Eight Hundred Grapes Review

I love wine. Red and white liquid gold.

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Today’s book pours a fantastic story together with great characters and a wonderful setting that keeps us interested until it’s finished, just like a good glass of wine.

Let’s take a look at Eight Hundred Grapes!


 

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  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 2, 2015)
  • Language: English

There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide….
Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.

But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.

Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets…

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My Review:  I have always loved the wine country. This book is set in California’s Sonoma wine country, with a variety of wonderful characters! I must admit I drank wine while reading it because who can resist when Laura’s words and description make you feel like you’re right there making the wine yourself.

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Georgia Ford grew up on her parents wine vineyard, so she knows a lot about wine! Her father decided this would be his second career, so that’s what drew them into the wine business. As Georgia wedding is a week away, she see’s her fiancé walking down the street with a woman and a small child. Turns out that he has kept a secret from her, this is his love child with a very famous woman.

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So in emotional distress, Georgia goes back home to the vineyard to contemplate what her next step is. But the surprises just keep coming. Her parents are separated, her brothers are at odds with their wives. The big bomb that drops is that her father is selling the vineyard they all love to a big corporate wine monster.

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Laura does a wonderful job weaving these stories together into a wonderful conclusion. What I love about this books it the fact the characters are personal and you connect with them. All the relationships are complex and you can’t help but keep turning each page, and gulping some wine, to find out what happens next. The dialogue between the characters is wonderful and Laura casts a spell on you with her words.

You can tell that Laura did her research on the trials of having a wine vineyard with weather, soil and life getting in the way. Her descriptions are so vivid that sometimes I can smell or taste the wine. I love how Laura lets us have a peek at the background to the vineyard’s making in some short chapters. It let’s us see how that intertwines into the current problems.

This book is not only a romance read but you can walk away with a lesson on life and relationships all through the wonderful words of wine making. It includes characters struggling with infidelity, divorce, child rearing, surprise pregnancies, lost love, and aging. So much drama but such a good story to finish. Much better than what’s on TV these days.

Should you read it? YES! The writing is beautiful and the characters engaging. One recommendation, drink some wine with the book and immerse yourself into a fun, emotional story.

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Thank you so much Simon & Schuster for providing me a copy for review. This in  no way affects my opinion of the book.

 

 

About the Author:

lauradave2011Laura Dave is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The First Husband, The Divorce Party, London Is The Best City In America, and the forthcoming Eight Hundred Grapes. Dave’s fiction and essays have been published in The New York Times, ESPN, Redbook, Glamour and Ladies Home Journal.

Dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA Today), Dave has appeared on CBS’s The Early Show, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends and NPR’s All Things Considered.  Cosmopolitan Magazine recently named her a “Fun and Fearless Phenom of the Year.”

Three of her novels have been optioned for the big screen with Dave adapting Eight Hundred Grapes for Fox2000.

Follow Laura on twitter, Facebook, and/or her blog!

 


 

 

And with that I raise my glass of wine and wish you all a great day!

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Love Tawney

Book Friday: The Revealed Review

Kristen here! It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been busy with edits and such for my book that comes out in October! So glad to be back.

It’s book Friday! Today I’m excited to review a wonderful book with a gorgeous cover!

Let’s take a look at The Revealed by Jessica Hickam.


 

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Title: The Revealed
Author: Jessica Hickman
Genre: Young Adult
Copyright: 2014
Publisher: SparkPress

Pages: 314

Book Synopsis:

Lily Atwood lives in what used to be called Washington, D.C. Her father is one of the most powerful men in the world, having been a vital part of rebuilding and reuniting humanity after the war that killed over five billion people. Now he’s running to be one of its leaders.

But in the rediscovered peace on Earth, a new enemy has risen. They call themselves the Revealed – a powerful underground organization that has been kidnapping 18 year olds across the globe without reservation. No one knows why they are kidnapping these teens, but it’s clear something is different about these people. They can set fires with a snap of their fingers and create a wind strong enough to barrel over a tree with a flick of their wrist. No one has been able to stop them, and they have targeted Lily as their next victim.

But Lily has waited too long to break free from her father’s shadow to let some rebel organization just ruin everything. Not without a fight.

