Tuesday, June 28, 2016

In Twenty Years by NYT Bestselling Author, Allison Winn Scotch + Giveaway

Title:  In Twenty Years
Author: Allison Winn Scotch
Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
Release Date:  July 1, 2016
Genre: Literary Fiction / Contemporary

Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday. But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.

Monday, June 27, 2016

No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer - So true!

"She glanced up at him, and got her first true glimpse of the man Malachi had become.  Oh my. " (82)

Title:  No Other Will Do
Series: Ladies of Harper Station, Book 1
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Publisher:  Bethany House
Release Date:  June 7, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction

Men are optional. That was the credo Emma Chandler’s suffragette aunts taught her and why she started a successful women’s colony in Harper’s Station, Texas. But when an unknown assailant tries repeatedly to drive the women out, Emma is forced to admit they might need a man after all. One who can fight. And there is only one she trusts enough to ask.

Malachi Shaw has finally earned the respect he's always craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma’s telegram arrives, he leaves his job behind and rushes to Harper's Station to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she’s not a girl any longer. She’s a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn’t deserve.

As the danger intensifies, old feelings grow and deepen, but Emma and Mal will need more than love to survive.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

COTT: Clash of the Titans!! Summer Read: Come Vote for your Fave! + Giveaway

Welcome to summer!

Scroll through these FIVE new reads and vote below 
for which you'd pick up first to take to the poolside.
It'll be a tough choice! But somebody's gotta do it. May as well be you!

Finders Keepers by Sarah Monzon

Summer Arnet will go anywhere to capture the perfect shot that will get her marine photography noticed by the prestigious nature magazine, Our World—even diving in waters haunted by great white sharks. When a treasure hunter with a ladies’-man reputation approaches her about a sunken ship at one of her dive locations, it may be the chance she’s been looking for to launch her career…if his charming smile doesn’t derail her first.

Resilience by L.R. Burkard

In this spell-binding sequel to the post-apocalyptic thriller PULSE, L.R.Burkard takes readers into a landscape where teens shoulder rifles instead of school books, and where survival might mean becoming your own worst enemy.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard + Giveaway

Title:  Beyond the Rising Tide
Author: Sarah Beard
Publisher:  Sweetwater Books
Release Date:  June 14, 2016
Genre: Young Adult

Kai met Avery only once--in the moment he died saving her life. Now when he's not using his new healing powers to help people, he watches helplessly as Avery's life is unraveled by his death. To help her, he risks everything by breaking the rules, dangerously blurring the barriers between life and death.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Book(ish) Box by Appraising Pages June 2016 Unboxing Reveal + Review

So, as I've said yesterday, I'm catching up with my box subscription reveals.  Today, it's The Book(ish) Box by Appraising Pages' turn.  If you remember, last month's theme was Harry Potter, and boy was it FANTASTIC!  Here's a little reminder of it:

Isn't it gorgeous? I've almost used every one of those items (still waiting for the perfect moment for the bath salts)!  So, after last month's spectacular first box, what do you think we have in store for June? 

Here's a little group shot for this month's theme, Classic Novels:

Author Q&A with Heather Blanton, author of A Promise in Defiance

Today, I'm thrilled to have Heather Blanton on my blog to answer a few questions! Her newest novel, A Promise in Defiance released just two days ago on June 22nd.  Congratulations Heather!

My first encounter with Heather was on her Ladies in Defiance website which have some great posts, including reviews, guest posts, author spotlights and giveaways.  It's such a pleasure to have this talented author here, so I'll get right to it!

JC:  Just Commonly
 Heather Blanton

JC: Give us 5-word spiel on A Promise in Defiance.

Choices have consequences…even for the Redeemed.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Uppercase Box June 2016 Unboxing Reveal + Review

Hello everyone! I'm just catching up with all my wonderful mail haul of my beloved book box subscriptions! First to arrive, Uppercase. It arrived in its usual fashion, USPS priority mail bubble wrap.  I was too excited, so I forgot to take a pic.

For those who just joined us in this monthly box frenzy on Just Commonly, Uppercase is a monthly Young Adult (YA) book box subscription. Each month, a brand new, newly released YA novel arrives with 3-5 high quality bookish items. Oh, how could I forget, each book is either signed by the author or includes a signed bookplate. How cool is that?  This plan, the "Expert" plan, is $23/month + shipping & handling.  There is also the "Exclusive Book" plan for $17/month, which only covers the signed YA novel.

