WELCOME to the Small Book Blog! I am a voracious reader. I love losing myself in books and cannot wait to read myself into my next adventure. It is because of this love for books that I created this blog. I want to share my passion of books with you! I hope you enjoy my recommendations and reviews. My goal is that they will lead you to a new book, series or author, that you can fall in love with and recommend to others as well.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Hello & Happy Fall!

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Hello Dear Readers!

It has been a very long time since I posted but I have an excellent excuse- we had our 2nd child in April and, for those of you familiar with babies know, he just doesn’t feel sorry for me so I can get reading time included in our schedule! HAHA! I am slowly getting some reading time in though and hope to start posting reviews and recommendations soon.

In the meantime, my husband has decided that my beloved collection of books (and yes it is prolific) needs to be moved out of the baby’s room. On one hand, I wonder how empty the room will look (guess I’ll have to start a new collection of books for the kids from baby board books to Classics to Young Adult novels) since they are nestled snuggly in built in shelves. On the other hand, my new job is to imagine and design the bookshelves for my books! I’m in love with some of the ideas percolating in my mind and waiting to see what can actually be created in real life. I am enthusiastically hopping onto Pinterest and IKEA for ideas. Morphing those into something that will work with our Master bedroom space as well as other areas of the house for the inevitable books that just won’t quite fit on the shelves. Heaven knows I couldn’t possibly get rid of them! I might want to re-read a particular one or loan one to a friend. Luckily I have been blessed with a handy and creative husband who, so far, is intrigued by my ideas. Let’s cross our fingers! IKEA is a LONG drive from where I live.

Prior to April I was loving the J.R. Ward Bourbon Kings series. It’s a dynasty story that doesn’t focus on one set of characters for each book, but the author continues the story along as a mini series of sorts and you are brought into the folds of this old family and the saga drama of their lives. While I wait for book three to be released I am trying out Maya Banks’ A KGI Novel: Whispers in the Dark.

I wish everyone happy reading, hoping you get more time to unwind with a book than I do, and enjoy this beautiful fall season.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Weis & Astor's Blackwell

Blackwell is a gothic horror novel that lovers of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Stephen King, and gothic literature will enjoy. The novel is written by two authors, Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor, but you never get a split feel throughout the novel (much like Christina Lauren has been able to achieve). The writing is well done, the language fitting the time period the authors locates us in, and author ploys are placed successfully without dragging the reader down and inundating them with too much side information.

The novel follows the intertwining lives of O’Connor & Blackwell from the day they meet at Harvard on. Blackwell comes from a privileged and aristocratic upbringing. He is morally flawed individual but an intriguing character that the reader wants to follow. Is he going to lead a life with love in it or follow a darker path? The writer seems to really want to show the readers that you can question the soul and try to create “workarounds” to stay pure or virginal as well as how we handle life experiences. There is power in love and ultimately the choices you make will lead you on the path of love and its magic of healing or if you let too much darkness seep into your life down the path of damnation.

There is a large focus on the religion of Voodoo. I really enjoyed these segments of the novel because Voodoo is not often used in literature. It especially helped create a spiritual and karmically bound story line for the second half of the novel. The book cover fits the novel brilliantly and I loved it.

Blackwell is a dark novel that will give some readers satisfaction and leave some saying, “Well written, but the story was horrifying and depressing.”   

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christine Brae's In This Life

In this Life by Christine Brae is a bittersweet romance about listening to your heart and accepting where life leads you. This novel follows a woman who finds herself in love with two different men who are immensely important in her life. As Anna struggles to figure out what to do in her life and which man is her fate and destiny, the reader is drawn in to the joy, questions of one’s faith and struggles life hands the characters and what “we” do to survive and embrace them.

The author has a clear voice and has a talent for building the chemistry between the three main characters. While the story line is somewhat predictable in that you can guess where the author is leading you, it is worth the journey of getting there and not knowing exactly how you will be taken there. I found myself tearing up a few times during various scenes with the characters. The author does a good job with the emotion and imagery so you are there with the characters as they struggle with being honest with themselves and questioning if there is something greater out there for them or is this what God’s plan is…

I would recommend this novel to lovers of Nicholas Sparks, anyone wanting a more realistic romantic story to immerse them in, or Christian fiction readers who also like a little spice in their life. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Paula Hawkins' The Girl On the Train

The Girl on the Train

Most suspense thrillers have the reader following the P.O.V. of the killer or victim or investigators of the crime (disappearance, murder, attacks, etc.). This novel is unique in that the story is told by a barely functioning alcoholic girl who is trying to figure out what to do with her life, if she should even try to dry out, but who happens to see something that only in her every day commute and imaginings on a train is out of the ordinary. Consequently, it is this couple of minutes that puts her in the side lines of a criminal mystery and by her own sheer will she weaves in and out of the mystery of what happened to the girl she had been watching from the train. The reader gets to try to figure out what happened based on the little access that's available to this character through her insertion into the investigation (and you kinda want to smack her half the time for running headlong into it), watching the media, and her drunken memories and imaginings. 
The thing I appreciated about this novel is it toggles between three women telling you bits of the story- always their morning and their evenings of various days. All three women are very different and at different places in life but are all connected by one street of houses near the train tracks. The author has a great talent for her characters and I think the breaks between them, for me at least, was brilliant because if the story was solely told by one I would have issues wanting to finish the story.