 

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My Review:

If you’re looking for a new type of dystopian book, The Revealed is your book. It was definitely different from the other YA dystopian books out there- The Hunger Games and Divergent. I have to say this story has more of a science fiction feel to it, along with the political, romance and supernatural elements added into the storyline to give it push beyond the typical dystopian story. And Hickman adds a twist with the powers, making me think of the X-Men and the inhumans from Agents of Shield. Who doesn’t want powers? I would love to fly or shapeshift into animas!! Or crawl on walls like Spiderman…

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Ok…Truthfully, I’ve read this story twice- once last summer and again this summer. I forgot how this story draws you in and keeps you reading until the very end to find out the secrets behind the Revealed and why they target Lily. You want to find the answers to why 18-year-olds are disappearing and how their powers develop. What caused the war? Hickman does an awesome job at pulling the reader along until she addresses most questions during the second half of the book. Genius!

The characters were well written. We see Lilly’s desire for freedom and her struggles between her parents, The Revealed and especially Kai. I was unsure about Kai but he grows on you. He’s very mysterious and you don’t know if he’s a good guy or bad guy. Then there’s Rory. She’s Lily’s best friend and one of my favorite characters. She’s feisty, strong and makes anyone want to be her friend.

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The story was imitative, suspenseful and filled with some surprises. Hickman’s writing style is flawless and amazing. The pages and the story leave you wanting more. I want to know what happens next but I guess that will be revealed in the second book. I can’t wait to read the next installment of The Revealed series and see where Hickman takes us next.

 

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Should you read it? Yes! Jessica Hickman did a wonderful job with this debut novel. Bravo! If you can’t wait for the next Hunger Games movie or you’re craving some mutant action, read The Revealed.

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Love Kristen

Look out Wednesday! Under the Lights

Hello Wednesday!

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We haven’t done a Look Out post in a while, vacation and moving as gotten in the way. But we’re back!

Look Out Wednesday is our weekly post that spotlights upcoming books we can’t wait to read. Today’s book is one I am currently reading and love! I just have to spot light this book again! And it’s releasing next Tuesday!

Let’s take a look at Dahlia Adler’s Under the Lights!


 

underJosh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, coasting on his good looks, his parties, his parents’ wealth, and the occasional modeling gig. But his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls…opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms. (Not that he’s trying to charm her, of course.) Me
anwhile, his drama-queen mother blackmails him into a new family reality TV show, with Josh in the starring role. Now that he’s in the spotlight–on everyone’s terms but his ow–Josh has to decide whether a life as a superstar is the one he really wants.

Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents’ disapproval. But with all her relationships currently in upheaval, she’s painfully uncertain about everything else. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on, now that her BFF, Ally, is at college across the country. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van’s life reaches a whole new level of confusing. And she’ll have to choose between the one thing she’s always loved…and the person she never imagined she could.

 

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About the Author:

I’m an Associate Editor of mathematicBios by day, a Copy Editor by night, and I do a whole lot of writing at every spare moment in between. I’ve also been a Production Intern and Editorial Assistant at Simon & Schuster, a Publicity Intern at HarperCollins, and a Fashion Intern at Maxim. (I’m kind of into that whole publishing thing.)

About the AuthorI’m the author of the Daylight Falls duology (consisting of Behind the Scenes and Under the Lights), the upcoming Just Visiting, and the NA novel Last Will and Testament.  For information on those books and where you can buy them, check out My Books!

I live in New York City with my husband and our overstuffed bookshelves, and you can find me on Twitter at @MissDahlELama and blogging at B&N TeensThe Daily Dahlia, and YA Misfits. Come say hi!


 

I’m so excited for you guys to read this book. Pick it up. You won’t regret it.

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Love Tawney

The Wrath and The Dawn Review

It’s been a while since I did a review or posted something on here. I’ve been on vacation and I’m moving again! Ugh…don’t get me started on that.

I’ve read today’s book a while ago. I’ve been meaning to post a review but life got in the way. Today I’m happy to share my thoughts on this wonderfully written read.

Let’s take a look at The Wrath and The Dawn by Rene Ahdieh!


 

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  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. B
ut she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

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My Review: 

I love retellings of fairytales. I always think there is so much more to the story than given. I heard about Rene’s book on social media. I was also fortunate enough to have her part of Writer Diaries Pre-Pub Adventure! It’ was wonderful following her pre-publishing experience with her book. I immediatley snatched The Wrath and the Dawn up on release day and was very grateful I did. The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of 1001 Nights or known as Arabian Nights. The story goes that a King kills all his wives at Dawn. One girl tries to stay alive by telling the king stories. But that’s just how close The Wrath and the Dawn gets to the retelling. This book took it’s own turn on a great story to make a fantastic adventure.

