Other People’s Houses by: Abbi Waxman

Other People's Houses.jpg Publication Date:  April 3, 2018

Synopsis:

IN HER 2017 DEBUT The Garden of Small Beginnings, Abbi Waxman tackled widowhood and grief with wicked honesty. Readers fell in love with Waxman’s ability to wring humor from a sober situation, and the Lorelai Gilmore-esque widow at the center of the story. The book, an Indie Next selection, became a cult favorite among independent booksellers, and was featured in The Washington Post, the Associated Press, Elle.com, and Woman’s World, among others.
In her second novel, Waxman again dares to take a dark situation and make it funny. In OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; April 3, 2018), she captures the hilarious havoc one affair wreaks on an upper middle-class LA neighborhood.
For Frances Bloom, driver-in-residence of her local carpool crew, school dropoff is a chaotic if not predictable affair. Until one of Frances’s steely-eyed kindergarten charges sends her to retrieve forgotten school supplies. That’s when Frances stumbles on her friend Anne Porter—perfect, impeccable Anne—having a 9:00 am quickie with a younger man who is definitely not her husband.
The affair exposes, to comedic effect, dormant insecurities, neuroses, and strife in the
neighborhood. As the carpool line-up unravels one gossip session at a time, the novel alternates between the perspectives of the four families involved: the down-to-earth, level-headed Blooms; the seemingly perfect Porters; the eccentric lesbian couple Sara and Iris; and the mysterious Hortons, hiding a sad secret.
Waxman, a former ad copywriter, wields pitch-perfect dialogue, capturing how the chaotic aftermath of the affair plays out across the block behind closed doors, in scenarios alternately tender and preposterous. It will all lead up to the portentous return of Anne’s boyfriend, in a final plot turn that tests the carpool crew indelibly and forces their reliance on each other into alarming perspective.
Waxman’s bubbly skewering of her characters’ idiosyncrasies coupled with her irrepressible humor sets OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES apart from typical suburban satire.
Life in the carpool lane will never be the same.

My Review:

I loved Abbi Waxman’s debut novel, The Garden of Small Beginnings.  I thought it was a touchingly, beautiful story.  I was thrilled when I saw that I was accepted to be a part of the blog tour for her second novel.

Other People’s Houses, is what I would consider to be a companion novel to the first book since there are brief visits from the characters of the first book in this story.  This book was such a fun read.  It was a fly-on-the-wall visit into the homes of neighbors that live on the same block.  What we see on the outside, is never as it seems on the inside and Frances finds that out the hard way.  As she glimpses an affair that she was never meant to see, the neighbors’ lives are turned upside down.

I really enjoy Abbi’s writing style as she doesn’t hold back.  She can have a “potty mouth” and some readers may not enjoy that but taken in the context of this book, I was ok with it.  It really added to the story.

Excerpt:

Frances pulled into the elementary school lot and Ava got out, sighing as if she were a fourteen-year-old Victorian child disembarking for her day down the mine. She pulled open the door and swung her arm wide.

“Medium-size children may now escape. Mind the gap, and watch out for speeding moms on cell phones.”

The children had already unbuckled and piled out, high-fiving Ava as they passed her. Kate stopped, and Frances turned to see what was up. The little girl’s face was a study in conflict.

“What’s wrong, honey?”

Kate looked at Frances, and her chin wobbled.

“I left my toilet roll tubes at home.”

“Oh.” Frances looked at her eldest child. Ava shrugged, looking back inside the open minivan.

“They aren’t in the car.”

“Oh, OK.” Frances smiled at Kate. “I’m sure the teacher will have lots of extras.” She herself had, over time, sent in three thousand toilet roll tubes. For all she knew they were building a particle collider out of them, or an accurate re-creation of the New York subway system. Let’s hope they didn’t use the obvious choice for subway trains.

“No, I have to have my own ones.” Kate’s eyes were filling with tears, her shit-fit indicator was dropping to DEFCON 3. “It’s for the class project. Everyone else will have them.”

Frances weighed her options. On the one hand Kate was only six, and would not only survive but would forget the trauma of not having had toilet roll tubes. But on the other hand, she was a member of the Yakuza-esque organization known as Miss Lollio’s First Grade Class, whose members fell on the weakest like wolves on a lamb. Forgetting to bring toilet roll tubes and having to borrow some was a Noticeable Event to be avoided at all costs. It wasn’t on the level of peeing oneself, of course, it wasn’t going to give rise to a nickname you couldn’t shake until college, but it wasn’t great.

