The Effects of our Actions | Sold On A Monday By Kristina McMorris

Title: Sold on a Monday
By: Kristina McMorris
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 352
Release Date: August 28th, 2018
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Landmark

Summary from Goodreads: From New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes another unforgettable novel inspired by a stunning piece of history.


The scrawled sign, peddling young siblings on a farmhouse porch, captures the desperation sweeping the country in 1931. It’s an era of breadlines, bank runs, and impossible choices. 

For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family’s dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when the image leads to his big break, the consequences are devastating in ways he never imagined.

Haunted by secrets of her own, secretary Lillian Palmer sees more in the picture than a good story and is soon drawn into the fray. Together, the two set out to right a wrongdoing and mend a fractured family, at the risk of everything they value. 

Inspired by an actual newspaper photo that stunned readers across the nation, this touching novel explores the tale within the frame and behind the lens—a journey of ambition, love, and the far-reaching effects of our actions. 

* * * * * * * * * *

“A vivid and original story... McMorris brilliantly chronicles the way in which a moment's fateful choice can result in a lifetime of harrowing consequences. A masterpiece that poignantly echoes universal themes of loss and redemption, Sold on a Monday is both heartfelt and heartbreaking." 

—Pam Jenoff, 
New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan's Tale

Review: Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and to know that this book has some basis in reality, is truly heart wrenching. It starts with a photo, one that has been seen millions of times over the years. This story was so wonderfully written that I had a heard time putting it down. Amidst the great depression, parents did what they could to feed their families, even selling them so they could live. The book dives deeper into the lives of these people and the people around them. 

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #259

Guess what?... It's Monday... Again... I feel like we are always here. It's always Monday and you are always reading my blog. Of course, you are. This is the day we lay out everything for the week. Monday!

Its been a really hot week, but a good one. My husband is doing great at his new job. He transferred stores to one that it way closer to home. He was driving an hour to and hour and a half each way, now its an eight minute drive across the Oregon City bridge. Big difference. The boys love having him at home and so do I. It's amazing.

This week I'm planning on reading The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. My sister keeps raving about this book and now they are making a movie out of it, so it must be special. I will read it and report back to you. Let me know your thoughts on this book in the comments bellow.

Last weeks book You by Caroline Kepnes was crazy good. It was creepy and written from the stalkers point of view. It was unlike anything I have ever read. A total must for anyone with a twisted mind like me.

Anyway, on to this weeks menu. Enjoy!






Leftovers Night

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time By Mark Haddon

Title: The curious incident of the dog in the night-time
By: Mark Haddon
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 226
Release Date: May 18th, 2004
Publisher: Vintage

Summary from Goodreads: Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor's dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favorite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

Review: I went into this book not realizing that the main charterer, the one who is telling the story, is autistic. It made me love the book that much more. We follow Christopher as he tries to navigate a world made for people who think differently than he does. Wellington the dog is killed and it spins Christopher's world into a whirlwind of emotions and thrilling adventures. I loved this book, and not just because I am the mother of an autistic son, but because the author was really able to convey the difficulties an autistic child faces while giving the reader an amazing story to sink into.

The Commuter with Liam Neeson

Title: The Commuter 
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: January 2018
Rating: 6.3/10
Cast: Liam Neeson

Summary from IMDB: An Insurance Salesman/Ex-Cop is caught up in a criminal conspiracy during his daily commute home.

Review: OK, I love Liam Neeson. It's not just because my youngest son's name is Liam, but because he is such a bad ass. This movie was crazy. At first, I was a little unsure about the premise. A guy on the commuter train is approached by a total stranger and told that someone on the train doesn't belong and if he finds out who it is, he gets 100 grand cash. Weird... but it turned out so good. Liam Neeson can do no wrong.

I'm going to give this movie a 4 out of 5 stars, just because the beginning of the movie was a little hokey.

It’s time to live your life unfiltered | Unfiltered by Lily Collins

Title: Unfiltered 
By: Lily Collins
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 228
Release Date: March 17th, 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins

Summary from Goodreads: In this groundbreaking debut essay collection, featuring never-before-seen photos, actress Lily Collins—star of Mortal Instruments and the upcoming Rules Don’t Apply—is opening a poignant, honest conversation about the things young women struggle with: body image, self-confidence, relationships, family, dating, and so much more.

For the first time ever, Lily shares her life and her own deepest secrets, underlining that every single one of us experiences pain and heartbreak. We all understand what it’s like to live in the light and in the dark. For Lily, it’s about making it through to the other side, where you love what you see in the mirror and where you embrace yourself just as you are. She's learned that all it takes is one person standing up and saying something for everyone else to realize they’re not alone.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Lily’s honest voice will inspire you to be who you are and say what you feel. It’s time to claim your voice! It’s time to live your life unfiltered.

