A Life With Books

A Life With Books

Mom, wife, book lover,
crafter, movie lover, TV -aholic, blogger, friend.

4 Stars
Book Review: A Taste Of Sauvignon By Heather Heyford
A Taste of Sauvignon (The Napa Wine Heiresses Book 3) - Heather Heyford
I received this book in exchange for
 an honest review from NetGalley.
A Taste Of Sauvignon is the third book in Heather Heyford's debut series, the Napa Wine Heiresses. This book follows the eldest sister,  Sauvignon 'Savvy' St Pierre.
Savvy decided at the age of thirteen that she would become a lawyer.  She's working for a small law firm in her hometown in Napa Valley and is being assigned her very first case.  On her way to her firm's weekly meeting she accidentally hits the neighboring farmer's chicken with her car when it runs out into the street.  She doesn't know much about the neighbors since she and her sisters were sent away to boarding schools on the East Coast when they were young and then they attended college thereafter.  The St. Pierre's cook Jeanne is friends with the neighbors since she's been buying vegetables from their farm stand for years.  Savvy knows that her father, famous vintner Xavier St. Pierre, does not see eye to eye with them, but she doesn't know why.  
Savvy meets the neighbors when Mrs. Morales and her son Esteban come out to her car to retrieve the chicken she hit.  Savvy is awestruck by Esteban the "agrilicious, king-sized man in faded jeans."  Mrs. Morales invites Savvy into the house for some tea and Esteban is perturbed that his mother is treating Savvy like the victim instead of the chicken.
Savvy finally goes off to her meeting and is assigned a case with a group called NTI who would like to acquire a piece of property in the Napa area.  The NTI group is making a million dollar offer for the land, but it isn't until Savvy sees the address of the land that she realizes she will be seeing Esteban again because it is the Morales' land the group wants to purchase.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am quite sad that I have to wait until Fall 2015 for the 4th installment of this series.