“My mommy put them in a bag, but she forgot to give them to me.” A note of accusatory steel had entered her voice. Frances gazed at the little angel, whose mother had been heard calling her Butterblossom. Kate’s eyes had gone flat like a shark’s. She knew she would get what she wanted, the only question was when. I am younger than you, old lady, her eyes said, and I will stand here until age makes you infirm, at which time I will push you down, crunch over your brittle bones, and get the toilet roll tubes I need.

“Alright, Kate. I’ll go back and get them after I drop Ava, OK, and bring them back to school for you.” Frances knew she was being played, but it was OK. She was softhearted, and she could live with that.

“Suckah . . .” Ava headed back to her seat, shaking her head over her mother’s weakness, a weakness she loved to take advantage of herself.

“Thanks, Frances!” Kate beamed an enormous smile, turned, and ran off—the transformation from tremulous waif to bouncy cherub instantaneous. Behind her in the line of cars, someone tapped their horn. OK, the brief honk said, we waited while you dealt with whatever mini crisis was caused by your piss-poor parenting, because we’re nice like that, but now you can get a move on because we, like everyone else in this line, have Shit to Do. Amazing how much a second of blaring horn can communicate.

Frances waved an apologetic hand out of the car window, and pulled out of the gate.

She dropped the other kids and was back at Anne’s house in a half hour. Having carpool duty wasn’t the onerous task the other parents thought it was: All three schools were close to home, and all four families lived on the same block. As Frances ran up to Anne’s door she looked over and saw her own cat, Carlton, watching her. She waved. He blinked and looked away, embarrassed for both of them.

She knocked softly on the door, but no one answered. Maybe Anne had gone back to sleep. She turned the handle and pushed open the door, peering around. Yup, there was the bag of toilet roll tubes. She grabbed it and was about to shut the door again when she saw Anne lying on the floor, her face turned away, her long hair spilling across the rug.

“Anne! Holy crap, are you OK?” But as she said it her brain started processing what she was really seeing. Anne, on the floor, check. But now she’d turned her head and Frances realized she was fine. In fact, she was better than fine. Frances had instinctively stepped over the sill and now she saw that Anne was naked, her face flushed, a man between her legs, his head below her waist.

“Shit . . .” Frances dropped her eyes, began to back out, “Sorry, Anne, Kate forgot her toilet roll tubes . . .” Stupidly she raised her hand with the Whole Foods bag in it because, of course, that would make it better, that she’d interrupted Anne and Charlie having a quickie on the living room floor. It was OK, because she was just here for the toilet roll tubes. Nothing to see here, move along.

The man realized something was wrong, finally, and raised his head, looking first at Anne and then turning to see what she was looking at, why her face was so pale when seconds before it had been so warmly flushed.

Frances was nearly through the door, it was closing fast, but not before she saw that it wasn’t Charlie at all. It was someone else entirely.

Frances closed the door and heard it click shut.

I gave this book 4 crowns.

4_crowns

 

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To Right the Wrongs by: Sheryl Scarborough BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY

To Right the Wrongs Tour Banner

 

To Right the Wrongs

Synopsis 
 

Barely three weeks after catching the killer of Erin’s mother and their biology teacher, Erin and her crew are back, up to their elbows in forensics projects. But this time it’s with the full approval of their parents.

With Uncle Victor at the helm, Erin and her best friends, Spam and Lysa, are prepping a new classroom for CSI summer camp, where they will serve as camp counselors. Meanwhile, Erin’s super-hot new boyfriend, Journey, is graduating, just in time for him to take a position as Victor’s intern in the new CSI lab on campus. Journey and Victor are going to take another look at the evidence in the murder trial that sent Journey’s father to prison. The girls are under strict orders not to meddle with the murder case, but that’s easier said than done…

 

Praise for TO RIGHT THE WRONGS

“Scarborough has written an intense, engrossing debut. Readers will root for Erin to find answers, laugh at her friends’ antics as they play detective, and struggle to identify the killer in a plot full of red herrings and multiple suspects. This solid mystery will easily grab the attention of fans of the genre.” ―Booklist

“To Catch a Killer is a tense, storming heartbeat of a thriller. Scarborough’s tightly woven story merges forensic intrigue with friendship, romance, and family, nailing the dynamic stylings of Veronica Mars and the playful spirit of Bones. I could not put it down.” ―Cori McCarthy, author of Breaking Sky

“The fast-paced plot and Veronica Mars-esque protagonist make this book a good fit for avid mystery readers.” ―School Library Journal

