bio:

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. In addition, it is a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Japanese Sakura Medal, and the MASL Truman Award. THE DARKEST LIE was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other books include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, the novella BEFORE TOMORROW, and the forthcoming GIRL ON THE VERGE.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com

Links:

Website  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Goodreads  Preorder

Book Trailer

Haven’t read the FORGET TOMORROW series yet? Read Book 1 now for the bargain price of $1.99! Sale ends 05/14.

Kobo  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iBooks 

Thank you, Pintip! That cover is gorgeous!!

 

Monday Musing: Time as a Commodity

Since I’ve been working more hours, I have less time. A fact that seems to correlate perfectly.

But do I really have less time? I still have 24 hours in my day, same as always and same as everyone else.

handmade
Not my work. It’s labeled as licensed for noncommercial reuse, so I grabbed it to show as an example.

When I worked outside the home, I had time for reading and crafting. I loved to make handmade cards. I sewed. I quilted. I knitted. I read 80-100 books a year.

So what has really changed?

Well, it seems, a lot.

Social media.

Phones that double as communication and entertainment devices.

More sources of entertainment.

Now, instead of picking up the book I’m reading, when I sit in the recliner after dinner, I’m more likely to pull out my phone. I may play a game, check email, or look at Facebook or Instagram.

I still have the same number of hours in my day, but I’m feeling less productive than ever.

I’ve struggled to read even 80 books the last two years. Last year, I slipped in with 78 on December 31st.

In my ongoing quest to find more time, I deleted most games off my phone. I finished a year-long+ puzzle kind of game and deleted it. I took off several apps, including Facebook.

In an effort to become more social, I took some bridge lessons. Which by the way, can become a whole new obsession passion. I now own (and read) BRIDGE FOR DUMMIES and I actually know what Two No Trump means.

I managed to fit in the bridge lessons for one simple reason: I put them in my schedule and when the time arrived, I was in place and ready.

I have three quilt tops that are all pieced and are waiting for the backing and quilting. I have a quarter of a shawl knitted. I still have paper and (some) stamping/card making supplies, although I cleaned out a bunch of stamps in the past couple of years. Because I didn’t have “time,” anymore. fb

What a crock I fed myself.

And I know I’ve done it to myself. I can blame social media, Netflix, DirecTV, or Words With Friends.

But I need to turn off the device, open the book, or  pull out the crafting supplies. I know this in my head, but the recliner, TV remote and iPad are powerful magnets.

 

 

Book Talk Tuesday: ON SECOND THOUGHT

I’m in love with Kristan Higgins. I’ve said it before, but she is an amazing writer with wonderful stories.

Which is why I was so disappointed by last year’s IF YOU ONLY KNEW, Higgins’ first foray into women’s fiction from romance, her wheelhouse. It was okay, but I’m trying to only review books that either I a) really love or b) received to review.

So I was reluctant to try ON SECOND THOUGHT which came out recently. I still love Kristan Higgins. I still love her romance. I just wasn’t sure I was going to love her women’s fiction.

ostTurns out I had nothing to worry about.

ON SECOND THOUGHT is the story of two sisters, Kate and Ainsley. They are actually half-sisters, born more than a couple of years apart.

When the book opens, both girls are in happy relationships. Kate is nearly forty and a newlywed who’d given up dating and trying to find her soul mate.

Ainsley has been with Eric since she was 21. She’s supported him through his career and through chemo.

Kate is suddenly widowed and Ainsley is suddenly single. They are both shocked and grieving and can’t believe what has just happened.

I loved the relationship between the sisters, and how it grew. Kate has always been more reserved while Ainsley is like a Labrador Retriever puppy. They learn to appreciate each other and their different approaches to life. Both women also get to know themselves better.

The story asks hard questions, like if you knew you’d be widowed after 96 days of marriage, would you remain single and never risk your heartbreak? Would you pour yourself into a selfish jerk if you’d been able to see his true self? And can you risk your heart a second time?

I’m so glad I risked my heart on Higgins’ second women’s fiction book. I loved it!

 

Monday Musings on Media: Beauty & the Beast

Yep, I saw Beauty and the Beast on its opening day. I had promised to take a granddaughter to see it on her birthday which just happened to be opening day, so it worked out well.

beauty-and-the-beast-2017I really enjoyed it. I think.

