Fake it Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley

A reality star and a cupcake-baking football player pretend to be a couple in order to save his bakery in this sweet and sexy romance from Jamie Wesley, Fake It Till You Bake It.

A little bit of everything in this one. Romance, Reality television, sports, pretend relationships, and more.

Jada is stinging after turning down a proposal on that show that you are supposed to say yes to. Let’s just say she is now the villain in the tale. Time to go home and hide. Instead, she finds herself working at a cupcake bakery for a pro football player, Donovan.

They are in no way romantically involved. Far from it. But when the press finds her and assumes they are an item, they just go with it. It will help her reputation and promote his bakery.

Faking something has a nasty little habit of becoming reality. Sparks will fly!

NetGalley/  June 21st, 2022 by St. Martin’s Griffin


WISH YOU WERE HERE by Jodi Picoult

Wish You Were Here

Diana is making a name for herself in the art world. She has her life planned and is on track to be married by thirty, have kids, move to the burbs and she isn’t even engaged! Her boyfriend, Finn, is busy being a surgical resident in New York City.

Days before her birthday they will leave for a vacation to the Galapagos. Everything is moving along fine.

But the night before they leave, Finn tells her he can’t go. There is some type of highly contagious virus sweeping through the country and he can’t leave. He wants her to go. She wants to stay but in the end she goes.

On arrival, the island is shut down. Quarantine. With no internet, phone service or mail service, she is completely alone. Her only link to Finn is an occasional email and she writes on postcards she found in her apartment on the island. 

She makes friends with a local teenage girl and ends up making friends with the entire family and she is awfully attracted to the girls father, Gabriel. Alone, she is looking at every choice she has made and wondering if when she returns she will still be the same.

There isn’t a lot I can say about the rest without spoiling all of your fun. I can say this is a beautiful, timely, and heartbreaking story of love, resilience, and adapting to overcome your circumstances.

I cried throughout the book and I think I needed that.

Well Done!

NetGalley/November 30th, 2021  Ballentine

What You Wish For by KATHERINE CENTER

What You Wish For

Remember Things You Lose in a Fire last year? Well, Katherine Center is back and has once again knocked it out of the park.

There are many people who can tell a story well. There are not many people who can tell a story so well you feel as if you know the characters personally and are rooting for them all. One thing I love about her stories is they are everyday people living lives full of problems, insecurities, losses, and joy. You will cry, you will laugh and you will come away having learned more than one valuable lesson!

So let’s talk about who is who and what is what!

Sam Casey has had a hard road to travel. With help from the kind family who own the school where she is a Librarian, she is learning to embrace joy and kindness where she can.  She loves the school and the children and with Max as her boss and her landlord, she feels she has a sort of family.

But life has a funny way of reminding us we aren’t really in control of anything when Max drops dead at his 60th birthday party. Leaving his wife and friends devastated.

Obviously, they have to have a new principal, but never in any part of Sam’s mind did she think she would know him. Her crush from her former school. He was the fun teacher and she was not his type. Assumptions there!

The Duncan who shows up, however, is not her Duncan. This guy is in a three-piece suit instead of the flamingo pants Sam remembers. And he doesn’t seem to know who she is.

His main goal seems to be to turn her beloved school into a drab, gray prison for children. No fun, no joy, no field trips!! But Sam isn’t the mousey teacher she was before. Now she is actively seeking to take this guy out. But in doing so, she lets him in. And she finds out she has judged him too quickly and too harshly.

Will we find out who the bad guy really is? Will Duncan finally notice her? And more importantly, will he run when he finds out her secrets? Or will she run when she discovers his?

Very Well Done! Highly Recommend!

NetGalley/ July 14th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, Momma! I Give You a Grandchild!

Today is my Momma’s birthday! Yes, the one I tell tales about. But this is a good tale.

I never know what to get her. She has everything, However, this one time, I gave her the gift of life.

I was pregnant and ready to have this mess over with. Momma had come to stay with me as I didn’t know nothing about having no babies. On June 6th I woke my husband up to tell him the bed had sprung a leak. It was a water bed. Turns out it had not. I had sprung a leak.

We got ourselves together and went to the hospital. A Catholic hospital. That is important because I was born in a Catholic hospital and my momma was still carrying a grudge against them because they told her that if she had complications their first priority was to save the baby. It was my first baby so I didn’t want to make a fuss so for 36 hours I screamed and cried and begged them to just kill me. Finally, my Momma spoke up and told them to get that baby out NOW! She threatened to take me to a real hospital. Finally, on her birthday, June 8th, they got that baby out! Happy Birthday Momma, here’s a baby.

I don’t know what I would have done without her. For months I was miserable. I loved my son but had no idea what to do with him. Thank you, Momma, for that and so much more. As for the said baby, he gave me my first grandchild. And don’t tell anyone, but he really is my favorite!