Review: As I was reading this book, there was a picture of Lily and her father. I said to myself, "That man looks familiar." Oh yes, turns out Lily's dad is the one and only Phil Collins. His music had a big part of my life, but that, of course, has nothing to do with this book review. It is only a tasty little tidbit. 

It's always interesting to see how the other half lives. The rich and the famous. We watch them through a looking glass. Their lives seem so perfect and amazing. We never see the dirty side. The deep dark secrets that really make these people who they are. Turns out Lily Collins is more than just the girl with the amazing eye brows, she has an eating disorder.

This book takes us through her struggles, early life and how she overcame her eating disorder to become a stronger person. A quick read with a real story to tell.

What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #258

Welcome back to Monday! Boy, has it been a week. I read the book that I wanted to and then some. My husband started a new job and the world is looking amazing. It seems like things are starting to fall into place, but I don't want to jinx it, so I'm not going to talk about it.

Nothing happened in writing land this week. Its a little disappointing, but with everything that has happened, I will take what little wins I can get. Oh well, maybe this week will be better.

The book of the week is You by Caroline Kepnes. I saw a preview for a TV show based on this book that is coming out in September and it was sooo creepy. Now I have to read this book to find out how creepy it really is. 

There are also some great reviews coming this week and I hope you didn't miss the apple crisp recipe I posted a few days ago. It was delicious.

Enjoy this weeks menu and read, I know I will.







Leftovers Night

5 Books for an Orange Mood | Summer Reading Challenge

I've been reading a lot of books lately from my TBR pile for my summer reading bingo card. Turns out, five of the books I've finished in the last two weeks have orange covers which happens to be my favorite color. Strange, but I like it.

Here is your challenge this month... Read 5 books with your favorite color on the cover. It doesn't matter what it is. Share your list with me in the comments. I'd love to know what books you picked. Here are mine:

To Kill A Mockingbird: Which I keep saying Mockingjay like I was in the Hunger Games or something. I never read this book in highschool. I was homeschooled and to tell you the truth, whatever I wanted to read was acceptable as long as I was reading. So mostly I read about american indians, but that has nothing to do with this awesome book. Loved it! Gave it four stars.

* * * *

Orange is the New Black: I haven't watched the show. I'm wondering now how close it really is to the awesome, crazy insight into a women's prison. I didn't think I would like this book because I'm not a huge fan of memoirs, but this was a really fun read. Totally gave this book five stars.

* * * * *

Tiny Beautiful Things: I loved Cheryl Strayed's book Wild. Not a big fan of this one. Turns out it is a collection of letters people have written the author about their issues and how Strayed answered them. There are a few short stories mixed in, but there really wasn't much to hold on to as far as stories go. I wasn't impressed, but its not my cup of tea. This one got three stars and a DNF from me.

* * *

The Perfect Weapon: I'm a big fan of everything Star Wars, but wasn't a big fan of this book. Good thing it was a short story. About 60 pages. Delilah S. Dawson wrote another Star War book that I loved, Phasma, so I thought this would e a great transition to another story. I just couldn't get into it. Maybe I wasn't in the mood. Who knows. I did finish it, however. Gave it three stars.

* * *

Everless: There are some weird blood drinking people that I can only describe as weird vampire like people who can live forever as long as they steal the life from other people. Loved it! I guess I'm a vampire girl through and through. Couldn't put this book down and finished it in one day despite its 362 pages. Don't go to Everless people, its a bad idea... but oh so good. This on got five stars from me.

* * * * *

Ok, there is your summer reading challenge. Now get out there and read!

Hunted By Kenny G | Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Title: Silver Linings Playbook
By: Matthew Quick
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 289
Release Date: October 16th, 2012
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux 

Summary from Goodreads: Meet Pat. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending for him—the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent time in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat's now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he's being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he's being hunted by Kenny G!

In this enchanting novel, Matthew Quick takes us inside Pat's mind, showing us the world from his distorted yet endearing perspective. As the award-winning novelist Justin Cronin put it: "Tender, soulful, hilarious, and true, The Silver Linings Playbook is a wonderful debut."

Review: I seriously thought this book was about hokey, boy was I wrong. This book was a really nice surprise. Yes, it had football elements, but it was more about mental illness and how different people cope with loss and stress. I really enjoyed it, which is strange because I don't normally like the contemporary genre. Lately though, books like this have been changing my mind. 