“A relatable cast and well thought-out plot make this mystery a Sherlockian puzzle sure to impress the most hardened crime-procedural fanatic. Don your deer-stalker caps, gumshoes, you’re in for a twisty ride.” ―Mary Elizabeth Summer, author of Trust Me, I’m Lying

“Scarborough brings Erin to life as a teenager with a damaged past…there are enough red herrings and forensic activity to keep everyone entertained all the way through the climatic end.” ―VOYA

“A compulsive read. Scarborough has created a thrilling book brimming with life, murder, and adventure.” —Carrie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of Flying

Sheryl Scarborough
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
HERYL SCARBOROUGH is an award-winning writer for children’s television. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, lives in Washington state, and has always had an obsession with forensics. When she was twelve, her home was the target of a Peeping Tom. Sheryl diligently photographed his footprints and collected the candy wrappers he left behind. Unfortunately, he was never caught. But the desire to use evidence to solve a great mystery was sparked inside Scarborough all the same. To Catch a Killer is her debut.

Photo Content from Sheryl Scarborough

WEBSITE: http://www.sherylscarborough.com/
TWITTER:  @scarbo_author
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/148975.Sheryl_Scarborough
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/mediasherpa
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/scarbo_author/

MY REVIEW:
This was a cute, fast paced read.  It reminded me of a Nancy Drew meets Harriet the Spy mix.  I do think that this is a bit of a younger YA book.  Although the main characters are juniors in High School, it just didn’t feel that way.
I though the plot was good and it kept me interested but this was a bit young for me.  I didn’t read the first book in the series but I got the point of it in the recaps throughout the book.  I would recommend reading them in order.
This was well done and I can see it becoming the next young female detective series.
I gave this book 4 crowns.
4_crowns
GIVEAWAY
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Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

– 12 Winners will receive a Copy of TO RIGHT THE WRONGS by Sheryl Scarborough.

ENDS: APRIL 14, 2018
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Tiger’s Dream Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Tiger's Dream blog tour banner

IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!

Tiger's Dream

Synopsis 
 

A tiger left behind.

A goddess in need of an ally.

Stranded in a time and place he never wished for, Kishan Rajaram must carry out his destiny of assisting the beautiful yet extremely irritable goddess Durga. This daunting task is not made easy by the fact that he must also face the truth about the girl he loves and the brother who stole her away.

When the wily shaman Phet appears and tells Kishan that Kelsey needs him, he jumps at the chance to see her again. In his efforts to save her, Kishan discovers that the curse he thought was over is just beginning. As time unravels around him, Kishan realizes that the fates of all those he holds dear lie in hands.

The goddess’s power hangs in the balance. Kishan has no choice but to sacrifice the unthinkable to fight the dark forces swirling around the woman he’s charged to protect. As he does, he discovers that love and loyalty create their own magic and accepts that he must decide his destiny once and for all.

Tiger’s Dream is the conclusion to the epic Tiger’s Curse fantasy romance series that left you breathless.

 

Praise for TIGER’S CURSE

“…a sweet romance and heart-pounding adventure. I found myself cheering, squealing and biting my nails-all within a few pages. In short, Tiger’s Curse is magical!” ―Becca Fitzpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of Hush, Hush

“High adventure ensues. As in Tiger’s Curse and Tiger’s Quest, this story is part action-adventure and part romance…The novel will satisfy the saga’s fans, who will be delighted by the prospect of a fourth volume.” ―Booklist

“Houck cranks the love-o-stat up another notch…Hypersteamy romance…’hot, melty, smoldering’ (but still chaste) make-out sessions…” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Forget vampires and werewolves, tigers are the new hottest thing…a guaranteed page turner with a huge twist at the end that will leave you breathless.” ―RT Book Reviews

COLLEEN HOUCK

Colleen Houck (1)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she’s not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.

Photo Content from Colleen Houck

WEBSITE: http://colleenhouck.com/
TWITTER:  @ColleenHouck
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3097905.Colleen_Houck
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ColleenRayHouck
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/colleen.houck/

MY REVIEW
If you have been following me for some time, you will know that this series is one of my favorite series.  The Tiger’s curse series is full of magic and fantasy, love and turmoil, magic and time travel.  I am so in love with these characters and when I found out that the last book  in the series, wasn’t really the last book, I was ecstatic!  And here is it, the final book in the series.
It was fantastic!  I absolutely loved going back into this world and reliving some of the past books with a different perspective.  Kishan is the main voice of this novel and I just fell more in love with him.  Rough and tough Tiger on the outside but soft mush on the inside!  YES!!!!  This was such an amazing read, the whole series really.  If you haven’t picked the series up yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!  If you were just waiting for this one to be released…GO!!!
I gave this book 5 crowns.
5_crowns
I am happy to offer you a chance to win a copy of Tiger’s Dream and some swag from Colleen Houck.
Tiger's Dream Giveaway
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

– 5 Winners will receive the Ultimate Tiger’s Dream Swag (Physical Copy, Necklace and Book Plate) by Colleen Houck.

