Saturday, March 21, 2015

RI Author Feature: Review of Francesca's Kitchen by Peter Pezzelli

Read for: Mount TBR & RI Authors
Synopsis: "With her children grown and no family to pester, annoy, guide, love, and, of course, cook for, widowed Francesca feels useless. When she sees Loretta Simmons's ad for a part-time nanny, Francesca is sure she's found the answer. All the single mom wants is someone to fill in for a few hours a day, but it's obvious to Francesca that Loretta and her kids need a lot more."

My Review: This story pretty much progresses the way you would expect it to, but it is still an enjoyable read. I feel like this would be perfect on fall day with something in the oven (because lets face it, with a book about an old Italian woman and titled with kitchen in it, you know you are going to want to eat something). I enjoyed Francesca, Loretta and the kids, they are great personalities and each character had something you can connect with and you grow to really feel you are with them. Of course there is great food and the ebook at least even has some very tasty looking recipes in them.
My Rating: If anything this is a comfort book, comfortable characters, setting and storyline.  You feel like you have read something similar before but still enjoy reading it. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Friday, March 20, 2015

RI Author Feature: Bedtime Story: Puma Sight Sails the Harbour by Muriel Barclay de Tolly

Synopsis: Puma the historian cat thinks it is a wonderful day to sight see in Newport, Rhode Island. So he sets sail for a tour of the Harbour. He visits various sights along the shoreline and keeps notes in his journal

My Review: This was a gift to Munchkin from a friend that lives in Newport. Munchkin of course loves cats so finding Puma in each of the pictures kept him engaged. The story can be read on a few different levels, the simple story of Puma's day on the water and sights or on each page is a more detailed and historical 'journal entry' about the sights Puma is visiting. It can be both fun and educational, and would make a great keepsake or gift for visits to the area.
My Rating: This was a fun local book for children. It can be a simple story or more which gives it even more value. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

RI Author Feature: Interview with Sammie Grace

I have been lucky enough to have the busy Sammie Grace stop by today for an interview.  If you have been following my blog you will have seen my review of the first two books in her Cozy Harbor Series, Fish Perfume and Toe to Toe.
Ang: Thank you so much for joining us today Sammie. How about we just jump right into this interview since we are both a little nervous.  The setting for Fish Perfume and Toe to Toe seems to be mostly at a Marina, do you live or work near a marina for inspiration?
Sammie: I live near several marinas and my husband has a fishing boat.  I’ve been experiencing the marina life for years and it’s been a boatload of fun.

Ang: What was your first job? Did you always want to be an author?

Sammie: One of my first jobs was as a receptionist at a marina/yacht brokerage in Southern California.  It was a fun job and I met a lot of colorful characters.  That’s where I discovered I have great sea legs.  Good thing too, since I married a sailor.

I’ve always been a big reader and like a lot of people, I would dream about becoming an author myself one day.  I would write short stories for fun, but I found the thought of writing a full-length novel overwhelming.  I’m so glad I finally pushed myself to do it.

We are sure glad that you did push yourself because now we have 2 great books in the Cozy Harbor series so far!

Ang: What is your favorite time or place to work on your writing?
Sammie: I have an office in my  home and I usually write in the afternoon, mainly because that's the time of day that I have a good chunk of time to focus on it.
 Ang: I see that you have an adorable black lab named Lucy.  Is she an inspiration for your writing, or is she more of a distraction (especially on those sunny days when chasing a ball is more fun than sitting at a desk)?
Sammie: My dog Lucy is a hot mess but she’s a good distraction from my writing.  She’s always available to go for a long walk when I need to clear my head and organize my thoughts.  It’s also wonderful to stretch my muscles after sitting at the computer for too long.  Lucy also acts as a sounding board.  She thinks whatever I say is fascinating.  Dogs are the best.

Dogs do seem to make good writing companions, you can bounce ideas off of them and they don't tell you any of them are crazy, they just smile with that tongue and wag those tails (or stumps in my dog's case).
Ang: I know a lot of writers have a special food that they devour during crunch time, what is your favorite writing zone food?
Sammie: For most authors I know, their favorite writing zone food is chocolate.  For me, it’s all about pretzels.  I grew up in Philly eating soft pretzels on a daily basis.  I have to say, I’ve never met a pretzel I didn’t like.

Oh gosh, I have such a weakness for soft pretzels, something about that soft warm inside the salty crust, dipped in some ranch dressing or warm cheese sauce yum.
Ang: And since we are focusing on local authors, I thought we could talk a little about Rhode Island itself.
Sammie: Rhode Island is a quirky place.  I feel the quirkiness adds to its charm.  When I first moved here I was trying to get my bearings and found myself very confused.  I asked my husband, “There’s a whole alphabet, why does every other town name start with a W?”  To say that Rhode Politics are amusing is an understatement and I can’t tell you how many times when I didn’t understand something, people would just tell me, “It’s a Rhode Island thing.”  I also learned early on that every knows everyone in Rhode Island.  If you are at the hairdresser’s and you’re talking about someone, there’s a pretty good chance that the woman in the next chair getting highlights is the cousin of the person you’re talking about.  Overall though, I feel very fortunate to live in Rhode Island.  It’s a beautiful state with so many scenic places to visit and enjoy.  
Ang: Can you describe the perfect Rhode Island day?
Sammie: A perfect day in summer in my opinion would start out with a walk along the Cliff Walk in Newport in the early morning.  Next, stop in Jamestown for a cup of coffee and watch the boats come and go in the bay.  Pack a lunch and spend the afternoon at one of the beautiful South County beaches.  Go to dinner at one of the great restaurants in the area.  After dinner, I recommend taking a walk along the seawall in Narragansett.
In winter, a perfect day for me would start with a ride to the airport so I could hop on a plane going south.