If you know of another book like this, let me know. I'm always looking for something new and read worthy.

Women's Winter Is Coming

There is a phenomenon that happens ever summer. The cold of Women's Winter is upon us. When the AC kicks in and even though its 100 degrees outside, you are wearing long pants, boots and a sweater in the office. It happens every year. 

A friend of mine from work sent me this youtube link that is absolutely hilarious. It fits us so well. Especially since I've been listening to the women at work complain about how cold it is in the office and since I'm the only person who knows how to push the up button on the thermostat, I've been unanimously elected to be the office weather woman. Of course, its hotter in the front by the windows than it is in the back under the AC vents, so i'm sweltering while everyone else is bundled up. At least I have a view... Of the back side of some trees and the trash cans...   

Huffington Post shared this epic Collage Humor video about Women's Winter. It is the greatest thing you will see today. Make sure you watch it, and if you want to check out the original post from Huffington, Click Here!

As you can see, you are not the only woman who has to deal with the cold during summer. If this is you, leave me a comment below. 

Apple Crisp and Everless

Sundays are always family day. Its really the only day during the week where we are all together. My husband and I have different days off during the week and there is never enough time in the evening to appreciate the closeness of family. Dinner must be done. Baths taken and teeth brushed. Its over before its began.

The one thing my husband and I loved to do is cook and bake together. We had a bag of apples that were on the verge of being thrown away. I hate letting things go to waist, but there were just too many apples for the two of us to eat.

Of course, my husband's sweet tooth did all the thinking and before I knew it, we were studying the ingredients recipe for apple crisp.

This was the best apple crisp recipe I have ever had. So sweet and delicious. It was simple to make and came out perfect the first time we tried it. WIN!

7-8 large apples
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Cups Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
2/3 Cup Melted Butter

How to Make:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Peel and slice apples. Place them in an ungreased 13x9 inch baking dish.
3. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle over apples.
4. Combine remaining cinnamon, brown sugar, eggs, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix until they resemble course crumbs. Sprinkle over apples.
5. Pour melted butter over the top.
6. Bake 45-55 minutes or until lightly browned and apples are tender.

Serve warm with ice cream, if desired. 

If you are looking for a good book to compliment your delicious apple crisp. Check out Everless by Sara Holland. I'm pretty sure these people are a kind of vampire who drink blood to live longer. I'm really enjoying this read.

Goodreads: In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #257

Is it Monday already? I can't believe how fast this summer is going. It's only 7 more weeks until the kinds go back to school and I finally have my house to myself. That's right. My youngest is going to kindergarten this year. Freedom!

Holy COW... Its been hot out. In the 90's all week. Not my cup of tea. I'm more of an upper 70's kind of girl. Maybe low 80's, but not this sweltering, sweat inducing, heatstroke pushing crap that we are calling summer. I hate summer. It's hot.

Despite the heat, I did manage to write another large chunk of my new manuscript. It's coming along nicely. I would say I'm probably 80% of the way done with the first draft. After this one is done, I've finally come up with a concept for the third book in the Hunter Saga. Its been a while, but I'm back.

This weeks read is going to be Everless by Sara Holland. It's the last book I need to read for my book bingo the library is doing. I can't wait to finish it. Check it out on Goodreads here. This book sounds exciting.







Leftovers Night

Low Chicago | A Wild Card Novel edited by George R.R. Martin

Title: Low Chicago
By: Multiple Authors
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 352
Release Date: June 12th, 2018
Publisher: Tor Books

Summary from Goodreads: In George R. R. Martin's latest Wild Cards adventure, a gang of criminals are scattered across time and threaten the stability of the world

Perfect for current fans and new readers alike, Low Chicago is an all-new time travel adventure that leads to the criminal underworld of 1920s Chicago, featuring a fresh cast of characters from the Wild Cards universe.

Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin, Low Chicago features the writing talents of Saladin Ahmed, Paul Cornell, Marko Kloos, John Jos. Miller, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Christopher Rowe, and Melinda M. Snodgrass.

Now in development for TV: Rights to develop Wild Cards have been acquired by Universal Cable Productions, the team behind The Magicians and Mr. Robot, with the co-editor of Wild Cards, Melinda Snodgrass, as executive producer.

Review: Its kinda fun to read a book with many different authors writing about the same thing. It's like fan fiction, but so much better. Each story was unique, with its own take on the same world. Even though I haven't read any of the other books in this series, I was able to jump right in without any problem with the world building. I'm excited to start the series from the beginning.