Feb 032017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review when they were first released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I am not going to lie, what is happening in our country scares me. I will not get all political but it did cause me to choose a different type of book for this week’s Flashback Friday. A book with no mystery to solve, a book about just every day life that I could comfortably “escape” into for a few hours and forget about what is really happening in the real world. I hope you won’t mind that I slipped away from the mystery genre this week.


Everyone Is Beautiful: A Novel
Domestic Life/Humor/Fiction
Setting – Massachsetts
Ballantine Books (February 17, 2009)
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1400066438
Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-0749909307
Kindle ASIN: B001NLL2TS

 

 

Lanie Coates’s life is spinning out of control. She’s piled everything she owns into a U-Haul and driven with her husband, Peter, and their three little boys from their cozy Texas home to a multiflight walkup in the Northeast. She’s left behind family, friends, and a comfortable life–all so her husband can realize his dream of becoming a professional musician. But somewhere in the eye of her personal hurricane, it hits Lanie that she once had dreams too. If only she could remember what they were.

These days, Lanie always seems to rank herself dead last–and when another mom accidentally criticizes her appearance, it’s the final straw. Fifteen years, three babies, and more pounds than she’s willing to count since the day she said “I do,” Lanie longs desperately to feel like her old self again. It’s time to rise up, fish her moxie out of the diaper pail, and find the woman she was before motherhood capsized her entire existence.

Lanie sets change in motion–joining a gym, signing up for photography classes, and finding a new best friend. But she also creates waves that come to threaten her whole life. In the end, Lanie must figure out once and for all how to find herself without losing everything else in the process.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I needed to read something different and funny and this book fit the bill.

Lanie’s life takes an abrupt turn when her husband’s new job uproots her family from their Texas home and into a 3rd floor 2 bedroom apartment in Massachusetts. She is with her kids, three under the age of 4,  24/7. While visiting a nearby park one day she reconnects with a classmate from high school and this gives her at least one adult to share things with and keep her sane. Her husband is wrapped up in his work and their relationship has reached the phase where you just go through the days without any real firm connection beyond being parents. At the end of her rope she joins a gym and realizes she has dreams as well. She just needs to figure out what they are and then find space to place them in her life. But can her marriage survive her putting herself first even just for part of the day or week without losing everything else so important to her.

As a mother of four I could relate to Lanie’s story quite easily. Mom’s always put themselves last. Those days when the children are small and it is a triumph to just get a shower or go to the bathroom by yourself. Unlike Lanie, I worked full time when my children were growing up, so I was around adults for a least 8 hours of the day. Lanie heads to the gym for her “me time”. I used to escape to my sewing room, where I made the lion’s share of the clothes for my family, and let my creative juices flow.

The author gives us an entertaining and in places really funny look at family life. You know the day to day stuff most of our lives are filled with. It’s not rocket science but sometimes getting through days with toddlers it seems like rocket science would be easier. Three little boys can be tough, especially 3 boys under four years old. I did want to jump in the book a few times to tell her to put the youngest one down. He was almost a year old and not crawling or walking yet and I think that was because she carried him everywhere. He was like her security blanket. Funny, after some lifestyle adjustments near the end of the book the little guy starts walking and crawling all in one day

This was just the book I needed to read at this time. It brought back some fond memories, but even it, a book like this, my new trigger word appeared, “suicide”. It seems I just can’t escape that in anything I read these days. Thankfully it was only a mention and was followed by a moment that made me laugh. This book was recommended to me several years ago, long before my son took his life. It has been buried in my To-Be-Read stacks since then. Waiting for me to find the perfect time to read it. Well last Sunday was the perfect time. If you need a light read, this may be the one.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


I am giving away my hardcover copy!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
3 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End February 17, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my personal collection.