That summer day does sound so relaxing and pleasant! After this winter I can't say that I blame you for plans to head south hahaha!

Ang: What site should visitors make a point to visit on a trip to RI?
Sammie: When a person visits Rhode Island, they should put a visit to Newport on the top of their lists of things to do.  To me, Newport is the crown jewel of Rhode Island.  It has it all, mansions, majestic views, great restaurants and let’s not forget the shopping.

Ang: What is your favorite restaurant and dish to order?
Sammie: My favorite restaurant is the Matunuck Oyster Bar.  I usually order the Oyster Sampler and the Seared Scallops.  YUM!
Thank you so much for joining us today and sharing a little bit about yourself and the state of Rhode Island!
To learn more about Sammie Grace and her books please stop by her Goodreads Page, Website or follow her on Twitter.
Sammie Grace lives in Rhode Island with her husband and her diva dog Lucy. She grew up in Philadelphia in a large Irish family. Sammie got her love of reading from her mother, who always encouraged all her kids to pick up a book and get out of her hair. When Sammie is not writing, you can find her on the golf course, working in the garden or walking the dog.

Sammie likes to write books that make people laugh and feel good about life and love.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

RI Author Feature: Review of Toe to Toe by Sammie Grace

Read for: Mount TBR & RI Authors
Synopsis: "Freelance book editor, Christine Davies, was excited to leave her noisy condo complex in Boston to spend a quiet summer in Cozy Harbor, Rhode Island. She planned to soak up the sea air and make a dent in her backlog of work.
What she wasn’t counting on was having a surprise housemate! A sexy, drop-dead, gorgeous, hunky sea captain named Jack Quinn.
Living with sex in a pair of topsiders was a distraction she didn’t need. Legend has it that Jack’s a typical sailor. The sea is his only mistress and he has a girl in every port.
If she gave into temptation, would she be just another one or could she be the one to turn him into a landlubber? With all the crazy people at the marina cheering her on, could it be possible?"

My Review: I really enjoyed the previous book in the Cozy Harbor series and was glad I picked this one up at the same time. Toe to Toe did start out rather abruptly, almost too abruptly for my liking, I felt like I was missing a prologue or introduction. I did once again really enjoy the characters and felt like I really connected with Christine (especially considering her job, which happens to be a dream job for nearly every reader). I loved the little snippets of the stories she was editing through out the book, it really drew you into the story more and made you feel like you were there. Even with all these little touches to bring you into the story for some reason I was still left feeling a little disconnected with the story. Maybe with a little more of a flow with the sentence structure or descriptions it might have felt a little more real to me, but maybe this will work for another reader.
My Rating: While I didn't connect with this book as much as the first book in the series it was still a very enjoyable read. It would be the perfect pool or beach side book for the summer. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

RI Author Feature: Fish Perfume by Sammie Grace

Read for: RI Authors & Mount TBR
Synopsis: "Meggie is at a crossroads in her life. Bored with teaching, and mending a broken heart, she jumps at the chance to run her grandmother’s marina in Rhode Island. The sight of Philly, in her rear view mirror, was a view she couldn’t pass up. Surrounded by the quirky characters and chaos of a marina during the heat of the summer, Meggie has her hands full. There’s a female ex-Marine cook, an Italian hunk, a handsome lobsterman, a Polish Princess, and a sweet-natured hooker. Everyone is looking for love except Meggie. When she meets the man of her dreams, she has to decide if he wants her, or her legacy."

My Review: This was a wonderful local book. It took a little while to get really into the groove but once the story got going and you became familiar with the cast of characters it was really hard to put down. Speaking of cast of characters, wow, there were a lot of them but they were all unique and well developed. I truly enjoyed all of them and am looking forward to revisiting some of them in the next book Toe to Toe.
My Rating: I really enjoyed the local flare to this book, the local sites and personalities really screams RI. The cast of characters are all fun and unique. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review
More than Pancakes by Christine DePetrillo
The Glassblower's Apprentice by Peter Pezzelli
Tuggie the Patriot Pup by Lauren E. Kelley (Bedtime Story)
To Serve a King by Donna Russo Morin
Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

C is for Cornhusker = 1pt
Grandpa and the Truck 2 = 1pt
Thor God of Thunder Vol 1 = 2pts
Warrior Beautiful = 3pts
Francesca's Kitchen = 5 pts
Emergency Vehicles = 1pt
Buffalo Gal = 3pts
Curious George Goes Fishing = 1pt
Curious George and the Dump Truck = 1pt
Mr. Mischief = 1pt
The Best Show & Share = 1pt

Currently Reading:

Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald - Audio - 75%
The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston - Kindle - 36%

 Books to be Read Soon:

Aure the Topaz by Rich Feitelberg (RI Authors/Mount TBR)
My Favorite Witch by Annette Blair (RI Authors/Mount TBR)
One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin (Requested Review/Netgalley)


Total Points Earned
 64 (20 points earned this week)

Pages Read/ Time Listened
15,161 pages read (1,051 read this week)
25:42 listening time

Books Added to Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:

34 Problems for bookworms



So you know what happens when you are taking care of a sick toddler nearly 24/7? You get sick too :(  I was sick all last week and I am still feeling pretty crappy.  I know when I go to bed early and don't even feel like picking up a book that I am really sick. I didn't get nearly as much reading done this week as I would have liked but oh well, better to get plenty of rest so I can recover quicker.

I hope you are still enjoying my RI Author event, I had an interview with Christine Depetrillo this last week and another giveaway so I hope you took a moment to stop in for that.  I have more exciting things coming up this week including another author interview!