Enjoy and be safe!

xx P

HELLO JUNE! CAN WE COME OUT NOW?

I love it when a month begins on a Monday! All orderly and stuff. And the sun is shining and the pool is sparkling like diamonds. But the lawn guys are here so the allergy fairy is locking the doors and windows.

Wow, what a past few days we have had. It’s hard to believe this is the country my relatives fought for. Even though all of them were slave owners and relatively horrid people, I would have thought by now we would have all learned we aren’t “special”. That every human being is precious and worth protecting.

But this is what happens when you elect crooks. They lie, cheat, steal, and then like the psychopathic narcissists that they are they toss verbal and real grenades and then run away. It’s not just the senseless killing of people, it’s also the economy, the virus, the total lack of empathy in our orange man and his posse. We are fed up. We need an adult in charge.

OU Boy and I went to the OKC protests yesterday and there were rules. The organizers had a bull horn and you better not step out of line. When they left, the people on the fringe, who are always looking for a reason to act a fool, came in and acted a fool.

So take a breath and I’ll tell you a tale!

I received a text from my baby sister the other day. It simply said, “Your mother is a hot mess”. She’s “my” mother now. So I had to get the dirt. Turns out Momma asked her if she would shave her legs for her. Sister said, “NO, that is where I draw the line!”. Sidenote: That is nowhere near where I draw the line. So Momma proceeded to plop her tiny hiney on the edge of the tub to shave her own legs. First, she cut up her leg then slid off the tub onto the floor making her ribs hurt. Mind you, the first time we took her along with us on the sailboat, she slipped and broke a rib. We will never live that down. But we were all asking the question WHY? Why are you shaving your legs? Her answer was so she could wear capri pants. OU Boy kept asking WHO? As in who is she shaving for?

For that, we have to go a day earlier. She forgot to lock her front door at the retirement center and when she woke up from her nap on the sofa there was a naked old man standing there looking at her. I feel relatively confident it’s only the second time she has seen a naked man. But, hey, if it puts a pep in her step, who cares.

I hope that made you laugh. We all need to laugh. And I can always count on my Momma for a good one!

Love each other

xx P

 

BREAKFAST AT THE HONEY CREEK CAFE’ by JODI THOMAS

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café

From New York Times and the USA Today bestselling author Jodi Thomas, a romantic, heartwarming contemporary novel set in Honey Creek, Texas–a little town nestled in the rolling hills bordering the Brazos River, where family bonds and legends run deep, and friendship and love are always close to hand . . .

A Romance and a Mystery? Why yes, please! Jodi Thomas has us in Wayward Bend, Texas. A very small town founded after the fall of the Alamo. The bonds of friendship, family, and those pesky feuds are all here. These are good people. 

Meet the Mayor, Piper McKenzie, carrying on the family tradition. While she is the main character we hear the voices of Colby, Sam, and Pecos Smith, who all tell their side of the story and are all hoping for a happy ending.

I think Mr. Winston was my favorite character. All of the characters were well done and fully developed. I laughed, I cried, and it was a book I needed to read in this time of uncertainty.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ May 26th 2020 by Zebra Books Kensington

 

 

 

A Little Miscommunication goes a long way!

It’s been a minute since we talked. Here we are in March already and it was 80 degrees yesterday! As the usual Spring allergies kick in, the eyeball situation kicks up!

This June will be three years of eye surgeries and transplant issues. I still have 12 stitches in my left eye. I guess because it doesn’t look different from my other eye, people think it’s fine. One of those people would be me. I dropped the ball on being vigilant and yesterday was a wake up call!

I have checked in hundreds of times now. They know me. But yesterday there was a twist. The receptionist was wearing a black mask. She said she had four questions for me. The first: Have you had a fever in the last two weeks. Me: Yes. Her: You need to go to that room over there and wait for a doctor to come. Okay… I quickly sent OU Boy a text telling him about it. He called and I was a bit weepy and concerned. Little did I know then that this would become an event!

Dr. M came in and asked me what was up. I told him I was coming off of a two week Crohn’s flare and had run a low-grade fever. He cleared me but suggested they put me in the back so I didn’t get any cooties from out front.

Meanwhile, OU Boy is racing across town to the Dean Magee Eye Institute and losing his mind. All he and his GM saw was Crohn’s. They thought it was Corona and apparently when he rushed in to say in a loud voice,  “Where is my wife, they said she is in quarantine!” people cleared out like they had heard there was toilet paper available at Target!

The confusion was cleared up. Or so we thought. More on that. The visit was not successful. My eye pressure was 30. Not good. I have a small abrasion on my transplant. Now I am back to 5 different drops and one salve. Every hour. EVERY hour. I was in tears thinking I’m not going to leave the country when my doctor said if it’s down in a week she’d prefer I left the country. She had just returned from Curacao and said I’d be safer from health threats there. So yeah.