A Taste Of Sauvignon is available to Pre-Order now

 and will be available to purchase on April 14. 2015

4 Stars
Book Review: The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre ward
The Same Sky: A Novel - Amanda Eyre Ward
I received this book in exchange 
for an honest review from NetGalley.
This was the first book I've read by Amanda Eyre Ward
 and I cannot wait to read more of her books!
The Same Sky was a very quick read for me because
 I couldn't wait to find out what happened to the characters.  
Each chapter in the book alternates between Clara and Alice's lives.
The book begins by Clara telling how her mother left her and her twin baby brothers with their grandmother in Tegucigalpa, Honduras when she was just five years old, while her mother went off to America (Austin, TX.)  Clara describes what it is like to live in Honduras; her daily living conditions, struggles, friends and fears.  As her story-telling progresses she realizes at the age of twelve that she needs to leave the poor conditions in Honduras for America.  It is extremely dangerous and she needs to figure out how she will make this happen.  
The alternating story is in Alice's voice.  Alice Conroe is a forty-one year old co-owner of a famous Texas Barbeque restaurant with her husband Jake.  She is unable to conceive a child, so they decide on surrogacy only to have the mother change her mind a day after the baby was given to them.  The mother had forty-eight hours to change her mind and unfortunately for the Conroe's she takes the baby back the next day, leaving them heartbroken.  Alice is depressed, empty, consumed by wanting a baby.  Her husband Jake is also upset about the situation, but has a business to run and seems to want to make his marriage the priority since they aren't succeeding with starting a family.
Throughout the book you will hope for the best for both of these women; one who wants to reunite with her mother and the other who longs to be a mother.  You will also wonder how Clara and Alice's stories coincide with one another.  I will not give away spoilers, but will say the ending will grab your heart for both of them.  
Source: http://ellecwk.booklikes.com/post/1123968/book-review-the-same-sky-by-amanda-eyre-ward?preview
3 Stars
Book Review: A taste Of Merlot by Heather Heyford
A Taste of Merlot - Heather Heyford
I received this book in exchange 
for an honest review from NetGalley
A Taste Of Merlot is the second book in Heather Heyford's debut series, the Napa Wine Heiresses.  This book follows the youngest sister Merlot 'Meri' St Pierre.
The story opens with Meri accepting the Purchase Prize at Gates College Of Art And Designs art exhibit.  After her speech she heads to the ladies room. Shortly after she's in the stall she hears two classmates enter the room as they begin bashing her; saying things like she doesn't deserve to win because she doesn't have to work for a living since she's a wine princess, that she only won because her father donated money to the college and that art is only a hobby to her and she'll never be a real jeweler.  Meri recognizes the voices as Rainn, a graduating senior and Chelsey, a junior like herself.
Meanwhile, Mark Newman is at Gates' at exhibit scouting new talent for Harrington's, his family's high-end jewelry conglomerate. He comes across Meri's purchase prize and is intrigued.  He's disappointed that only the name 'Gilty' appears on the prize-winning piece.  He decides to ask two girls passing by (Rainn and Chelsey) if they know whose work it is.  of course they lie and tell him they have no idea.  Mark gives Rainn his card and she is amused to find out he is from the well-known Harrington jewelers.
Meri decides not to return to Gates to finish her degree because she is humiliated by what she overheard her classmates say.  Instead she decides to open an online boutique and find a place to work on her jewelry.  Months go by and Mark still cannot locate who Gilty is, but once Meri gets her website up and running he finally gets in touch with her.
This is where the deceptions begin.  Meri does not tell Mark her real last name because she doesn't want him knowing she's a famous wine heiress.  Mark doesn't reveal he's an heir to the Harrington business.  Rainn continues to intervene between Mark and Meri because she rents a space at the same co-op where their jewelry workshops are located. Without giving too much of the story away, Meri and Mark are attracted to one another and there's a lot of secrecy and mistrust between them because they are both wealthy, but don't want one another to know this.
I enjoyed this book except for the character trait of Meri being portrayed as promiscuous.  The author tied this in to Meri being lonely when she was sent away at a very young age to boarding school.  I just felt this wasn't a trait I necessarily wanted to see in Meri's character.
Here is Heather Heyford reading an excerpt from Book 1 in the Wine Heiress series:
The third book in this series, A Taste Of Sauvignon, will be available on April 14, 2015

Happy #ReadAcrossAmerica Day!!!!!

4 Stars
Book review: A Taste Of Chardonnay by Heather Heyford
A Taste of Chardonnay - Heather Heyford
This is Heather Heyford's debut novel and I'm already looking forward to follow-up books in the Napa Wine Heiress series!
This book focuses on Chardonnay "Char" St. Pierre, the middle child of the famous French vintner Xavier St. Pierre and the late actress, Lily d'Amboise. Char's sisters are Sauvignon (aka "Savvy") and Merlot (aka "Meri'.) My first impression when I realized the sisters were named after wines was that these women were going to be uptight, snooty brats. I was pleasantly surprised that they all seem to be likable characters.
Char is a charitable person who helps out in local soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and collects donated clothing for the less fortunate. She has a degree in public service from the University of Connecticut and has a plan to get a charity organization up and running. Her plan involves winning the McDaniel Foundation's Napa Charity Challenge so that she can start up her charity without the help of her father's money. The challenge involves running a half-marathon, raising funds from local businesses and a charity auction. Char is determined to win. What Char doesn't foresee is another competitor by the name of Ryder McBride. He's a famous actor who has come back to the area to participate in the Napa Charity Challenge for his own cause. Although they don't see eye-to-eye when they first meet, they both admit to themselves there's an attraction there.
There are family secrets intertwined in the story line and the shining of light on some great charitable causes. Neither character comes off self-centered, which was a breath of fresh air. I would've liked to see more relationship development between Char and Ryder, as it felt like it happened quickly. All in all though this was a quick read and I'm looking forward to reading Char's sister's stories in the forthcoming books.

   A Taste Of Sauvignon will be available on April 14, 2015

5 Stars
Book Review: Codependent No More/Beyond Codependency by Melody Beattie
Codependent No More & Beyond Codependency - Melody Beattie

I wanted to learn about co-dependency because I wasn't completely sure what was meant by being co-dependent. This book is wonderfully written and is extremely informative.