Oct 222016
 

more tales from subuebia large banner640

More Tales from Suburbia:
Yes, It Gets Even Crazier
by Brandi Haas

This is my first book from this author and I have not laughed so hard reading a book in a long time. The author gives us a great and hysterical look at anywhere suburbia.
~Texas Book-aholic

MoreTalesfromSuburbia

More Tales from Suburbia: Yes, It Gets Even Crazier
Parenting & Relationships/Humor
PageSpring Publishing (October 12, 2016)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939403360
E-Book ASIN: B01LWO33FF
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Synopsis

Life in the suburbs ain’t easy. Squeezing into those tiny chairs on the back-to-school night. Finding the beloved pet fish floating at the top of his bowl.  Planning a romantic evening –only to fall asleep on the couch with your honey.

Lucky for us, we’ve got Brandi Haas to make us laugh.  As the author of the popular blog “Tales from Suburbia,” Brandi tackles the big issues of our day—like whether to pay six bucks to valet park or search for a spot and walk ten blocks to the restaurant. Her stories about the daily absurdities of life will make you laugh out loud.

Heartfelt and seriously funny, More Tales from Suburbia: Yes, It Gets Even Crazier is like sharing a bottle of wine and conversation with your best girlfriend.

Excerpt

HALLMARK CARDS

I went to the local gift shop today in search of a very specific kind of card. I perused shelf after shelf of cards, but I just couldn’t find the sentiment I needed. Finally, a kindly sales lady came over.

“Can I help you find something, dear?” she said.

“Yes, I’m looking for a card for someone who has suffered recent weight-gain,” I told her.

“Oh! You’re looking for a congratulatory card for someone who is pregnant!” she said with delight in her eyes.

“No, not that kind of weight-gain; the kind that comes from a good, old-fashioned love of cheese and baked goods. You know, a card that says something like: Sorry you’re fat and your pants don’t fit anymore. Maybe one of those cards that plays music. Music makes everything better, and it might help to ease the blow of being told you’re fat.”

“Who are you planning on giving this to?” she asked with trepidation.

“It’s for me,” I explained. “I keep gaining and losing weight and I’m currently on the upswing, if you know what I mean. I need some motivation and some reassurance. And who is better at motivation and reassurance than Hallmark?

The sales lady gave me that all too familiar you-might-need-a-psychiatric-evaluation look but I saw a glimmer of sympathy in her eyes as well as she patted my shoulder and walked away.

Deep down I knew the answer I was looking for wasn’t at the gift shop, the same way I know the answer isn’t at the bottom of a half gallon of ice cream either. I guess what I am really looking for is balance. I want to be healthy and active and make choices that support those goals. I want to wear jeans with a size that has just one number. I want to wave to people and not have my arm jiggle.

But I also want to relax and enjoy a glass of wine and a piece of pie every now and then. I don’t want to worry about every single bite of food I put in my mouth. But I do. Every single bite. Should I be eating this? I earned this! This is healthy and that means I’m a good person. Oh well, I already messed up this morning with that donut, so the whole day is messed up, might as well eat my body weight in Cheetos. It should be simple, but for me it’s always been a roller coaster.

I know a lot of it is tied to my body image too. All it takes is a quick glance at the cover of Cosmo and I feel like I’m a failure. And now there are so many ad campaigns about “being real” that show women who don’t wear a size four but that just seems to beg the question: what is real and how can I be real? I want to be real and fit into my old jeans and eat cheesecake! Is that too much to ask?! But I can’t blame the media for my weight gain; I’m the one eating cheeseburgers like they might go extinct at any moment.

I guess the card I really need to send to myself should go something like this:
You’re beautiful no matter what your jean size. Don’t worry about anyone else but yourself. Eating a piece of cheesecake isn’t going to destroy your life, but neither will a good workout. Embrace the fact that you’re going to mess up, probably often, but kicking yourself when you’re down isn’t getting you anywhere.

Love,
Me

I bet there’s a few of us out there who need this card.

 Brandi Haas author photoAbout The Author 

Brandi Hass is a former high school English teacher. Born and raised in California, she now lives in Missouri with her husband, daughter and their dog. She is consistently inconsistent about her weight and age because, really, it’s no one’s business anyway. She sees humor in everything and began writing stories about her life as a way to share her insanity with the world. You can read Brandi’s Blog and connect with her at talesfromsuburbia.com or follow Tales From Suburbia on Facebook.

