The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady [Book Review] #BlogTour

October 4, 2021

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady by Sharon J. Mondragón

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady by Sharon Mondragon (cover) a ball of yarn and two silver knitting needles

Genre/Categories: Christian Comtemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Friendship, Prayer, Ministry

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Out of your comfort zone and into the mall!

Thanks #NetGalley @KregelBooks and the I Read With Audra Blog Tour for a complimentary eARC of #TheUnlikelyYarnOfTheDragonLady upon my request. All opinions are my own.

The Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry consists of four women (Controlling Margaret, Positive Rose, Hurting Jane, and Lonely Fran) who meet weekly in the lovely and quiet Prayer Chapel of their church to knit shawls for the prayer shawls ministry. When the pastor announces that the prayer chapel is being painted and they will need to find another place to sit and knit, he suggests they knit out in public somewhere like the local mall. Grumpy and difficult-to-love Margaret vehemently resists the idea of knitting in the mall with all its distractions. However, the others are open to the idea. After they get kicked out of the bookstore cafe (for never ordering anything), they find a satisfactory place to knit using the comfortable seating display in front of Macy’s department store. And, yes, there are distractions and encounters with the people they meet taking them out of their comfort zones in many ways.

My Thoughts:

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The House Swap [Book Review]

September 24, 2021

The House Swap by Jo Lovett

The House Swap by Jo Lovett (cover) Image: white text on a salmon background...graphic images of a young man and woman above the title

Genre/Categories/Settings: Light Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romance/Rom-Com, Luxury Flat in London/Beach House in Maine

My Summary:

Cassie needs to work with her agent in London for a few months and James needs a break from London and has work he can do in Boston. They meet on a house swapping website when each other’s home seems like the answer to their search. They are quite opposite in every way: personality, lifestyle, and attitudes. This deal leads to humorous communication and house swapping experiences. Do opposites attract?

My Thoughts:

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10 Books To Put a Smile On Your Face #TopTenTuesday

September 7, 2021

10 Books To Put a Smile On Your Face #TopTenTuesday

10 Books That Made Me Smile (image: a woman seated with her hand at her chin looking up and laughing)

Image Source: Canva

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

What is the last book that made you smile?

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Books To Put A Smile On Your Face.

It’s posts like these that cause me to realize that the majority of my reading is really intense! It challenges me to come up with lighter reads. I do love Quirky Characters, so mostly quirky characters provide the levity in my reading life.

I wrote a post similar to this in February of 2021 and in 2020, so I’m revising those lists today to add some new selections. I think that during the Pandemic, I definitely sought out some lighter reads. These are the first ten books that I came across in my Goodreads list that brought a smile to my face. While none are hilarious or laugh out loud funny, each one has some funny or heartwarming moments that make my reading heart light and happy. Obviously, my list is heavily quirky character-driven! (Looking at you Backman!)

 *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman by Julietta Henderson

In spite of some thoughtful and heavy themes, this story has some humorous and light moments that will put a smile on your face! My review of Funny Thing About Norman Foreman here.

The Funny Thing Aboout Norman Foreman by ???? (cover) Image: a man wearing a red t shirt and brown pants stands at the beginning of a yellow path


The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

A quirky story with loveable characters and thoughtful themes. My review of Invisible Husband of Frick Island here.

Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley (cover) Image: coral and blue text....individual waves wrap randomly around the text


Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman

If you have children in your life, Backman’s essays on parenthood will bring a smile to your face. My review of Things My Son Needs to Know here.

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman (cover)


Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Although not humorous, this story about two estranged sisters sent on a trip to Europe together by their grandmother to deliver messages on her behalf certainly brought a smile to my face on many occasions. Sister dynamics are always fun!  I’m fairly certain this heartfelt story will make my best of 2021 list! It reminded me of  The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters in some ways. My review of Three Words For Goodbye here.

Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (cover) Image: two young women holding promotional materials and wearing hats stand next to a railing on an ocean liner

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Our Italian Summer [Book Review]

August 13, 2021

Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst

Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst (cover) Image: a beautiful sunny Italian coast lined with villas

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Mothers/Daughters, Family Life, Italy

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Special thanks to Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den (@srbetler on Twitter and Bookstagram) for the giveaway win and a shout out to Gina @ Gina Rae Mitchell (@GinaRaeMitchell on Twitter and Bookstagram) for the recommendation!

With individual reasons for wanting or not wanting this trip, a grandmother, her daughter, and her granddaughter travel to Italy for a month’s summer vacation. Sophia, the grandmother, feels that this might be her last chance to visit her homeland and also hopes it will be an opportunity for her daughter and granddaughter to heal their relationship; Francesca, her daughter, is a workaholic and a single mom (by choice) and is suddenly having difficulty with Allegra, her teenage daughter. It’s the trouble that Allegra gets into that finally convinces Francesca that a trip to Italy might be the best option for them even though it will be difficult to extract herself from work. Although Sophia and Allegra are close and share a love of cooking, tensions run high for both of them when Francesca is around. Will this trip to Italy be Sophia’s dream of a lifetime? Most important, will this trip help heal relationships?