I wish I had read this book as a young woman so I could have been more aware of relationships with friends and others during that time of my life who may have been codependents. I believe reading this book as a young adult would help aide in figuring out personal issues (and relationships with others) sooner in life rather than later.


Although the book also focuses on alcoholism, substance abuse and 12-step programs, there are many more topics in this book that relate to general life issues. Learning to love and accept yourself (and others), expressing yourself, setting goals and learning how to communicate properly are just some of the helpful topics covered.


This book is actually a 2 in 1 book with 'Codependent No More' being published in 1987 and 'Beyond Codependency' being published in 1989. Melody Beattie, the author, is a recovered addict, alcoholic and codependent. The reason this book is so insightful is because Ms. Beattie wrote from the heart. She shares her experiences and those she has connected with vividly in this book.


I must tell you that I started this book on February 11, 2014 and to my surprise I finished it exactly a year later. The reason I spread this book out over such a long period of time was because it is not 'light & fluffy' reading. It is intense and thought provoking. This was a borrowed book, but if I owned a copy I would go through the book again and highlight many insightful and smart advice that I could pass onto my daughters.

3.5 Stars
Book Review: Leading Man by Benjamin Svetkey
Leading Man - Benjamin Svetkey

Note: I received this book from A GoodReads GiveAway.


I am doing a 'Pass It On' with a Book GiveAway on my blog's Facebook page!

All you need to do is 'Like' my Facebook post and comment HERE!  I will be numbering your comments and then using the True Random Number Generator to choose the book giveaway winner.  If this book interests you head on over to the Facebook post to enter!  Please share with your friends who you think may be interested as well!

(United States entries ONLY please!)


-read more-
4 Stars
Glory In Death by J.D. Robb
Glory in Death - J.D. Robb

Glory in Death
by J.D. Robb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book of the 'In Death' series.

The time is the year 2058 in New York and Eve Dallas finds herself in search of a serial killer who targets high-powered career women. She is focused on finding the killer, but her well-to-do beau, Roarke finds ways to take her mind off her work and relax from time to time.

Although this book is mainly a suspense/mystery, it is also considered a suspense romance due to some of the 'steamier' scenes. I'm not sure how to feel about Roarke, Eve's love interest. At this point I don't really trust him, as he seems like a shady businessman. Eve's character is a head-strong homicide detective who has trouble letting others into her personal life. I especially look forward to learning about Eve's past, which very little has been revealed at this point in the series.

This quote is Roarke describing the type of person Eve is and I found it to be a great description of her character: "You're strong, and you're moral, and sometimes you make yourself ill with compassion for the innocent."

I'm not normally a murder-mystery, sci-fi/futuristic reader, but because I enjoy books by Nora Roberts, I felt I needed to at least try this series written under her pen name, J.D. Robb.

One thing mentioned in this futuristic book that I highlighted was this passage referring to Eve's commander's wife, Anna Whitney:
"It wasn't the state salary for full-time parents that had swayed her. It had been the thrill of being in on each and every stage of childhood development."
If only full-time parents received salaries for parenting! Ha!

I definitely enjoyed this book more than the first. This quote from the book summarizes why I will continue reading this series: "Lieutenant Eve Dallas crouched down beside death and studied it carefully. The sights and scents were familiar, but each time, there was something new. Both victim and killer left their own imprint, their own style, and made murder personal." Reading the 'In Death' series is like watching a mystery series on television, but even better!

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A reading challenge for 2015!!

Reblogged from Ann's Book Blog
Source: http://www.popsugar.com/love/Reading-Challenge-2015-36071458
What kind of reader are you?


Book lovers have different personalities just like ordinary people. We find it hard to choose only one as it also depends on the book(s) we're reading. For the most of the time we'll go for a mix of Polygamist+Extrovert+Altruist. Some books, however, make us monogamist introverts. And a very very tiny percentage of titles change us into neurotic readers. 


How about you? Share your personalities in the comment section below. 