I started the novel with the general assumption that the focus and end goal is more of the “whodunit” and unraveling the mystery with “the girl on the train” and her half hazard investigation into what happened to Megan. However, having finished reading this novel I feel like the main goal is not even the story of what happened to Megan but how to redeem the main story teller- the girl on the train- Rachel. If I were to reread this novel a second time knowing this, I think I would read the book completely different and potentially try to enjoy or connect with the characters more. As it was, it was difficult for me to do that due to personality flaws that are turnoffs to me on a personal level, especially the uber narcissistic personalities. With that in mind, the author did a great job with her novel and creating a uniquely plotted out story with characters you have an emotional response to while getting into the action of the story.

As an avid reader who likes to think who she might recommend books to, I would definitely recommend this book (as so many others already do) to friends who enjoyed Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (as well as her other novels) and/or Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Becky Banks Newest Novel Available November 11, 2016! Wahoo!

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Happy Halloween and All Hallows Eve weekend my dear readers! I hope you all have a safe holiday as well as some spooky reading if it calls to you. Currently I am reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins for my Halloween treat.

I also wanted to let readers know our beloved author Becky Banks just completed her newest novel and it is now available for pre-order! The novel is called Serendipity of Fate and officially launches on Veteran's Day, November 11, 2016. Wahoo! I can't wait! Hop over to Banks' official website for the synopsis and a sneak peek at the first three chapters to wet your appetites while you wait.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Cupcakes & Book Scavenger Hunt!

Hello Dear Readers,

Ready to find new authors and to win prizes? I'm one of the sponsors of the Night Owl Reviews Cupcakes & Books Scavenger Hunt. (June 16 - July 7)

During this event I'm going to help you find some great new books and authors to read. Make sure to check my featured title out along the way.

The grand prize is a $100 Amazon Gift Card.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Jennifer Weiner's Little Earthquakes

I found Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner sitting on my To Read bookshelf. Judging by the dust on it, it had been there for years. I received it as a gift before my little dragon was born and really had no interest in ever reading it. When I came across it this last month I decided to give it a try.

This novel follows 4 new moms around during the new journey of motherhood- from late in their pregnancies (when their paths all cross) into the first year of motherhood. This was a book that could have been just depressing but the author did a really good job trying to keep the story, the relationships and the characters hopeful and positive. If I didn't have a child (or some other close link to kids) I wouldn't have enjoyed it much at all. It would have been whiney and frustrating. Only new parents can really appreciate the trials of early parenthood and the stress and total life changing things that can happen during this time of their lives.

I would also throw out there that if you are a young mother wanting to read this- do so while pregnant or after your baby’s first year. One of the characters stories, if you were a new parent, is every parent’s nightmare so why add the stress to your life.

I love that the author showed us how it really does take a circle of other moms and family (regardless if they are blood or chosen) to raise your child and keep us mama's sane, safe, healthy and happy. The little earthquakes that erupt into our lives are life changers, totally worth it, but not easy at all. LOL!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happy Easter Book... oops Egg Hunt!

It’s almost the weekend! Wahoo! I love the weekends because there are usually brief moments of time I can squeeze in some extra reading and look at my “to-read” shelf to decide what my mood is and what to read next. Lately, I have been voraciously reading Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series and loving it. I am on book 6. The sad thing is I only have a few books to go before I am caught up with the author and will have to “hurry up and wait”. I would like to say that slows down my reading pace so I can savor what is available but it doesn’t usually change a thing. I reviewed book one of this series previously and am more in love with this series and characters 6 books in so it is a definite recommend for people wanting some kick-ass adventure with paranormal characters (Werewolves, Fae, Walkers, Vampires) and sexy PG-13-ish romance.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter weekend and may your book and egg hunts be successful!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

I LOVE Finding New Book Stores!

Usborne Books & More, or UBAM, is a new (to me) online book vendor/store that I was recently introduced to.  It is set up similar to Mary Kay, doTERRA, Tupperware, in that you will have the most fun and success finding a UBAM consultant who can set up an online or in-person book party.  However, you can also go to their website, sign in and order books that way. UBAM has a huge selection of fictional, non-fictional, and interactive (in SO many fun and creative ways) books from age zero to teenagers in more categories than I care to list here but LOVE. You will have to check it out. My little dragon is 2 ½ and I was very excited to see how well organized UBAM is with reading and age levels of books set out for kids and parents to understand. I have found a few unique books I cannot wait to have my little dragon interact with or read. I also have a wish list that continues to grow…

Shine a Light book is the first unique book I have purchased and as you are reading the book, you use a flashlight behind the page you are reading to make hidden pictures appear. So FUN! I also love the Muddle & Match books. It is as if someone took a pile of story boards, created the main character, chopped it into thirds and bound it as a book. There are endless possibilities in the character your child creates and stories that correspond to the new character page/story you have muddled together.

My dear friend Megan, who is the instigator getting this bibliophile into all kinds of trouble (at least it is good trouble, LOL!), introduced me to UBAM. She is available and wants to share her love and knowledge of books with you. Visit her website, set up an online party or have an in-person party so you can delight in seeing and touching the books on your ever growing wish list. Travel will be limited to areas of Oregon so please contact Megan directly to discuss your party.