Apparently, our GM called them to ask if he should be in quarantine. Oh lord, we laughed. Especially since his wife graduates from Med School this summer. So no I don’t have the C virus. I still have to self isolate however due to my having a transplant and Crohn’s but I’m good with that. I’ve got books on that TBR list that are about to be read!

Stay Safe!! Wash Your Hands! And if you can’t find Purell, Use 2/3 cup of 91% alcohol, 1/3 cup of aloe gel and some tea tree oil to make your own.

xx P

BLACK WIDOW by Leslie Gray Streeter

Leslie Gray Streeter offers us a portrait of widowhood we haven’t seen before, one that “will make you laugh and cry, sometimes on the same page” (James Patterson).

Palm Beach Post columnist Leslie Gray Streeter entered her late thirties with her husband Scott, moving in together and starting the process of adopting a baby. Yes, she is Christian and a black woman and he is neither. He is a white Jewish man. But together they are perfect for each other.

And just like that, they were making out and he died. Right there. And this is the story of her path and how she traveled it. I loved this book. I am this book. My husband died the same way at 36. There should be a period of a week at least before you have to start making decisions that are probably all bad. I laughed, I cried, I understood. Someone said you never understand death until it knocks at your door. So true. Thank goodness for friends who will not let you wallow in quicksand, but show up and care and drag you back from the edge and tell you that you aren’t crazy and it’s okay to laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time.

I am honored to have read this!

NetGalley/ March 10th, 2020 by Little, Brown, and Company

 

 

 

A TEARRIFIC WEEKEND!

High Tea at Inspirations Tea Room in Edmond. Saturday I had reservations to take OU Boy out for a proper tea.

We hit up the gym first thing and ran enough to eat a few sweeties. I went to the market and then got all dressed up and headed to 4 o’clock tea. OU Boy loves the way this place smells. They have a B&B in the back and they sell all things tea and flavored oils, soaps, and just all the pretty things I covet.

We were seated right away and I ordered classic Earl Grey and OU Boy went for Paris. We love that one. I let him eat the sandwiches and I ate the Quiche Lorraine and a scone with lemon curd. There were so many lovely things, chocolate eclairs, macarons, Neapolitan cupcakes, which are a vanilla cupcake with raspberry buttercream and fudgy middles. I brought all the sweets home and shared with my elderly neighbor.  We had a great time. So relaxing and calm and oh the smells were heavenly.

I bought a bag of loose pear green tea and a jar of lemon curd and we came home stuffed and wondering if they would let us live there.

Sunday was beautiful so we ran a few errands, filled out our passport renewal paperwork, had new pictures taken and worked our bums off at the gym.  Then we stopped by the market for eggs, and parked right next to us was the new Lamborghini SUV. Although I could hear OU Boy telling me ” Hey, that’s not your car.” I had no will power and went straight up to the man and begin talking body styles. He is 70 years old and had a huge cigar in his mouth and had just bought it for his birthday. I’m thinking, so is he single?? OU Boy made me get in the car and lo and behold if the fellow doesn’t live in our neighborhood. I may take a run through today.

I hope you all had a good weekend and have a peaceful and productive week! And have some tea.

xx P

Valentine’s Day Tea is Here! And it’s Chocolate! Oh, and Snow…

Harney and Sons Teas have their Valentine’s Day Tea out! I was at Barnes and Noble checking out a book when I accidentally wandered into their Starbucks. ( Okay, it wasn’t on accident.)  And lo and behold there it was. So I asked it in my nicest voice, to come home with me. So technically I ‘adopted’ it and did not ‘buy’ any more tea.

What does it smell like? Chocolate. Yep. Ingredients are black tea, chocolate flavor, and vanilla flavor and rose petals. If you followed my tea blog then you know I am not one to just steep and sip. Nope. I had a small piece of Godiva chocolate left and I plopped it in the tea and stirred. Decadent. And since the weatherman actually got the snow forecast correct for once, it was a good day for a treat like this! Yesterday we woke up to about 5 inches of snow. The good kind that isn’t slush. So it was cold and icky and chocolate tea sounded heavenly.

I am so happy that January is over. It seemed to last a year! And for us it was horrible. But February is okay so far and no one has died or given birth or started making meth. I stopped watching the news. OU boy got suspended from Twitter for angering the orange man. So proud.

Since the Coronavirus, my tea shipments from China are at a halt. Bummer. Says the lady with hundreds of boxes of tea hoarded away. Maybe now I’ll catch up on my tea reviews.

Stay warm my friends and be kind. Because aren’t we all tired of ugly?

xx P