OK, with the basics down, here's the first glimpse of everything in the box/bag.

Want to know what I think? Scroll on down!

He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

Title:  He Will Be My Ruin
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publisher:  Atria Books
Release Date:  February 2, 2016
Genre: Psychological Thriller / Contemporary Suspense

A woman who almost had it all . . .

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron

Title:  The Ringmaster's Wife
Author: Kristy Cambron
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date:  June 7, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction

An ounce of courage.
A leap of faith.

Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life---one that's reimagined from what they might have become.

In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confines of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World's Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny---a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.

A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her arranged marriage. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.
When Rosamund's path crosses with Mable's and the Ringlings' glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, choosing instead the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers' circus.

A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster's Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the Greatest Show on Earth!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mended Heart Series: Jilted by Varina Denman + 2 Giveaways

Title:  Jilted
Series: Mended Heart, Book 3
Author: Varina Denman
Publisher: David C. Cook
Release Date:  June 1, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction

Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago.

Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and a town that must---once and for all---leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Groovy Lab in a Box - What's the Matter: A Lesson in Ice Unboxing!

Your first question is, "What is Groovy Lab in a Box?"

Here's a brief of what Groovy Lab in a Box is: 

Groovy Lab in a Box, the award-winning educational kits for kids ages eight and up that teach about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), announced a new partnership with Popular Mechanics. 
The first Popular Mechanics box to launch is “What’s the Matter,” a project about the scientific properties of ice. It is featured in the June issue of Popular Mechanics (on newsstands now). 
"The “What’s the Matter” kit guides kids through an investigation of the states of matter (gas, liquid and solid) and teaches them about the properties of ice. Kids are tasked to design the lighting of a “groovy” ice hotel and build a portable lantern out of ice. Each Groovy Lab in a Box kit comes with an engineering challenge and all the materials needed to complete the project, including a lab notebook where kids can read about the task and related STEM topic and record their findings.
Now, how cool is that?!! I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to review this box. So, let's get started!

Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan + Giveaway

Title:  Sleepless in Manhattan
Series: From Manhattan With Love, Book #1
Author: Sarah Morgan
Publisher:  HQN Books
Release Date:  May 31, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Urban Fiction/ Romance

USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan introduces From Manhattan with Love, a sparkling new trilogy about three best friends embracing life—and love—in New York 

Cool, calm and competent, events planner Paige Walker loves a challenge. After a childhood spent in and out of hospitals, she's now determined to prove herself—and where better to take the world by storm than Manhattan? But when Paige loses the job she loves, she must face her biggest challenge of all—going it alone. 

Except launching her own events company is nothing compared to hiding her outrageous crush on Jake Romano—her brother's best friend, New York's most in-demand date and the only man to break her heart. When Jake offers Paige's fledgling company a big chance, their still-sizzling chemistry starts giving her sleepless nights. But can she convince the man who trusts no one to take a chance on forever?

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Hidden Agendas: Dropping the Masks that Keep Us Apart by Steve Brown

Title:  Hidden Agendas: Dropping the Masks that Keep Us Apart
Author: Steve Brown
Publisher: New Growth Press
Release Date:  May 16, 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction: Christian Living

We like to pretend that hidden agendas are just for self-important bosses or egotistical politicians, but we all have them. Deep down, we all have a secret plan for getting from where we are to where we want to be, even if we refuse to admit it to ourselves.

And if our hidden agendas aren't enough, we wear masks to obscure the truth even more. We put on these masks---like religion, appearance, power, politics, or protection---to drive our agendas. But all of this leaves us feeling phony, ashamed, guilty, and afraid. It's killing us and hurting those we love. But for most of us, it will be a cold day in a hot place before we will be fully honest with anyone else.

There is so much more to life than hiding, pretending, and never being loved. In fact, there is already one person who sees behind the masks we wear and the hidden agendas that drive us. It does no good to tell God that you're sick when you're drunk, that you love him when you don't, or that you didn't steal and eat an apple (with apple juice dripping down your chin). God always recognizes and loves the "you" behind the mask.