I want to see it again without a four-year-old and a six-year-old fidgeting on my lap and asking questions. I loved seeing it with them, but it was not the best viewing experience for being able to describe and review the story.

But I’ll give it a try.

The wolves are intense. Both of my girls were … not scared, but definitely uneasy about the stalking, slobbering creatures.

The story is familiar but there is more backstory about Belle’s parents and the enchantress and the Beast’s childhood. I really enjoyed that. Although I had to take a girl to the restroom and I missed the part about Belle’s parents. Another reason to see it a second time.

The “gay” scene that is causing boycott talks is soooo subtle and short, it’s easy to miss. In fact, I sort of did.

In the tavern scene when Gaston and his sidekick La Fou are singing about what a catch Gaston is, “No one fights like Gaston, douses lights like Gaston,” and so on, I wondered if La Fou was flirting with Gaston. He seemed to have a coquettish look on his face in a few shots, and the lyrics could have innuendo. I guess that’s the big scene people are objecting to, but as I said, I almost missed the subtext there, it was so subtle.

Later in the movie, when the villagers are storming the castle, the Wardrobe, voiced by Audra McDonald, spits out spools of ribbons, fabric, laces, scarves and arrays three lads in dresses. audraTwo of the guys dash away, humiliated, but one likes it. He winks at the camera and twirls away. When I saw that, I thought, “Oh, that’s the scene. I just imagined the flirting in the other scene.”

And in the ballroom finale, two men (La Fou and the dressed-but-not-humiliated man?) dance together, into and out of camera range in about half a second.

la fouMy young movie-goers absolutely missed all of that. They enjoyed a good story about a beautiful girl who loves books, an ugly beast with a good heart, and talking household items.

I thought Emma Watson was superb as Belle. Although one of my girls asked why Hermione was playing Belle, she soon forgot about Hermione as the story engaged her. Belle is plucky and smart and does nothing she doesn’t want to.

I had forgotten who played Beast, so was pleasantly surprised by the reveal at the end. The makeup is incredible, especially — and I don’t think this is my imagination — since the Beast got less ugly and more … maybe not attractive, but maybe cuddlier? as Belle got to know him and fell in love with him herself.

I recognized Kevin Kline as Belle’s father, but it was a Kevin Kline I had never seen before. He brought a tenderness to the role and left behind the befuddled-absent-minded inventor of the animated story.

Josh Gad as La Fou was simply amazing. Not just for the did-I-see-that-or-didn’t-I flirtiness, but his character has his eyes opened to Gaston’s true character and La Fou changes allegiances. He doesn’t consult anyone, he doesn’t agonize. He simply recognizes that what Gaston is doing is wrong and chooses the right path. I loved that!

The costumes are incredible. The songs, both the new and the familiar, are wonderful.

It seemed strangely full-circle that back in 1991, my sister-in-law and I took our four girls, all cousins, to see the animated version and in 2017, I took my granddaughter and grandniece, daughter of one of the cousins, to see the live action movie. I love both versions and I love all the girls. Like I said, strangely full circle.

Book Talk Tuesday: A MILLION LITTLE THINGS

Even though I was sad to say good-bye to Fool’s Gold, I took comfort that Susan Mallery was still writing. And she was branching out from romance only to some compelling women’s fiction.

cover-million-little-thingsMallery’s Mischief Bay series is definitely less romance, more women’s fiction. Mischief Bay has many things in common with Fool’s Gold. The warmth and humor for starters. But there are some major differences too.

Mischief Bay has heart and sunshine, but no over-the-top characters like Eddie and Gladys from Fool’s Gold. There are still businesses with fun names, but no all-knowing Mayor Marsha.

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS has characters both new and familiar. We met Pam in THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY. She’s now been widowed for two years. Her daughter Jen is dealing with her eighteen-month-old son who won’t talk and she can’t get anyone to believe her that something is wrong. Jen and her best friend Zoe have been drifting apart since Jen’s been so wrapped up in Jack. Zoe’s recently single and alone. So alone that when she was accidentally locked in her attic, she was afraid she’d die up there and no one would find her body for weeks.

Zoe decides to make some changes in her life and, after a gentle nudge from Pam, begins dating Pam’s son and Jen’s brother, Brian. Jen’s anxiety worsens, not just about Jack’s speech. Her husband is a cop and she worries about him too. Pam is happy, but also intrigued and flattered when Zoe’s father expresses interest in her. She agrees to dinner, but tells him she doesn’t date. Which surprises him, since they are on a date.