Shahrzad is on a mission of revenge. Her best friend became one of the many brides of King Khalid to fall victim at dawn. Her life was taken and Shahrzad wants to know why. She wants to save the rest of the young women from falling prey to this evil. So she places herself in danger to become a wife to the King.

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She wants to destroy Khalid but complications arise as she finds him not the monster the rumors say he is.

I really enjoyed this story. The beginning was a little slow but once you pass the first couple of chapters, it moves with brilliant poetic words. The true story starts with Shahrzad and Khalid. Their connection starts as a small spark but by the end of the book it’s a flaming star.

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Rene did a wonderful job weaving the story together with fantastic characters. I really rooted for Khalid to be the good guy. He cares for his people and will do anything for his kingdom. There’s a reason the wives must die. No spoilers here. Rene did a wonderful job at creating a character that might do monstrous things but you can’t help but feel for him.

Shazi is a kick ass heroine. I loved the emotions she felt with Khalid. They were up and down, true emotions that connected with me. I felt her every fear and doubts. Khalid became more appealing as the book went on. Shazi’s childhood friend and love, Tariq, is out to save her. He also has a cool falcon as an accessory. Not to mention rides around on an Arabian horse. Who wouldn’t want him as your friend?

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He wants to protect Shazi but he didn’t expect how much she changed. There are also other characters I loved that had their own little stories weaved throughout this book. Rene did a wonderful job at developing her characters. They were just as much a part of the book as Shazi and Khalid.

This book had vivid description and great settings. The food they ate, the desert and the city, I could see all of it. When Shazi and Khalid were in disguise running in an alley being chased by thieves, I was at the edge of my seat. Once you get past the slow part the book takes flight and you can’t put it down!

Rene’s words pierced my heart. Her writing is poetic especially in her dialogue between the characters, notably Shazi and Khalid. Rene left little easter eggs for us for the next book such as a flying carpet and the way the story ended.  With so much drama and the ending! What???? My heart has been ripped out because I need more. I’m very pleased there will be a squeal because I will definitely pick it up….because I need more.

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Should you read it? Yes! Even if you haven’t read 1001 Nights, this book is it’s own story. You will fall in love with the characters and the description. Rene writes beautifully and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the monster.

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Renee

I live in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with my husband Victor and our dog Mushu. My YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, is available wherever books are sold. In my spare time, I like to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of my characters.

Follow Rene on Follow Renee on twitterFacebookGoodreadsInstagram, and/or her blog.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

I’m so excited for you guys to read this book. Go forth and buy it! You won’t regret it.

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Love Tawney

Nightborn Review

I’m always looking for a good fantasy, especially for middle graders to recommend at the library. Children love fantasy as much as adults!

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I think I found a great series! Let’s take a look at the second book in the series Thrones and Bones, Nightborn!


 

nightborn

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Series: Thrones and Bones

From the author of “Frostborn” comes Book 2 in the acclaimed Thrones and Bones fantasy-adventure trilogy for fans of Lloyd Alexander and Brandon Mull.
Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. “Not” a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), learn how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem), decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves.
Meet Desstra. She’s in training to join the Underhand–the elite agents of the dark elves. When she crosses paths with Karn, she is not all that she appears to be.
Everyone is chasing after the horn of Osius, an ancient artifact with the power to change the world. The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly?
The novel includes instructions for playing the board game Charioteers. Visit ThronesandBones.com for additional games, maps, character profiles, and more!

Buy Links:

 

My Review:

**Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review!**

I honestly never have heard of this series. I just became a librarian assistant and am branching out to different genres. That way I can recommend books to all ages. I love Rick Riordan series and have been trying to find a book that is similar for kids to read but with more fantasy. I think I found it.

Frostborn was a wonderful start to this new series, Thrones and Bones. Nightborn is the second installment of the series and was just as good as the first book. Frostborn left us with Karn and Thianna destroying the horn of Horn of Osius, a magical horn allowing the user to control all reptilian creatures such as snakes, wyverns and dragons. Did we mention there were dragons in this book?

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Karn and Thianna went back to their lives but wait..it turns out the horn wasn’t the only one made. There are two more and the Dark Elves may be after it. Yes, there are elves too!

