Shades of Summer - Warby Parker's Field Series Sunglasses Collection

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Everyone who knows me will tell you that summer is my favorite time of year. I've always loved warm, sunny days when I can relax on the deck or by the ocean with a good book. I think it's because I was born on the last day of summer that the appreciation for the season comes naturally. Here in Pennsylvania the season seems to race by. You gotta soak up the sun while it's high in the sky...with the proper SPF, of course! While books and beaches are two things I associate with summer, flip flops and sunglasses are two other key ingredients for the perfect summer.

Just in time for county fair season, the folks at Warby Parker, a top name in prescription eyewear, have introduced a line of multi-layered sunglasses (the Field Series collection) that are definitely on-trend and perfect if you want to achieve a unique look. Is there such a thing as uncool sunglasses? Not at Warby Parker ! I am such a sucker for a bold frame. My wardrobe tends to lean towards black, white, and neutral hues, so my glasses and sunglasses need to have a pop of color. 

TLC Book Tours: The Valley by Helen Bryan

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Valley
by Helen Bryan
Copyright 2016
Lake Union Publishers
ISBN: 9781503936157
The Story:
Left suddenly penniless, the Honorable Sophia Grafton, a viscount’s orphaned daughter, sails to the New World to claim the only property left to her name: a tobacco plantation in the remote wilds of colonial Virginia. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a handsome young French spy—at gunpoint— she gathers an unlikely group of escaped slaves and indentured servants, each seeking their own safe haven in the untamed New World.

What follows will test her courage and that of her companions as they struggle to survive a journey deep into a hostile wilderness and eventually forge a community of homesteads and deep bonds that will unite them for generations.

The first installment in an epic historical trilogy by Helen Bryan, the bestselling author of War Brides and The Sisterhood, The Valley is a sweeping, unforgettable tale of hardship, tenacity, love, and heartache.

Check out what other readers have to say about this book on the TLC Book Tours page.

About Helen Bryan 
Helen Bryan is a Virginia native who grew up in Tennessee. After graduating from Barnard College, she moved to England, where she studied law and was a barrister for ten years before devoting herself to writing full-time.

A member of the Inner Temple, Bryan is the author of four previous books: the World War II novel War Brides; the historical novel The Sisterhood; the biography Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty, which won an Award of Merit from the Colonial Dames of America; and the legal handbook Planning Applications and Appeals. The Valley is the first in a planned trilogy based on her childhood stories of ancestors who settled in Virginia and Maryland before Tennessee became a state.

Bryan resides in London with her family.

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My Thoughts:
Frontier sagas are some of my all-time favorite stories to read. I don't know what it is, the danger, the uncertainty, the hardships our ancestors faced -- it's just all so interesting to me. Of course, I had to jump on the opportunity to read a brand new book that promised just that in a few short lines on the back cover blurb. Unfortunately, I didn't love the book.

Exclusive Teaser Trailers from SDCC

Sunday, July 24, 2016

You. Guys. SDCC, or San Diego Comic-Con for those of you not as familiar with geek speak, is THE place to be if you love movies, TV, comics, or pop culture of almost any kind. Unfortunately, I have never had the opportunity to attend, but I always follow the goings on pretty closely online. There are always a plethora of teasers, character reveals, and of course exclusive movie trailer releases. This year's SDCC guests have not disappointed. I gotta say I thought superhero films were getting a liiiittle played out, but boy was I wrong. The trailer for Wonder Woman just blew me away and the second official Doctor Strange trailer is trippy as all get out. And the tagline for that one..."The impossibilities are endless". Whoa. Superheroes are clearly here to stay and both films are bound to be blockbusters or I'll eat my hat!

Is there anything from SDCC that you want to discuss? What films are you most excited to see? Any surprising TV news? Please feel free to comment! 

TLC Book Tours: The Daredevil Snared by Stephanie Laurens (Review + Giftcard Giveaway!)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Daredevil Snared
by Stephanie Laurens
Copyright 2016
ISBN: 9780778318965
The Story:
Responsibility knocks, and a reckless, hedonistic man responds and opens the door to love—thus is a daredevil snared.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens brings you the third installment in THE ADVENTURERS QUARTET, continuing the drama of Regency-era high seas adventure, laced with a mystery shrouded in the heat of tropical jungles, and spiced with the passionate romances of four couples and their unexpected journeys into love.
Captain Caleb Frobisher, hedonistic youngest son of a seafaring dynasty, wants to be taken seriously by his family, and understands he has to prove himself sufficiently reformed. When opportunity strikes, he seizes the next leg of the covert mission his brothers have been pursuing and sails to Freetown. His actions are decisive, and he completes the mission’s next stage—but responsibility, once exercised, has taken root, and he remains in the jungle to guard the captives whose rescue is the mission’s ultimate goal.
Katherine Fortescue has fled the life of poverty her wastrel father had bequeathed her and come to Freetown as a governess, only to be kidnapped and put to work overseeing a child workforce at a mine. She and the other captured adults understand that their lives are limited by the life of the mine. Guarded by well-armed and well-trained mercenaries, the captives have been searching for some means of escape, but in vain. Then Katherine meets a handsome man—a captain—in the jungle, and he and his crew bring the sweet promise of rescue.
The sadistic mercenary captain who runs the mine has other ideas, but Caleb’s true strength lies in extracting advantage from adversity, and through the clashes that follow, he matures into the leader of men he was always destined to be. The sort of man Katherine can trust—with her body, with her life. With her love.
The first voyage is one of exploration, the second one of discovery. The third journey brings maturity, while the fourth is a voyage of second chances. Continue the journey and follow the adventure, the mystery, and the romances to the dramatic end.
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My Thoughts:
I read the first book in the series and thought it was just okay -- too slow getting started for me. This book started out similarly, BUT the setting was so interesting that I didn't mind that there wasn't a whole bunch of action. I can't say I've ever read a romance novel where the heroine was kidnapped to work a diamond mine. Yeeeah, it's a little off the wall, but it kind of works. Sometimes in a historical novel, it's nice to leave the ballroom for some suspense and danger.

Radiant Lit Blog Tour: Jilted by Varina Denman

Friday, July 1, 2016

Title: Jilted
Author: Varina Denman
Genre: Drama
Publisher: David C. Cook
Date: June 1, 2016
Book Three in the Mended Hearts series
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.
Author Bio – Varina Denman is author of the Mended Hearts series and a native Texan. She spent her high school years in a rural town and now writes stories about the struggles women face in similar small town settings. She and her husband live near Fort Worth, where they enjoy spending time with their five mostly-grown children.

My Thoughts:
Sometimes it's good to switch things up a bit in your reading routine. I've been on a romance bender for most of the year, and I needed to take a detour. Thankfully, this book by Varina Denman was just what the doctor ordered.