My Thoughts:

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Wait For It [Book Review]

August 6, 2021

Wait For It by Jenn McKinlay

Wait For It by Jenn McKinlay (coveer) Image: a young man and young woman float in a pool surrounded by desert landscape

Genre/Categories: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyBuddyReads #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen for a complimentary eARC of #WaitForIt upon my request. All opinions are my own. (Pub Date 8.10.2021)

Annabelle is looking for a fresh start after breaking up with her boyfriend and moves from Boston to Arizona to work as a creative director in a graphic design company that her best friend owns. She rents a guest house on a beautiful property from a quirky, rule-centered, and reclusive landlord, Nick. Annabelle has some surprises in store when she meets Nick and also faces challenges on the new job with a hostile, undermining, and jealous co-worker. Will this move to Arizona work out for her?

My Thoughts:

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A Place Like Home [Book Review]

July 26, 2021

A Place Like Home by Rosamunde Pilcher

A Place Like Home by Rosamunde Pilcher (cover) white text on a dark blue background, a group of large light colored blossoms fill the center right

Genre/Categories: Fiction, Short Story Collection, Women’s Fiction, Up-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @MacmillanAudio for a complimentary ALC (audio) of #APlaceLikeHome upon my request. All opinions are my own.

A Place Like Home is a collection of fifteen short stories by popular author, Rosamunde Pilcher (most likely your mother’s favorite author!). These stories were published in magazines and are now in book form for the first time. Each one explores different romantic stories (chaste) between couples that are married or courting or meeting for the first time (insta-love).  All are poignant and quietly told with Pilcher’s trademark skill for describing time and place.

My Thoughts:

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A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife [Book Review]

June 29, 2021

A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett

A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett (cover) Image: a young woman stands on a bluff holding a bouquet of flowers and overlooking a small coastal village

Genre/Categories/Setting: Light contemporary women’s fiction, Romance, Small town/Cornish coast, Midwifery, Up-lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

#2 in the Cornish Midwives series. The highly anticipated wedding of Anna and Brae needs to be postponed due to a fire at the venue. However, close friends and community pull together to save the wedding.

My Thoughts:

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The Kitchen Front [Book Review]

June 22, 2021

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan (cover) A woman dressed in a red bouse and white apron holds a cookbook to her chest

Genre/Categories: Light historical fiction (WW11), Cooking, Friendship, Up-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

A cooking competition meets WW11. Facing bombings, food shortages, and rationing, morale is low among the housewives of Britain. The BBC launches a cooking contest for a show called Kitchen Front. Although the first prize is a coveted chance to be the first female co-host of the show, four very different women discover a more valuable prize to be gained: friendship.

My Thoughts:

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Very Sincerely Yours [Book Review]

June 11, 2021

 Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey

Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey (cover) a graphic image of a young man and young soman sitting on either side of a large red typewriter

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Friendship, Chick-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkelyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary eARC of #VerySincerelyYours upon my request. All opinions are my own.

A new release from the author of Waiting For Tom Hanks, Kerry Winfrey. Thirty-something Teddy Phillips works at a vintage toy store. She has just been unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend and her guilty pleasures are Taco Bell takeout, Bath and Body Works pumpkin pecan waffle scented candles, couch pillows, and watching a children’s (muppet) TV show hosted by Everett St. James, a hot and irresistible Mr. Rogers. Everett often reads letters from children who write to him with questions, so one day Teddy decides to email  Everett with her own questions. Everett is charmed by her emails and Teddy appreciates his sensible and wise advice. They develop a lovely online friendship, and Everett suggests they meet. Before they can arrange it, their worlds accidentally collide (meet-cute gone wrong). Of course only one of them knows the truth. As this story is inspired by You’ve Got Mail, we can predict that their identities will be fully revealed and then they will need to navigate a new IRL relationship.

Bath and Body Works pumpkin pecan waffles scented 3 wick candle

My Thoughts:

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The Invisible Husband of Frick Island [Book Review]

May 18, 2021

Are you looking for an engaging and lighthearted summer read?

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley (cover) coral and blue text.....random blue waves wrap around the text

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Romance, Quirky Characters

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

On a tiny remote (fictional) island in the middle of Chesapeake Bay, Piper Parrish is grieving the loss of her husband in the most unusual of ways. She appears to think he’s invisible and goes about her daily routine of walking to the docks to meet him and Friday night dinner dates. The townsfolk love her so much that they go along with it and understand that people grieve in many ways. One day, Anders, a young ambitious journalist, comes to town and stumbles upon this story. Anders befriends Piper and spends more and more time with her. Even though he’s a “Come Here” and not a “From Here,” he makes some friends and begins to enjoy the small community…..until everyone finds out about the secret he’s been keeping.

My Thoughts:

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