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We see more of Anders’ world in the second book with more fantastic creatures and settings. Frost giants and the Dark Elves played big parts in the first book and I was delighted on the new fantasy characters he introduced in Nightborn. We meet Desstra, an elf who has been training all her life. She’s on the hunt for the horn as well, to prove herself to her people. This is where she runs into Karn. Thianna does return in the book, which was a delight to see her again. Karn and Thianna’s friendship made the first book and I was glad she returned. I did connect with Desstra and her quest plus she’s an elf so who couldn’t like her?

The world building is fantastic. There’s so many elements making up this world with characters, places and events. Anders does a wonderful job at weaving them together. The action is intense which will definitely keep children occupied. They won’t want to put the book down! What’s even more fantastic is this book as the first one resolves around a game. The author does a wonderful job incorporating a board game into the story. There’s even game instructions included!

I highly recommend this serious to children looking for something similar to Rick Riordan’s series but meets a Lord of the Rings for kids fantasy. They won’t want to put the book down!

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Love Tawney Twin

Holy BEA Batman!

So last week we went to BEA (Book Expo America) and Holy cow Batman!

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We survived!

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What an experience it was. This year was different for me than last year. I went not only as a blogger of two other wonderful blogs, The Writer Diaries and Seeing Double in Neverland, but as a librarian assistant. I branched out on genres to middle grade, New Adult and adult. I mostly read Young Adult. I found many intriguing books to bring back to my library to show my boss and staff. I walked away with a wonderful experience and new friends!

So let the Book Expo America experience begin!

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Lines begin early. I got to the Javits center roughly around 7:20ish. I heard people line up at 6 am! There was a good crowd in front of me but I wasn’t too worried. But then the anxiety sets in regarding what to do and where to go when it opens, but with all the cool bloggers around you it’s the best way to make friends.

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I did swap many business cards with other bloggers. This was a good investment before coming to BEA. I wanted to stay in touch and it helped having them.

The time ticks away and soon we are all running, yes running into the center to find books! Especially the Truthwitch tickets, or Passenger signing. The running was a little ridiculous but there were so many great books ready to be picked up. I’m not sure the running was necessary because if you have a good spot in line you will get the books you want. Kristen got Black Widow by Margaret Stohl!

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So many drops and signings were going on at once that it was hard to choose. ALWAYS be prepared. We made an excel sheet of what authors and drops we wanted to go to. We also followed the BEA  mobile ap. But sometimes we didnt make it in time.

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It was disappointing but the publishers and staff try to get you through the lines and to your book. We did have a line we waited in for an hour and half and then told we wouldn’t be getting a book or meeting the author. Of course we were upset but the publisher was great and I eventually got the book later. So don’t get upset. You are bound to get the book and if not always reach out to the publisher. You never know what could happen.

The days past by and we received many books. I shipped them back because it would be cheaper than adding another suitcase. Go figure!

BEA was a blast! Here are just a few of the books we got that were must haves!bea 13

I have to say it was a fun experience. The authors, publishers and bloggers are fabulous and I can’t wait to go next year. Which the next BEA is in Chicago!

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Will we see you there?

Love Tawney Twin

Release Day Blitz: The Witch Hunter

Today we give our whole Release Day Blitz to the wonderful Virginia Boecker and her release The Witch Hunter!

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 We’ve been waiting for a while now for this book and I just picked it up last week in New York at the Teen Author Carnival! I met Virginia and she is just as fantastic in person as on social media. Here are some pictures from that event.


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But wait…there’s more! While in line at BEA ,who did I just run into? Why Virginia and author Melissa Grey, you know..the one who wrote the fantastic book The Girl at Midnight! They’re just too cute!

 

 

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Absolutely Epic

Let’s take a look at Virginia’s The Witch Hunter!


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Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.
Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.
Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.
But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.
Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.
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About the Author:  virginia

Virginia Boecker recently spent four years in London obsessing over English medieval history, which formed the basis of The Witch Hunter. She now lives in the Bay Area, California with her husband and spends her days writing, reading, running, and chasing around her two children and a dog named George.

In addition to English kings, nine-day queens, and Protestant princesses, her other obsessions include The Smiths, art museums, champagne, and Chapstick. She is represented by the incomparable Kathleen Ortiz at New Leaf Literary & Media.


 

Happy Release day Virginia!

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What are you all waiting for? Read the book!

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Love Tawney Twin