 
 

Purchase Links:

Amazon

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Tour Participants

October 15 – Island Confidential –INTERVIEW
October 16 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
October 17 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
October 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
October 19 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
October 20 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
October 21 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
October 22 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
October 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT  with Excerpt 
October 23 – Student of Opinions – REVIEW
October 24 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 312014
 

special guest blue

8d1651c88da06cbef7354210.L._V192465620_SX200_I am happy to welcome Jenna McCarthy to Escape With Dollycas today!!

Her new book I’ve Still Got It…I Just Can’t Remember Where I Put It: Awkwardly True Tales from the Far Side of Forty was released July 1 and it looks like a very funny read!!

9780425272534_large_I've_Still_Got_It...I_Just_Can't_Remember_Where_I_Put_ItI’ve Still Got It…I Just Can’t Remember Where I Put It: Awkwardly True Tales from the Far Side of Forty
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425272534
E-Book File Size: 1272 KB
ASIN: B00GSBWQ84
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Welcome to Middle Age! Please check your functioning internal thermostat and razor-sharp memory at the door and pour yourself a nice, stiff drink…

Jenna McCarthy might be forty-something, but she doesn’t feel forty-something. She certainly doesn’t look forty-something. (Actually she does, but she’s in denial so maybe don’t mention it?) And between complaining about how tired she is, trying to remember what she came in here for and wondering whether she drinks too much, she does not have time for a crisis.

She has, however, had time to crack the mysterious midlife code. She’s figured out how to tame her muffin top, keep the spark in her marriage and probably not die a fiery hoarder’s death. She’s learned the trick to looking ten years younger and the secret to feeling ten times happier (and it only cost $14.99 plus shipping and handling). And she’s discovered the one thing she will need to do for the rest of ever if she’s going to continue to refuse to “dress her age.”

Tackling everything from cosmetic surgery and financial panic to skinny jeans and the meaning of life, I’ve Still Got It… is a middle age manifesto filled with hilarious misadventures, humiliating confessions and occasional (hot) flashes of genius.

10 Tips for Surviving Middle Age
by Jenna McCarthy

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the words “middle age,” I immediately conjure images of pot bellies and sensible shoes and floral-print blouses. But forty is the new thirty! Or is fifty the new thirty? I’m pretty sure chard is the new kale. Anyway, whatever the saying is, ours is definitely not our mother’s midlife. (Imagine never having to envy your friends’ frozen foreheads or wonder if you’re too old to wear skinny jeans. We could just chain-smoke unfiltered Camels all day and watch soaps in our big old polyester Mrs. Roper dresses. How awesome would that be?) Today’s midlife can be a confusing minefield of mixes messages and ridiculous rules. Here’s how to navigate it:

Forget about running with bulls. You don’t really have to do this.Oh, you have to act like you want or plan to—by putting it on your Bucket List™, which apparently is a midlife requisite or rite of passage, but I’m pretty sure nobody ever checks those things. If pressed, you can always say you did it, and it was really f*cking scary/exhilarating/rewarding. Done.

Dress your age. According to the internet, this means anyone over forty should avoid shorts, cowboy boots, miniskirts, ripped jeans, sweats, sequins, zebra stripes and low-cut necklines. (*I can only assume the internet means all together because what the hell is left?)

Purge your house of magnifying mirrors. God is starting to take away your close-up vision for a reason, honey. Do not thwart Her efforts with this Tool of the Devil. Everything looks better now from a fuzzy distance, ideally softly-lit by candlelight and a slight buzz. Trust me on this.

If you hate your kids’ music, act like you love it. Bust that Macklemore all day, every day. The minute you deem something cool, it will be automatically branded “douche-y,” “lame” or both and removed from the rotation. Sweet silence! (Too bad our ears don’t go as quickly as our eyes.)

Don’t have an affair. Just don’t. It’s cliché and stupid and messy and expensive and let me remind you, would almost certainly necessitate getting naked in front of somebody totally new, which is a move best played only as a very-last resort.