I enjoyed this a lot. The characters are people I feel like I either know already or I would enjoy getting to know them. If you like small town women’s fiction with humor and romance, (and really–who doesn’t??) then I know you’ll love Mischief Bay and A MILLION LITTLE THINGS.

Each book in the Mischief Bay series can stand alone. Some characters have encores, but nothing in the new stories will spoil it if you go back and read an earlier book.

I love this series and highly recommend it and this book.


I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Done!

 

Book Talk Tuesday: RESCUE ME

RESCUE ME is Susan May Warren’s second book in her Montana Rescue Series.

The PEAK team in Montana is back and RESCUE ME picks up where WILD MONTANA SKIES left off. I’m loving this series.

rescue-me-book-cover-final-sml

RESCUE ME is Sam Brooks’s story. At the end of WILD MONTANA SKIES, he’d asked Sierra Rose out and made his interest in her plain. Sierra and Ian had stopped working together their incipient romance crashed and burned. Sierra’s heart was broken, but she was determined to move on and she accepted Sam’s invitation.

Fast forward a few weeks and Sam and Sierra are still dating. The PEAK team is still searching and rescuing both locals and tourists in the area and in Glacier National Park.

Sam is busy with his job, caring for his mom recovering from cancer treatments, dealing with an increase in bear attacks in the park, and his flaky younger brother Pete, a fellow PEAK team member. Sam still blames Pete for their father’s death when the boys were teenagers.

Willow, Sierra’s sister, has been trying to get over her crush on her sister’s new boyfriend by concentrating on her job and volunteering as a youth leader at her church. Then she is passed over for the youth director job at the church and her father marries and is so busy with his new family that he doesn’t have time or space for Willow anymore.

Sam keeps denying how drawn he feels to Sierra’s sister. Sierra is perfect for him. They’re both organized, steady, focused. Willow is … well, she never finished high school. She’s a free spirit who loves Jesus and her sister.

For Willow, getting over Sam is even harder when she and Sam end up leading several youth group members on a day hike. They have an accident on the way back and are stranded in the park with injured kids.

The PEAK team swings into action, searching for their missing friends. Especially Pete who is determined not to let his brother down again.

Like all of Warren’s best books, RESCUE ME has several plot threads that are woven tightly to make an incredible read. The characters’s faith is real and not heavy-handed.

Willow struggles with feeling worthy and like she belongs. Sam finally sees just what his anger and unforgiveness has cost him.

Pete has a sub-plot with Jess, one of the other PEAK Team members. I’m guessing their story will be in a future book. And, I hope, we’ll finally get back to Ian and Sierra in an upcoming book.

I was so sad when Warren’s Christiansen Family series ended, but Montana Rescue is a worthy successor. I’m looking forward to A MATTER OF TRUST, due in early July.


I received a free copy of RESCUE ME from Revell via NetGalley in return for an honest review. Not a problem for me. I loved this one!

 

Book Talk Tuesday: AN UNCOMMON COURTSHIP

I absolutely adore this book! I’ve read everything in Hunter’s Hawthorne House series and each book is better than the last. This is Trent’s story. He’s a second son so is now the younger brother of the duke. He’s been happy to take his time finding a wife, but plans to marry for love like his parents and his sisters are derailed.

He never expected having to marry a virtual ucstranger in order to salvage her reputation.

Adelaide is a second daughter, so she’s used to being overlooked as her mother readied her older sister for society and a desirable match. She never expected to marry before having her Season in London.
But married they are, and making their home in London.

The first two books in the series are all about the courtship and I thought it was brilliant to have this book begin with the wedding. Since there was no courtship, Trent and Adelaide’s marriage is full of the kinds of conflicts newlyweds experience.

Some of the other reviews I read on lAmazon and Goodreads have commented about the “sex.” There is nothing lewd or gratuitous.

Is it appropriate for a twelve-year-old? No. Is it appropriate for a sixteen-year-old? Given the highly sexualized culture we live in, I think yes. It could be a great conversation starter about wedding night expectations vs. realities. And given that this book is about a new marriage, the consummation is going to be a big event. Hunter handles it very well indeed.

It’s only mid-January, but I know this will be going on my Top Ten of 2017 list.

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I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I honestly loved it!