– 5 Winners will receive an E-Copy of TIGER’S DREAM by Colleen Houck.
ENTER HERE:
ENDS: April 6, 2018
Check out the other stops on this Blog Tour for more info for this book!
Thank you so much to Jean Book Nerd Tours and to Colleen Houck!
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Re-Read-A-Thon The Last Day + Giveaway

Rereadathon2018March_18-24

This is it!  The last day of this fantastic, week-long read-a-thon!  We have had wonderful hosts and giveaways galore!  Let’s celebrate this last day with 3 more giveaways!  My co-hosts for today are:

Bookstagramer: CircusofDamned and the theme of: the first book you ever fell in love with

Booktuber: Dustin from BookBabble

Featured Instagram: @circus_of_damned

Featured Booktube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwmOwm8RDzKo6PKe7CJvNzQ/videos

 

We are each hosting a flash giveaway today so make sure to check each of us out.

 

My topic is re-listening to old favorites.  Now, I am not much of a re-reader but I do have a few books that I do not mind re-reading.

eat-pray-love I alternate between re-reading this book and re-listening to it.  Each time, I get something new out of it.  Since it is read by the author on audio, I am able to really get into the story the way she meant it to be.

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe This is another book that I simply love.  No matter how I read it, it transports me to Narnia every time.

Our Town A beautiful play that I first read back in Junior High.  I love this play and it is time for me to re-listen to it.

James and the Giant Peach Another book with fond memories.  I first listened to this story read to my class in 4th grade by my teacher.  This was our favorite part of the day and I became obsessed with this story.  I love to re-read it but it has been a while.  Another one on the list.

So, why didn’t I post a TBR or re-listen to any of these books during the re-read-a-thon?   I don’t know.  I decided to attempt to re-read a book that I loved many years ago.  I remember recommending it to people and really just loving the book, but when I looked back on it, I didn’t remember a thing about it.  That book is:

The Thirteenth Tale I read this the first time and this time I decided to listen to it on audio.  I hate to say it but I am so disappointed.  It is not the narration that I didn’t like, it is the story.  I am bored.  I don’t think I will finish listening to this and I may unhaul it from my shelf.

In no way do I count this re-read-a-thon as a bust for me.  It forced me to revisit a book that I thought was great and allowed me to find out that I no longer feel that way and that is ok.  My reading tastes have changed and I am sure that they will continue to do so as I get older.  New life experiences and points of views allow me to expand and change my reading tastes.  I find that by utilizing audio books, I am able to get something different out of the book then when I read the physical copy.  Does anyone else feel that way?  I encourage you to find your favorite book and listen to it on audio for a totally new experience.

Giveaway

OK, now it is time for the GIVEAWAY!!!  This giveaway is open internationally.  If you are under 18, please have you parents’ permission to give me your address to ship your book choice to.  You can pick a book from Book Depository for up to $15 USD.  You MUST be subscribed to my blog to WIN.  The giveaway will end tonight, March 24th at 8:00pm EST.

ENTER HERE:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/831f7b7b1/?

 

THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN CONTACTED.  THANK YOU ALL FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE RE-READ-A-THON 2018!

 

 

 

 

Cookbook Review: Tasty Latest & Greatest

Tasty

ABOUT TASTY LATEST AND GREATEST from Penguinrandonhouse.com

Tasty, Buzzfeed’s popular cooking brand, delivers both comforting and healthy weeknight dinners for meat-lovers, vegetarians, and vegans alike, plus treats like ice cream, chocolate desserts, and rainbow recipes galore. You’ve been mesmerized by their top down recipe videos, but there’s still something about having a tangible album of edible deliciousness at your fingertips. Enter: TASTY LATEST & GREATEST. This cookbook is just that: 80+ winning recipes, anointed by fans like you, that have risen to the top of the heap, powered by likes and comments and shares and smiles and full bellies. They represent how you’re cooking today. Whether it’s a trend-driven dish like a pastel glitter-bombed unicorn cake or a classic like lasagna, every recipe has staying power. Now you can deliver on the promise of a great dish whenever the urge strikes. Get ready—your cooking is about to go viral.