Discover self-tanner. Picture yourself in a pair of unlined, sheer, skin-tight white pants. Sit with that image for a sec. Now mentally take them off and slip into a pair of sleek, perfectly-fitting black slacks. That’s what a nice fake tan does for your naked bod.

Announce your every intention. If you’re like me, fifty-seven times a day you march purposely into another room to do, retrieve or accomplish something ostensibly Very Important… only to find yourself having no idea what you came in there for. I have now started narrating my actions (“going to get milk… looking for the remote control… making sure I put the lube away…”). It’s that or move to a one-room studio apartment. Your call.

Quit complaining about how tired you are. It’s exhausting and nobody wants to hear it anymore. We’re all tired. Embrace it. Tired is the new black!

Spanx. I think this one is self-explanatory.

If you think you drink too much, you probably do. That’s not really a tip, sorry. Wait, what was I saying?

 

 About Jenna McCarthy

Jenna McCarthy is an internationally published writer, TED speaker, former radio personality and the author of several books including the brand new I’ve Still Got It, I Just Can’t Remember Where I Put It: Awkwardly True Tales from the Far Side of Forty. Her work has appeared in more than sixty magazines, on dozens of web sites and in several anthologies including the popular Chicken Soup series. (She doesn’t like to brag, but her TED talk on marriage currently has more than two million views.) Jenna likes it when you like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. You can read about the time she was escorted out of her office by a cop and see her in the bathtub by visiting www.jennamccarthy.com.

Thanks to the people at BERKLEY I have 1 COPY to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Jenna for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End August 14, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 312012
 

This is the last stop of this month long book tour.

The Aspen 2-Million Winner-Take-All
E-Book
File Size: 399 KB
Print Length: 281 pages
Publisher: Publish Green (May 10, 2012)

The Aspen 2Million WinnerTakeAll

Morgan loves living Aspen. He could never dream of living anywhere else.

He inherits a dilapidated duplex when his landlord dies and to be able to stay there and fix it up a little he has to sell half. This brings the lovely Risa into his life, and her little yapping dog too.

Morgan a self appointed life coach who uses golf to bring out the best in people travels a lot. When he arrives home after one of his trips Risa informs him her dog is missing. No one is more surprised than Morgan when the dog is found dead in the backyard. Risa blames him and sets in motion a million dollar lawsuit against Morgan for killing her prized pup.

Morgan turns to his friend a lawyer who tells him he doesn’t have a chance of winning the suit. He doesn’t have that kind of money so he comes up with three options:

1. To win in a winner take all golf tournament.
2. Discover a secret about Risa and blackmail her.
3. Make Risa fall in love with him.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The plot is a little far-fetched. Morgan’s friend is a terrible lawyer, Risa is a bit out there and Morgan lives a crazy life. Luke seems to be the only sane one in the bunch even his hair-brained helicopter ideas end up coming in handy.

All that being said this is quite a funny read.

No man’s life should be full of this much drama. All the people in his life look like movie stars or swimsuit models. Ex-girlfriends, a garage band, parties for what seemed like the entire town keep Morgan pretty busy. Add to that his job of flying around the U.S. trying turn rich grumpy men into something they aren’t using a few common sense rules and a round of golf you start to see how his life has reached this point.

For the life of me I couldn’t figure how why Morgan even liked Risa. She treated him just awful, had mood swings that could break your neck and he always had to watch for flying objects.

Then we come to this Winner Take All Golf Tournament.  I can’t reveal much without spoiling the story but the ending to me was pretty expected but it did have its moments of hilarity.

Golfers will get a kick out of this story. Anyone looking for a little stress relief will find this book easy to escape into for awhile for the humor of it all.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About This Author
John Morris lives in Aspen, Colorado, with his loving wife and two wonderful children. Having worked many of the same cowboy / construction / bartender / ski-patrol jobs as his fictional counterpart Morgan, he can vouch for how easy it is for a good-looking guy to get in trouble there.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Murder Wears Mittens (Seaside Knitters Society) by Sally Goldenbaum Get Your Copy Today!
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