Reblogged from BookLikes
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Reblogged from Tired of Spamlikes
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Reblogged from It's a Mad Mad World
DIY: Bookish earrings! :-)

These are super adorable!  I just wish I had seen this post prior to Christmas!

Oh well, I have a new idea for my daughter's friend's birthdays now! 


Yes, I will! :D

Reblogged from Bookish Quotes
2.5 Stars
Book Review: The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
The Christmas Pearl - Dorothea Benton Frank

The Christmas Pearl
by Dorothea Benton Frank
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is about ninety-three year old Theodora inviting her dysfunctioanl family to her home in South Carolina for Christmas. The matriach is melancholy about Christmases past and wishes her family could show a little more respect for one another and realize how important the precious time spent with family is.

A cook is hired for the family's Christmas meal and a substitute is called in to fill in for the original cook when there is an emergency in her family. The replacement is none other than Theodora's family's cook of her childhood, Pearl. Pearl has come to earn her wings and whip Theodora's family into shape.

There are many wonderful lessons within this book, but somehow the book felt 'flat' to me. There are a lot of characters to keep straight with a lot of intricacies within their relationships. I spread this book out over a long period of time, so maybe that is why I felt a bit 'disconnected' from the characters.

I appreciate the book's idea of a loved one coming back to help set a family straight and be appreciative of one another, but it just felt very forced to me.

View all my reviews

3 Stars
Bok Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

I read this book because it is the selection for the book club at my church. It is not the usual genre I would read, but I did truly enjoy this story.


The book is very different in that the entire story is told through the correspondence of letters or telegram.


The setting is England, 1946 and Juliet Ashton is a British journalist who has lost everything (including her book collection) and is looking to start anew. She receives a letter from a resident from the island of Guernsey that has a second-hand book that has her name and address written in it. The correspondence with the many islanders of Guernsey begins with members of the literary society writing about the books they enjoy and why. However, Juliet begins to want to meet the people she's corresponding with and has an idea that she could write a book about these people. She decides to go to the island to interview them and becomes involved in her new friends lives.


It was a bit confusing at first getting to know all the characters in the book and keeping who was who straight through the correspondence of the letters. Also, sometimes the way the letters were written the tone fell flat for me and a lot of the characters started to blend together. Maybe this shows that it is difficult to develop a character's personality just through letters? It was definitely a different kind of book and one that book lovers may enjoy. Below are a few of my favorite quotes from the book.


"I would like to write a book, but I am having trouble thinking of a subject I could live happily with for several years." ---Juliet Ashton before she knows what she's going to write about


"Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books." -quote from Isola Pribby


"I did not want to spend my time reading about people who never were, doing things they never did." -quote from Clovis Fossey, one of the book club members and why he didn't initially want to be a part of the society.  This quote reminds me of my husband and how he justifies not reading books!


" 'Women like poetry. A soft word in their ears and they melt a grease spot on the grass.' That's no way to talk about a lady, and I knew right then he didn't want the Widow Hubert for her own self, the way I did. He wanted only her grazing land for his cows. So I thought, if it's rhymes the Widow Hubert wants, I will find me some." -quote from Clovis Fossey on how he started reading poetry, started going to the society meetings and discovered the works of Wadsworth.

3 Stars
Book Review: Sea Glass Island by Sherryl Woods
Sea Glass Island (Ocean Breeze) - Sherryl Woods

This is the third book in Sheryl Woods Ocean Breeze series.

I definitely enjoyed this book more than the first two. As usual, Cora Jane is meddling in one of her grand daughter's love lives, but this time the other two sisters are involved as well. The target this time is Samantha and they're trying to hook her up with her high school crush, Ethan Cole. Ethan is a local doctor who is not interested in getting involved in a relationship. He is a veteran with a prosthetic leg and focused on protecting his heart due to a bad break-up with his fiance.

Samantha is open to getting involved with Ethan, but not the way her grandmother and sisters keep 'conveniently' throwing them together in different situations.

I didn't like Emily's bridezilla-esque personality in this book at all. What I think I did enjoy the most is that Samantha is a very strong, independent person and tried not to let anything get her down. Ethan could've been a little more open to getting involved with Samantha and less skittish about women in general.

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