My Review:

I love this cookbook.  The recipes are not long and draw out, they are detailed yet simplistic.  Some recipes have a finished product photo while others have step-by-step photos.  The recipes range from 4 styles of deviled eggs to giant Cinnamon buns and homemade Gnocchi.  This week I made Baked Ratatouille and even though I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, I used it as a guide and it was delicious!  I can’t wait to tackle some more Tasty recipes.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

5_crowns

Exciting Announcement: I’m Co-hosting a READ-A-THON!!!

Rereadathon2018March_18-24

It’s a Re- read-a-thon to be exact.  I, along with 20 other book lovers, will be getting online to chat about and encourage you to re-read some books.  This is the brain child of Merphy Napeir on booktube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7FW6FYqPLeQIXMSulBfOLw 

For each day of the read-a-thon there will be 3 hosts across different platforms: Youtube, Instagram and our blogs.  The main twitter handle for us is @ReReadAThon2018

Do you want more awesome news????

On each day of the Re-read-a-thon, there will be 3 separate GIVEAWAYS!  For those of you that haven’t had a cup of coffee yet…that means a grand total of 21 GIVEAWAYS- 24 hour flash giveaways, to be exact, that week and you can enter them all!!!!

During the week, there will be optional challenges to help you set your TBR along with photo challenges for those of you who are all about Books and Pictures!

Here are the Hosts:

Sunday March 18

Bookstagramer: Margoe – A quick read

BookBlogger: Jess – Quick Read

Booktuber: Merphy from Merphy Napier
Featured Blog:

http://frommetoyouvideophoto.blogspot.com

Featured Instagram: @little_dragon_pants

Featured Booktube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7FW6FYqPLeQIXMSulBfOLw/videos

 

Monday March 19

BookBlogger wastepaperprose Childhood Favorite

Booktuber Elle from Elliot Brooks

Bookstagram: Shaegeeksout – Childhood Classics

Featured Blog: Wastepaperprose.com

Featured Instagram: @shaegeeksout

Featured Booktube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiflcKnh5cZiRWK7jlYKwxA/videos

 

 

Tuesday March 20

Bookstagramer:: Callmesensei14 – Greatest Hits: Books that define you

BookBlogger: Sophie K. -How Re-reading helped me love a book more; Sophie K.

Booktuber: Vanessa from PaperFaerie

Featured Blog: bookslikewolves.wixsite.com/blog

Featured Instagram: @callmesensei14

Featured Booktube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDUGKYqBc2vdai5VNQdyahw/videos

 

 

Wednesday March 21

Bookstagramer: Merphy Napier – Favorite Genre

BookBlogger: Nadja – Re-Read from your favorite Genre (thriller)

Booktuber: Roya from Royaevereads

Featured Blog: fit-and-beautiful-heart-reads.blogspot.de

Featured Instagram: @merphynapier

Featured Booktube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvvtQYFehxl0oIWCk9EYSWw/videos

 

 

Thursday March 22

Bookstagramer: Andreasbookss- Favorite Author

BookBlogger: Amylou88 -Re-reading to break a slump

Booktuber: Jo from NotSoAverageJoe

Featured Blog: burstingwithbooks.com

Featured Instagram: @Andreasbookss

Featured Booktube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTFt-4PZgfHrUpanE0-gfBg

 

 

Friday March 23

Bookstagramer:: Bookgoil – First Reread

BookBlogger: wonderlandiansbooks – Old Fave New Edition (re-reading different editions of faves)

Booktuber: Kira from shollyday

Featured Blog: www.wonderlandiansbooks.wordpress.com

Featured Instagram: @bookgoil

Featured Booktube: https://www.youtube.com/user/shollydays/videos

 

 

Saturday March 24

Bookstagramer: CircusofDamned the first book you ever fell in love with

BookBlogger: Candice – Relistening to favorites

Booktuber: Dustin from BookBabble

Featured Blog: https://bookqueenreviews.wordpress.com

Featured Instagram: @circus_of_damned

Featured Booktube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwmOwm8RDzKo6PKe7CJvNzQ/videos

 

So, I have the honor of closing out the week by relistening to favorites.  If you have been here a while, you know I have a fairly long commute to and from work and I utilize that time by listening to Audio books.

My TBR for the week should be up fairly soon but this post should have been up two days ago!

Either way, let me know if you are participating and what your TBR looks like!

We are all so excited!